This past Saturday, the Bears USSA Ski Team traveled to the often sunny and always fun, if somewhat itty-bitty Blandford Ski Hill. The race included competitors from the USSA Tristate clubs, and spanned three age groups of U21, U18 and U16's. Blandford offered our athletes a competitive yet fair race course on a moderate track. The absence of college-aged athletes at this event took a bit of the competitive hype out of the field, affecting the USSA points scores, but nonetheless afforded the coaches the ability to work with each of our athletes towards the progression of their goals in a race environment. The Bears stormed the first run with vigor and direction; however, the second run course-set provided some unique challenges.
For the girls, Eliza Stichter ’16 led the way and laid down two great runs. She was only bested by two girls, two years her senior and FIS competitors, ultimately finishing in 3rd overall. Elise Chauvel ’15 crushed both of her runs, as well, placing 6th overall, while Julia Slyer ’14 rounded out three Bears in the top-10 to place 9th overall. Annette Key ’16 blasted out an amazing 1st run only to succumb on the 2nd, falling and losing her ski, finishing in 13th overall,. Emily Barclay ’15 experienced two tough runs and was pushed back to 34th, while Caroline Slyer ’16 finished in 35th. Krissy Govertsen ’15 also experienced some difficulty, finishing in 37th. Rounding out the girls’ team, Samantha Reagan ’16 fought back after a large error on the first run to finish 54th overall.
The boys had mixed results throughout the day. After the first run, three boys had finished in the top-10, finishing 8th, 9th and 10th. At the end of the day, Nate Mackenzie ‘14 finished 6th overall, while George Frick ‘14, following a beautiful first run, found a bit of trouble in the 2nd run to be pushed back to 11th overall. Ian Rasmussen ’14, back to racing following a year off due to injury, finished in 12th overall. Rounding out our boys, Bryce Schuler ‘15 found his touch late in the day. Having experiencing some early-morning troubles and missing the team van, Bryce fell in the first run. However, Bryce showed us his true mettle by hiking to finish towards the end of the field, thus ensuring a 2nd run. Starting 56th in the 2nd run, Bryce was tactically strong and finished 24th for the run. A great move up, proving could rise to the occasion, if not to his alarm clock!
All in all, the team showed great energy and spirit this past weekend.