DENVER, Colo. –Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing junior Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minnesota) was named Men's Nordic Skier of the Year by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association Monday afternoon.
Torchia became the seventh NCAA Champion in Wildcat Nordic skiing history after being the first skier to cross the finish line in the 20-kilometer freestyle race. Torchia won the race by two seconds after he crossed the finish line in 54 minutes, 21 seconds to earn the NCAA crown.
The junior earned a pair of first-team All-America honors at this year's championship meet after beginning the meet with a fifth-place performance in the 10-kilometer classic race. Torchia is now a four-time All-American after a pair of honors as a sophomore in 2016.
After missing all of the 2016-17 season due to injury, Torchia bounced back to take the individual titles in the 10-kilometer classic race at the Central Collegiate Ski Association Championships and the 20-kilometer freestyle race at the Central Region Championships.
As a team, NMU took both the men's and women's team crowns at the CCSA Championships and Central Region Championships. At the national meet, the two teams combined for 179 points which was the highest total among teams without alpine competitors. In the Nordic standings, the 179 combined points were fifth-most.