FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jay Moyer
LAKE PLACID, New York. – MARCH 12th, 2018. The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) concluded its 5-day long annual Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM on Saturday March 10th, awarding overall titles for men’s and women’s Alpine Skiing, men’s and women’s Nordic Skiing, men’s and women’s Freeskiing, and for the first time seperate awards for men’s and women’s Freestyle Snowboarding and Alpine Snowboarding.
527 collegiate athletes representing 65 universities across 6 regions competed over the 5-day period. This championship represented the best collegiate athletes from around the country. USCSA has member schools in every geographic region of the United States. Events included 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.
Nordic skiers finished the week at Mt Van Hoevenberg having competed in the 7.5k Freestyle, a Classic Sprint, the 15k Classic, and a Team Relay. In very close competition all week that was only decided on the last day, St Olaf won the women’s team combined team Collegiate National ChampionshipTM, with Western State Colorado University winning the men’s Combined. St. Olaf also came in second for the men and Western State came in second for the women.
Having swept all women’s Snowboarding events, it was no surprise to see Westminster College win the women’s combined team Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM in Alpine and Freestyle Snowboarding. Sierra Nevada College’s men’s team won the Freestyle Team Championship and Westminster College won the men’s Alpine Combined. In Freeski, Sierra Nevada College also came away with combined National Championship titles for both men and women. Connor Clayton, Head Coach for Sierra Nevada College’s Freeski team, said, “the Freeski team from SNC is always stoked to come out and compete at USCSA events, and it only gets better when we’re able to hold it down and take the top spots! With the overall winner spots in both individual and team, men’s and women’s and a bunch of other podium spots, we can call this a successful nationals for the Sierra Nevada College freeski team.”
Competition in Alpine skiing was extremely close all week and determining the final combined results was no different. With only two combined team place points separating 1st from 3rd place overall, Rocky Mountain College won the combined team Collegiate National ChampionshipTM with Sierra Nevada College and Castleton University coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Determining the men’s team champion proved even harder: after both Giant Slalom and Slalom competitions there was a four way tie for first using team finish place points. After breaking the tie using individual place points, Rocky Mountain College won 1st place combined by one point over Sierra Nevada College, with Castleton University’s men’s team also coming in 3rd. “It was an awesome ending to the week full of emotional rollercoasters,” said Rocky Mountain College’s Head Coach Jerry Wolf after winning the combined team championships. “I'm glad that we could pull this off in such extreme competition in both genders, as well as the ladies' Freeski team third place that came as a sweetener to our combined titles in the alpine events. USCSA showed great progress once again making the Nationals more competitive each year which is great for the overall sportsmanship. I'm excited about next year and I hope that we get another week of racing like we did in Lake Placid. I'm proud of my whole team and especially my freshmen who performed great with a lot at stake.”
Winning the individual combined men’s Championship was Paul Rechberger from Castleton while Lisa Hiltula from Rocky Mountain College won the women’s individual Collegiate National ChampionshipTM. After her win, Lisa said, “I'm very happy to be a part of this event for the first time and it only made it better that I was able to get the individual overall title, and more importantly, overall team title. It was an awesome feeling sharing the podium with my teammate Emeline Lafarge, as well as knowing that all of my team had my back all season long.”
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.
At the conclusion of the week, Adam Stark, USCSA President, said, “I am really proud of all the athletes, coaches and volunteers that made the 40th anniversary National Championships a major success. I heard from many athletes, coaches and parents about how much fun they had this year. A coach approached me and shared that this was his first time at a USCSA Nationals and he could not wait to get back and tell people about the experience. With all the great accomplishments this year I am not sure how we will top it next year, but I am confident we will raise the bar again in 2019. I want to say a special thank you to all our senior athletes. Now that you are graduating and moving on I wish you all the best. Remember the values of the organization and the focus on team success. Continue to be ambassadors of the USCSA. When you are out skiing or snowboarding and you see a kid learning how to land a trick, make a challenging gate or tune their equipment, offer to help them. I hope the experiences you have had working within a team contribute to your success after graduation.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Coach Quote:
M.R. Hostetter, Head Coach St Olaf Alpine: “We went into the dual panel slalom knowing that our team was deep and hoping to come home with some hardware, and we did just that! We’re very proud of the way we skied collectively as a team. There are some fast girls out there and competition was tight! The team dynamic we had that day was just what we needed to pull off the third place. It was great to see how we stacked up against other teams in this fun event. It was an awesome way to end a very solid week of skiing from the women’s team, and left us excited to start prepping for next season.”
All pictures credited to Linsey Fagan. Athlete name and school is included in the file name for select pictures.