Five-day college championships conclude
LAKE PLACID — The United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) concluded its five-day long annual national championships on Saturday with a men’s and women’s dual alpine slalom, men’s and women’s snowboard giant slalom at Whiteface Mountain, and the nordic team relay on the cross country trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
This year’s championships featured 527 collegiate athletes representing 65 universities from across six regions and were last held in the Olympic Region in 2016.
At Mount Van Hoevenberg, nordic skiers finished the week with the team relay, as St. Olaf College showed its depth by winning both the men’s and women’s team titles.
Speaking about their win, St. Olaf teammates Matt Lynch, Spencer Warejoncas and Tyler Radtke said that “winning the relay was our main goal as a team going into the week. We wanted to relax on our first legs and then attack after that. We worked our plan well and pushed as hard as we could to take the win. A great day for the Oles.”
Snowboarders ended the week with a giant slalom race down Drapers Drop. Winning both the men’s and women’s team championships, Salt Lake City, Utah’s Westminster College completed the sweep on the week by winning every event’s team championship. Olivia Shively from Westminster College followed up her snowboard slalom victory on Thursday with a women’s individual giant slalom race on Saturday.
“Both events went really well for me and I’m stoked on my finishes,” Shively said.
The annual bracketed dual slalom wrapped up the exciting week of competition for alpine skiers on the Lower Thruway trail at Whiteface. Sierra Nevada College had its best result ever in the event, winning both the men’s and women’s team titles.
After the finals, the Sierra Nevada College alpine team announced “SNC is really happy with today’s result in the dual slalom. We all worked together and it really paid off. We did our best this week and we had a lot of fun, and that is what is most important. Our team is amazed at all the incredible skiing that we have been able to watch during this week from the competitive teams. The SNC alpine team would like thank our new and amazing coach Elias Stuerz. He has been working really hard for our team and without him this journey would not have been possible. We would also like to thank USCSA for a great week and all the effort they put in to make this possible for us. Last but not least, we would like to thank Sierra Nevada College, our president Alan Walker, Uros Kogal and everyone that gave our team the possibility to do well.”
USCSA is the only ski and snowboard league where colleges and universities compete and qualify for post-season competition as a team. This emphasis on team performance is a departure from the typical individual or world cup scoring format often found in skiing. Allowing entire teams to qualify for the USCSA national championships also provides for a greater number of competitors to attend the event, as over 210 alpine athletes, 210 free ski and snowboard athletes, and 100 nordic athletes competed during the week in Lake Placid. Teams began their quest to qualify for the nationals in their local conference competitions, held across 11 conferences spanning the nation, in January. Top teams from each conference attended one of six regional championships, which decided who ultimately qualified to participate in events at Whiteface and Mount Van Hoevenberg. Results from all events can be found at www.uscsa.com.
The USCSA is the sports federation for collegiate team ski racing and snowboarding in America. The organization includes 180 colleges from coast to coast, fielding over 5,000 male and female, alpine, freeski, cross-country, snowboarding and nordic ski jumping athletes in more than 300 events annually.