FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jay Moyer

jmoyer@uscsa.com

LAKE PLACID, New York. – MARCH 9th, 2018.  The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) continued its 5-day long annual Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM today with a men’s and women’s Snowboard Slopestyle, men’s Alpine Slalom, and a men’s and women’s Nordic 15k Classic.

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.

Nordic skiers competed in their longest distance event at Mt. Van Hoevenberg: the 15k Classic. Western State Colorado University proved once again to be the team to beat, taking home both the Men’s and Women’s team Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM. “The team skied very well,” said Duncan Callahan, Head Coach of the Western State Colorado Nordic team. “Despite tricky waxing conditions, the team performed outstandingly. Senior Nate Maddox once again led the way in 5th place, followed by senior Kevin Geisen in 8th, and junior Gordon Gianniny in 11th. With these three men leading the way, the Western men took the team title, again. On the women's side, freshman Rya Berrigan posted an impressive 3rd place to lead the western women to a 3rd place team result.”

Snowboarders wrapped up the freestyle part of their competition with a Slopestyle event. Westminster College and Sierra Nevada College split the team results on the day, with Westminster College taking home the women’s team Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM and and Sierra Nevada College taking home the men’s team Championship. Ben Hojnoski from Sierra Nevada College and Haille Soderholm also won the men’s and women’s individual National Championships respectively. Speaking about his run, Ben Hojnoski said, “My run wasn’t perfect but I felt good about it. My Dad and Coach got hyped up and just told me to do my thing. When I realized I had won I was just really stoked to represent my school.”

Alpine Skiers ended their competitions on Drapers Drop with the men’s Slalom. In yet another extremely close competition, Babson College edged out Castleton University by a mere combined 4 hundreths of a second to claim the team Collegiate National ChampionshipTM. After the competition Sam Bensley, the Head Coach of Babson’s Alpine team, said, “to see our men rally together on the biggest stage and perform the way they did could not make our coaching staff more proud. We lost one of our top skiers a few days before the event, our men went in with the mindset to do their best - and they did just that! We could not be more proud of how they competed as a team. None of this would’ve been possible without the incredible sportsmanship and organization of the USCSA and the MacConnell Division. Go Babo!”

Winning his first ever individual Collegiate National ChampionshipTM was Paul Rechberger from Castleton University. “When I saw that 3 guys of our team already finished I knew we'll have a good team result. I could focus on my individual race after that and my goal was to finish second, because Andraz was too far ahead and his skiing was really good this week. When I crossed the finish line after the second run I knew I got my silver, but I never thought that it was good enough for gold. I don't know what to say right now. Just amazing. Thanks to Castleton Alpine Ski Team!”

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.

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.

Additional Athlete Quotes:

Jack Blanchard, 2nd place men’s Alpine Slalom, Babson college: “It feels great to come down and see everyone excited, it's a team sport and the support from the team makes it special. It was a crazy day out there and everyone fought hard. We can't ask for any better way to end the season.”

Teagan Olin, 3rd place men’s Alpine Slalom St. Olaf: “I remember the time fondly, it was cloudy, snowy, and I was a little itchy all over. Everybody up at the start is pumped, it's awesome, so I get pumped up, I feel awesome. YOU KNOW everybody is gonna fight, so i get into my Casual Kobe Bryant, cut throat (but friendly), mentality. So I do the run. And I come down, did pretty well, everyones cheering and loud. Fired up. But it's time to move on, and I look up and watch my boiiiissss. And watch them shred it up and get the crowd fired for my teammates. And as I'm getting pumped up for my guys, I look around........and everybody’s doing the same--watching their teammates and cheering them on and getting pumped! That's what makes this whole thing worth it, everybody is just as pumped up for everyone else's run as much as their own run. That's what makes USCSA awesome.”

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.