LOBO FLASHBACKS: Lobo Flashbacks is a summer feature of GoLobo.com looking back on special teams, players, games or moments from the 2013-14 University of New Mexico athletic season.
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The best thing about Lobo Eva Severrus is not just that she returns to New Mexico as a sophomore. The best thing might be that she returns as a sophomore and an NCAA Champion. This Nordic Lobo is good and should only get better.
Obviously, it’s difficult to win a national title. You have to figure it’s even more difficult as a freshman going at older and more experienced athletes. There also are a lot of outstanding athletes coast-to-coast – and things happen in championship battles. Athletes can simply be off on a certain day, maybe ill, maybe nursing an injury or maybe a victim of bad luck.
Severrus’ run at a national title was influenced by illness, but not her illness. Teammate Anni Hord had to pull out of the race due to illness. The Lobos needed a lot of points from Severrus and they got the maximum.
Her win was a close, dramatic and pressure-packed run over the 15K course. Severrus was a contender in the race from the beginning and stayed in a challenging position, second place, for most of the race. She made her move on the final lap by pushing into the lead heading to the wire.
She held the lead and won by 1.8 seconds to throw 40 points onto the UNM total.
Severrus definitely was on her game at the 2014 NCAA Skiing Championships when she picked up her third 15K win of the season. For sure, Severrus peaked at the right time. She also won the NCAA West Regional and advanced on a high to the final runs held in Soldier Hollow and Park City, Utah.
Severrus, the 2014 RMISA Nordic Skier of the Year, became the 27th Lobo to become an NCAA champion. She is UNM’s 17th champion from the ski program and the 10th Lobo woman skier to win a national crown.
Severrus’ title also helped New Mexico return to the NCAA podium as a team with its third-place finish. UNM last reached the podium in 2010 with a third-place total.
The Lobos will return another solid team in 2015. They also return a national champion with three more seasons ahead of her.