FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jay Moyer

jmoyer@uscsa.com

LAKE PLACID, New York. – MARCH 6th, 2018.  The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) kicked off its 5-day long annual Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM today with a women’s Snowboard and Freeski Rail Jam, men’s Skier and Snowboard Cross, women’s  Alpine Giant Slalom, and a 7.5k Classic Nordic race.

527 collegiate athletes representing 65 universities across 6 regions will compete over the 5-day period. This championship represents the best collegiate athletes from around the country. USCSA has member schools in every geographic region of the United States. Events include Alpine Giant Slalom, Alpine Slalom, Nordic Sprints, Nordic Relays, Nordic Distance, Slopestyle, Skier Cross, Snowboard Cross, Snowboard Slalom, Snowboard Giant Slalom, and a Rail Jam.  For a complete schedule of events, news, and results, and list of schools, please go to the official USCSA website at www.uscsa.com.

At the Snowboard and Freeski venues, Westminster College won National ChampionshipsTM in both the women’s Snowboard Rail Jam and men’s Snowboard Cross, while Sierra Nevada College won a National ChampionshipTM in women’s freeski Rail Jam and the University of Nevada Reno won a National ChampionshipTM in men’s Skier Cross. Ross Collins, the Head Coach of the University of Nevada Reno, said “I am overjoyed by both Nico's victory and maybe to a greater extent the team's success. Nico, has put the perfect cap on a strong collegiate career. He commanded the field, defending his title from Mt. Bachelor last year. But watching this group support each other throughout the season and to see that continue through today's team win is so well deserved. Skiing is an individual sport, but when these kids get a chance to act as a team, they support each other so well, and they deserve this result. I'm very proud.” Nicolo Monforte, the men’s National Champion in Skier Cross from the University of Nevada Reno, continued “I’m very happy with today’s result! I felt solid on my skis all day. I was able to capitalize on some fast starts and a smooth line on the bottom section of the track. I’m excited to defend the National Championship and very proud of our team for bringing home a National title to Nevada! I think the boys stepped up in a big way and proved that we can compete with the best in the Nation. A big thanks goes out to our boosters foundation back in Reno for their continued support of our team. We’re looking forward to the rest of the week here in Lake Placid.”

The first day of alpine racing on Drapers Drop belonged to Sierra Nevada College. The Eagles won both the team and individual women’s Giant Slalom National ChampionshipsTM, with Saana Ahonen taking home her first individual Giant Slalom title. “It was a really tough day but the team worked really well together and in my opinion that's why we won today. I'm happy to be an eagle and part of this great team.” said Saana Ahonen. “I am really happy with the team's performance,” said Elias Struz, Head Coach of Sierra Nevada College. “We have had a season with a lot of ups and downs, which made us stronger as a team. The girls stood up for eachother and sacrificed their individual success to achieve the underlying goal, which was to win as a team. They made me really proud and happy about my decision to be the coach this year.”

Nordic events started off the week of competition at Mt. Van Hoevenberg with the men’s and women’s 15k Classic. St. Olaf College took home the men’s Collegiate Team National ChampionshipTM and Western State Colorado University won the men’s title. Head coach Duncan Callahan said, “Western State Nordic had a stellar day! The men's team won the day with a very strong showing by junior Gordon Gianniny in 2nd place! The women's team was paced by 3 freshmen in the top 12. Go Mountaineers!!!”

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 Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM also allows for a greater number of competitors to attend the event, with over 210 alpine athletes, 210 freeski and snowboard athletes, and 100 nordic athletes competing this week in Lake Placid. Teams began their quest to qualify for the U.S. Collegiate Skiing and Snowboarding National ChampionshipsTM in their local conference competitions, held across 11 conferences spanning the nation, this January. Top teams from each conference attend one of 6 regional championships, which decide who ultimately qualifies to participate in events at the Collegiate National Championship. Results from all events can be found at www.uscsa.com.

Today we had a great first day of competition across all of our disciplines. The sunny weather brought out an enthusiastic crowd, with some of the craziest action at the Cross course. The athletes were giving their all and went big on the final jump.  If you were not able to watch the live broadcast, check out the archives on our website. We are expecting some great weather tomorrow and more great competition, so please come and join us at Whiteface or watch online,” said Adam Stark, President of USCSA.

As the events unfold over next week in Lake Placid, please join the USCSA athletes, families and friends in celebrating this pinnacle of collegiate competition by following competitions either in person or online at www.uscsa.com. Team and Individual results will be posted daily online at the USCSA website. Check in daily for Live Video and Audio Feeds online at http://www.uscsa.com/broadcast

The USCSA is the sports federation for collegiate team ski racing and Snowboarding in America. The USCSA believes that student-athletes of all levels and abilities should have access to quality and exciting venues of competition. Team performance is emphasized within the USCSA, a departure from the typical individual or world cup scoring format often found in skiing. USCSA athletes agree that this team orientation fosters a team approach across their collegiate athletic and academic careers, and often the mentality proves indispensable in their adult lives and careers. 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 over 300 events annually.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Jay Moyer at jmoyer@uscsa.com

Photo Information:

All pictures credited to Linsey Fagan. Athlete name and school is included in the file name for all pictures.