FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jay Moyer

jmoyer@uscsa.com

LAKE PLACID, New York. – MARCH 8th, 2018.  The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) completed the third day of its 5-day long annual Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM today with a men’s and women’s Snowboard Slalom, women’s Alpine Slalom, and men’s and women’s Freeski Slopestyle.

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.

For the first time in the 40 year history of the USCSA Collegiate National ChampionshipsTM, Snowboard Slalom was held as a championship event. For the third straight day, Westminster College swept the events and won inaugural National Championships for both the men and women in the event. “We are always excited to come out to Lake Placid,” said Westminster Head Coach Sara Beaudry. “We enjoy seeing other collegiate competitors and being in this awesome historic town. We are really pleased with how we are performing this week so far. We came out here with a purpose and we are delivering. It is so fun to come out to the East Coast and have so many of our families here to support. We have two big competitions left and we are looking forward to getting the job done and going home with some hardware." In Freeski Slopestyle, Sierra Nevada College also swept the event, winning titles for both men and women.

Women Alpine skier battled through light snowfall in their quest to win a National ChampionshipTM. In exciting racing that saw top seeded athletes struggle, Rocky Mountain College showed great teamwork and captured the Slalom and women’s combined Alpine National ChampionshipsTM. “What a win for the lady Bears! Slalom title and the overall title,” said Rocky Mountain College Head Coach Jerry Wolf. “After making defending the National title harder with a second in the GS and a strong showing from SNC, we felt it start to slip away. But the lady's sent it in the SL. Not without issues: losing 3rd seeded Camille Virelaude to injury in the skier cross team title win the day before didn't make today's victory any easier. This meant everyone would have to step it up and ski faster to make up the difference, and they did. First run 1st seed Lisa Hiltula and 2nd seed Emeline Lafarge threw down for a 1-2 punch. But 3rd seed Susan Beks hooked and lost a ski, so it was up to the 4th and 5th seed, freshman Hannah Clancy finished in 22nd and 5th seed Linnea Baysinger hooked and hiked. So the gals were looking good, but with only three clean skiers.  So no one could make a mistake 2nd run for the win. The Bears weren't going to be denied. Hannah started the gals second run off with the 12th fastest run, for a 17th place, both Emeline and Lisa killed it again with another 1-2 punch for the win. The times really don't show how close it was, one mistake by any of them and the championship would be lost. But that's ski racing, and today RMC is victorious!” Speaking about her individual Slalom victory, Lisa Hiltula said, “I can't say much else than that this win is the best possible reward for all the hard work that I have done with the RMC ski team this year. However, I think it is far more important that I helped my team achieve an overall victory which brought the ladies' team the first ever back to back titles. I am proud of my teammates and my coaches as this would be impossible without them. I couldn't have asked for the better start of my college career!”

Skiing to a strong third place finish in the women’s Alpine Slalom was Gabby Gencheff from St Olaf College. “We came into today excited, with high hopes for a good team result in the slalom,” said Gabby. “I'm confident in saying that we nailed it!   I'm really proud of my team and all that we accomplished. All of us finished within the Top 30!Personally, I am happy with how my last USCSA Nationals has gone so far and am looking forward to the dual on Saturday. Go Oles!”

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.

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.