The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) concluded its 5-day long annual national championships on Saturday at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. The final events for the alpine skiers was giant slalom.
The alpine men wrapped up their competition with a giant slalom race on the Thunderbird trail. Rocky Mountain College continued their winning streak and took home another team title. Sierra Nevada College was the runner up with Castleton University coming in a strong third. Finlay Neeson from Sierra Nevada College won the individual title.
“I’m super proud of our men for making it back on the podium at these national championships,” said Chris Eder, co-head coach of Castleton University. “It was a total team effort. These guys sacrificed individual results for the betterment of the team. In particular, senior captain Matthew Couture, a six-time USCSA All-American, had to ski smart and not give it his all to ensure that he finish on both days. At past championships, Matt has been a first or second seed racer. However, he gave up those spots this year, so that other guys could have a cleaner course first run on both days.”
The alpine women were finally able to compete in their postponed giant slalom race on Saturday. In extremely close team competition, Sierra Nevada College edged out Rocky Mountain College by less than one second to take the team slalom title. The race for the individual win was also a nail biter, but Rocky Mountain College’s Frida Svedberg took home her second individual collegiate national championship title after an impressive second run.
Referee of the event and coach of St. Olaf’s Alpine Team M.R. Hostetter said, “The women finished out a tough week of racing by battling through fog and rough conditions for the GS, though it was impressive to watch the women finish out the week so strong! Congratulations to everyone!”
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 Championship also allows for a greater number of competitors to attend the event, with over 230 alpine athletes, 210 freeski and snowboard athletes, and 100 nordic athletes competing this week at Mt. Bachelor. Teams began their quest to qualify for the U.S. Collegiate Skiing and Snowboarding National Championship in their local conference competitions, held across 11 conferences spanning the nation, this January. Top teams from each conference attend one of six regional championships, which decided who ultimately qualified to participate in events at the Collegiate National Championship.
Release from USCSA