Alpine Team Back to Regionals
by Gavin Thompson, Intercollegiate Club Sports Staff Writer
Western’s Alpine ski team came back against the odds last weekend February 12-13 in Loveland qualifying to go to regionals.
The first day of the competition seemed to favor Western’s female Alpine skiers as the women’s team excelled while the men’s team was disqualified.
“The girls fought their way through the weekend to qualify for regionals regardless of not having a full scoring team which was great.” Said Coach Kara Delaney. “In day one, Lizzy Clay had her best result of the season with an 18th place finish, and Andrea was close behind in 23rd.”
However, refusing to give up Western skier Mike Huse came back against the competition on day two skiing one of the best runs of his season taking 35th place. Clay and Donnegean had a comparably worse competition on day two as neither was able to pull off a podium finish.
Despite being set back on day two, Western skied so well on day one that they qualified for regionals based on that day’s scores taking fifth place. This impressive feat has marked them as one of the best eight teams in their region.
According to Clay good practices and focused training helped propel the Alpine team to victory in Loveland.
“We definitely practiced hard for Loveland, Kara set up good courses for us to practice on,” said Clay. “We had an off-set practice course which made us stay on top of things which was really good it helped us stay forward throughout the entire course.”
Up until the Loveland meet Western’s Alpine team was facing the end of their season and were put in a high stakes situation either having to win in Loveland or return to Gunnison until next year.
However, with the big finish for the women’s team Western’s Alpine squad has received a shot at qualifying for nationals by competing at their regional race in Bogus Basin, Idaho.
According to Clay the regional competition will serve as a graet learning experience no matter the outcome.
“Going to regionals gives us a chance to go to a place other than Colorado,” said Clay. “It also gives us new people to compete against…Part of racing is watching other people do it… so competing against the top teams in the region will help us pick up on the skills they have.”
Western’s Alpine team will go to their regional competition Thursday, February 17 and will begin competition on Friday February 18 and will compete until Monday February 21.