The William Smith Women’s Alpine Ski Racing Team is competing in the 35th Annual U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard National Championship in Sun Valley, Idaho, through Sunday, March 10. The team won the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Mideast Regional Competition at Bristol Mountain in late February to earn the spot at Nationals.
“I am so proud of our team this year. We all worked very hard to get to this point. I was able to qualify as an individual last year, but it has been an amazing experience competing as a team this season,” says co-captain Rebekah Kallgren ’14. “It is such a reward to be able to represent William Smith at a national level.”
At the regional competition which consists of 17 collegiate teams and about 80 skiers, Jessica Bishop’16, Grace Hutton’16 and Kallgren were named to the Second Team Mideast All Conference Alpine Ski Team. Hutton was Mideast Regional Bronze Medalist. The HWS men’s alpine ski racing team came in sixth place at the regional competition. Junior Wes Traub was named to the First Team Mideast All Conference Alpine Ski Team and was named Mideast Regional Silver Medalist.
This is the first time the William Smith women have had the opportunity to compete at Nationals; the men’s team has competed at the national level in the past. The women’s team at the national competition consists of Bishop, Kallgren, Ali Ware ’16, Ali Burrows ’15, Becky Chinman ’15 and Bree von Bradsky ’16.
Throughout the season, the men’s team was led by team co-captain Kyler Rowley’13, Traub, Sam Wallace ’14, Clune Walsh IV ’14 and Jack Williams ’16.
The ski team at HWS started eight years ago. Rowley explains that originally the team was really more of a group of friends who liked to ski and compete together.
“It is really exciting to see the team being this successful,” says Rowley. “We have steadily grown every year and it is great to have a level of interest where we actually have more people practicing than can compete.”
There are now 40 individuals on the team with approximately 16 attending competitions on weekends. The regular season consists of six competitions throughout the winter, which five varsity racers and three junior varsity members every weekend attend.
The national championships run through March 10, 2013.