COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College Alpine skiing rising sophomore Danny Duffy (Warren, Vt./Green Mountain Valley School) was named Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA) Collegiate Skier of the Year this week, becoming the second Purple Knight to land the accolade in three years. Former teammate Brad Farrell '16 earned the laurel following the 2014 season.
Among VARA's seven annual Merit Awards is Collegiate Skier of the Year, which was established in 2006 and acknowledges Vermont college skiers in NCAA and United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) programs for their accomplishments at the regional and national levels. Winners are also judged on devotion to the sport, team leadership, camaraderie, sportsmanship and overall character.
Duffy put together a standout rookie campaign last winter, finishing 22nd or higher in seven races on the competitive Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) circuit. He took 13th in the giant slalom in late January at the University of Vermont Carnival during his first college competition in his home state before tying for eighth in the Williams College Carnival slalom the following month. When qualifiers for the NCAA Championship were determined, Duffy trailed the final East competitor by just two spots, narrowly missing giving Saint Michael's three men at the meet. Two male Purple Knights and one female took part at the 2016 NCAA Championship.
Duffy, who has been a member of the U.S. Development Team, also found success in the classroom, being recognized with a United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association (USCSCA) National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team nod. Honorees earn the award thanks to posting a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade-point average.
Duffy and all of the VARA award winners will be recognized on Oct. 29 at the VARA Celebration of Vermont Ski Racing Gala at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. For more information, visit vara.org.