Rocky Mountain’s Battlin’ Bears ski team attended their first 2021 US Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) race at Lookout Pass on the border of MT and ID. Rocky competed with Lookout Pass’s own junior race team and two other USCSA schools: the College of Idaho and the University of Idaho.
On Sat Jan 30, the men and women competed in two slalom races, both consisting of two runs per race. Individual finishing positions are a combination of the first and second run times. In USCSA racing, everyone competes as a team and the top three individual times from each team are recorded to produce a score.
In the women’s first race, the lady bears dominated the top ten with Rocky’s Bergitte Varne, a freshman from Norway, finishing in first with fellow Norwegian freshman, Hilde Sato close behind in second place. In third, Italian freshman Sofia Brustia and American sophomore Sydney Weaver in fifth place. Two more Americans, freshman Emma Heibert and junior Larissa Saarel finished in seventh and eighth place respectively. In the second women’s race of the day, Sato ended up on top, Varne on her tail in second, Weaver finished the race in fourth, with Saarel close behind in sixth.
The Rocky men also took command of the top ten with Norwegian sophomore Ludvig Bye dominating first place all weekend by winning all three races, Swedish sophomore Alexander Sehlberg was close behind in every race. In the first race on Sat, Oscar Dalmalm, a Rocky junior from Sweden, took third place. Daniel Larriu, a freshman from Spain, finished in fourth place with Americans Ian Mccormick and Dylan Stutzke in sixth and eighth respectively to finish off the top ten. Bye and Sehlberg finished in first and second place in the second race of the day with American sophomore Luke Allen in third place. The Rocky men once again controlled the top ten with Mccormick in fourth, Stutzke in fifth, Dalmalm in sixth, and Joel Dalmalm, a Swedish freshman, in tenth.
On Sun Jan 31, the men and women competed in one slalom race where both teams again dominated the competition. For the women, Brustia finished in first with Varne and Weaver close behind in second and third. Jessica King, a Montana native and freshman finished sixth with Sato, Saarel, and Heibert in seventh, eighth, and ninth. The men controlled the top ten as well with Bye, Sehlberg, and O. Dalmalm in first, second, and third. Gusten Berglund, a Swedish freshman, Larriu, and Allen, followed in fourth, fifth, and sixth. Mccormick and Stutzke rounded out the top ten finishing in eighth and ninth place.
Overall, the races were successful for the Battlin’ Bears; walking away with six first-place team results and six first-place individual results.
As the season progresses, the Battlin’ Bears ski team hopes to get at least one more USCSA race off before championships, but due to COVID-19, many competitors are unable to race this season. The upcoming championship race has been scheduled. From Mar 11 to the 14, Red Lodge Mountain Resort will host the USCSA Western Championships. The Bears are hoping that the success from the Lookout Pass race will follow them through the next couple of weeks all the way to the championships.