WSC Men’s Nordic Team Wins 3x5k Relay at Nationals; Bryant represents alpine team at Nationals and Hughes comes in third for freeride in Snowmass
Mar. 10, 2010 -- Western State College alpine and Noridc skiers travelled to Maine last week to compete in the United State Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championships and they came home with some impressive results.
(L-R) WSC Nordic skiers Tom Sunderland, Scott Krankkala, and Chris Lange. The trio won the 3x5k relay, edging out rivals University of Wyoming.
Additionally, the WSC freeride team continued their season on the freeskiing circuit, with Kaytlin Hughes making a third-place finish in the Snowmass Colorado Freeride Championships.
The WSC Nordic team proved they are among the best in the nation with several podium finishes and a men’s national title in the 3x5k relay. The races took place in Black Mountain, Maine.
According to Coach Duncan Callahan, the trio of Scott Krankkala, Tom Sunderland and Chris Lange skied perfectly to win the 3x5k relay (:40:05.1). They edged out rivals University of Wyoming by a mere eight seconds to secure the national title for the event.
“The race was a tremendous accomplishment for these skiers and for Western State College,” Callahan said.
Krankkala also skied to the top individual results for the team with a third- place finish in the 8.5k skate race (:23:42.4). Sunderland placed eighth in the same race (:23:54.0).
The women’s team showed some impressive results as well. Jamie Woelk skied to two sixth-place finishes in the 8.5k skate (:27:57.7) and the 15k classic (:53:14.2). Brittney Perkins, the lone senior skiing at Nationals, skied well in the 8.5k skate with an eight place finish (:28:09.4). Perkins was fresh off skiing in her first 50k race of her career just days before with the American Birkebeiner in Wisconsin, the biggest Nordic ski marathon in the United States.
Combined, the men’s team finished fourth in the nation and the women finished seventh.
Callahan reported that Ali Gulick rounded out the scoring for the WSC women by skiing smoothly in several of the events. He also shared that Sage Smith proved he could ski at the national level by producing several significant results of his own.
Six of the seven Nordic skiers will be returning to ski for the team next year.
“We are optimistic about next season,” Callahan said. “We’ve shown we are a force on the national stage and our future is looking very bright.”
Dylan Bryant was the lone skier for the WSC alpine team that qualified and competed at Nationals this year and he did his best to represent Western well with a ninth-place overall finish. The alpine competitions took place in Sunday River, Maine.
“I was happy with my results and very impressed with the high level of competition,” Bryant said.
Bryant took sixth place in the slalom and twelfth in the giant slalom. Bryant was the second top American skier in his field. Most of the top skiers he competed against were Europeans who are attending American universities.
Alpine Coach Eric Grand is proud of Bryant and his results.
“Dylan did really well at Nationals, and we are happy that he represented Western State College in Maine,” Grand said.
Bryant skied on Western’s NCAA team for two years, until the program was cut for financial reasons in 2008. He left to continue skiing at the NCAA level at the University of Nevada, Reno, for one year, but returned to Western for his final year of collegiate skiing--a decision he is happy about.
“I love Western and it was great to finish out my collegiate career here.”
The freeride ski team is in their inaugural year and had their most impressive individual result of the season at the Colorado Freeride Championships in Snowmass with Kaytlin Hughes coming in third place for the women.
“She had a great day and had some really solid runs,” Coach Eric Freson said. “It was certainly the most exciting news from our team for the event.”
Several other WSC freeride skiers participated in the event with two skiers, Jason Holton and Jeremy Johndrow, advancing to the second day of competition.
Holton shares coaching duties with Freson, and also helped found the team.
The team will travel to Taos, New Mexico over March 10 -13 to compete in the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships.
Story by: Luke Mehall, assistant director of public relations