While many of us are returning from Spring Break with home cooked meals in our bellies and maybe even a nice tan, the Rocky Mountain College Ski Team is returning with a USCSA National Title. The skiers spent their midterm break competing in the USCSA National Championship in Lake Placid, New York. All of their hard work, countless hours of travel, and extra time in the gym did not go without reward.
The Men’s Ski Team swept all National titles: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Dual Slalom, Skier Cross, and last, but not least, the Overall National Championship. Along with the team win, Rocky Mountain College was also represented in the individual overall awards, with freshman Andraz Reich-Pogladic taking the individual overall championship, junior Erik Höegbom placing third, and sophomore Sean McCormick placing ninth. Senior Nils Höegbom said, “I’ve been chasing it since my freshman year, and we finally made it. It’s a great feeling. I have everything else, the individual in GS and Slalom, the overall, being undefeated in Dual Slalom, and now I walk away my senior year with a team National Championship.”
The women swept the podium in Giant Slalom with junior Frida Svedberg placing first, sophomore Camille Virelaude second, freshman Emeline Lafarge fourth, senior Fredrika Hjelm sixth, and senior Malin Eriksson in 16th. Virelaude explained that, “The weather for GS was nice, and the snow was perfectly icy. However, on the day of Slalom, the rainy conditions following the warm weather the previous day made it tough for all the racers.” Despite the tough weather conditions the second day, the Women’s Ski Team took seventh place overall, placing first in the Giant Slalom, and 13th in
The Battlin’ Bears Ski team last brought home a National Title in 2011. Head Coach Jerry Wolf said, “It’s amazing! Four long years. We have been so close so many times. We finally are champions once again! I’m glad seniors Nils Höegbom and Harlan Collins could finish at RMC on top. We all worked so hard for so long. Go Bears!”
For those who have never had the opportunity to watch ski racing, it is an incredible sport. These athletes race down steep, icy slopes, at speeds up to fourty MPH. The Ski Team has incredible determination and a strong work ethic. The team has to carefully schedule their classes in order to have time to travel back and forth to Red Lodge multiple times a week to train for the season. That’s almost 3 hours of travel time for only a couple hours of training. It’s this commitment and passion that these athletes have for their sport that led the Ski Team to bring another National Title back to our very own Rocky Mountain College. Besides all the individual work that goes into this sport, it also takes teamwork and support to achieve a National Title. Sophomore Sean McCormick said, “It’s a great team we have here. When it came down to it, we all stuck together. We really believed in ourselves, we knew we could pull it to- gether, and we did.”