The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) kicked off its five-day long annual national championship this week in Mt. Bachelor, Ore., coinciding with the NCAA Championships taking place in New Hampshire. Fresh snowfall and fog have made conditions challenging for the men’s and women’s slalom races, but the tireless work from Mount Bachelor, the Mount Bachelor Sport Education Foundation (MBSEF), and USCSA volunteers allowed the events to run as scheduled.
A record breaking 555 collegiate athletes representing 66 universities across 6 regions are competing in 24 events within the five-day period. USCSA has member schools in every geographic region of the United States. Events include giant slalom, slalom, dual slalom, cross-country sprints, cross-country relays, cross-country distance, slope style, skier cross, snowboard cross, rail jam, and snowboard giant slalom.
On the Thunderbird trail, the women opened the alpine events with two snow filled runs of slalom on Tuesday. Rocky Mountain College won the day with their number one seed Frida Svedberg also taking the individual title.
“First of all, I am so proud of all the girls, being able to perform under pressure and under tough conditions,” said Svedberg. “They all stepped up when needed, and there is no better feeling winning together. I am also happy that I was able to pull off two fast runs and bring home one more slalom victory. It was a tough day out there, but everyone worked hard to make it happen!”
Rocky Mountain College Head Coach Jerry Wolf added, “It was great to see the all the hard work this year paying off. A lot of hard work, training, traveling, racing, emotional ups and downs. Couldn’t be happier about the way my lady Bears came together as one, for the slalom victory!”
On Wednesday, slalom racing continued with the men, and Rocky Mountain College captured another team National Championship title, winning by 2.6 seconds over Sierra Nevada College. Andraz Reich-Pogladic from Rocky Mountain College also won the individual title.
Showing how much the soft snow affected the course, the fastest second run of the day was from Castleton University’s Jan Klindic, who rocketed from the 30th position all the way to the 3rd fastest combined time.
“It was a difficult day under difficult conditions,” Wolf said. “Rocky did defend our slalom title with Sophomore Andraz Reich-Pogladic winning with a commanding lead and two seniors keeping pace in fifth and tenth for the team win. Rocky’s men have won a number of national titles, and 4 national championships, yet we have never defended the overall two years in a row. I believe that is what this year’s Bears hunger for, another mark in our schools history book.”
USCSA racing action continues with men’s and women’s giant slalom races.
Release from USCSA