News release date: Saturday, March 16, 2002

Schoenemann, Caron Lead Snowboard Team to National Title

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With junior Spruce Schoenemann and sophomore James Caron winning individual titles, the Whitman College men's snowboard team dominated the competition at the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association's national championships at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

Caron won the men's snowboard giant slalom on Friday to spark Whitman to its second team title in as many days. Schoenemann won the boarder-cross on Thursday to lead the Missionaries to victory in that event.

Friday's victory marked the second consecutive season that the men's snowboard team has won titles in the boarder cross, giant slalom and snowboard combined scoring.

Caron, who fell (literally) to a third-place finish in Thursday's boarder-cross event, won Friday's giant slalom with a time of 89.42 seconds.

Schoenemann, a junior who won the boarder-cross event, was second in the giant slalom in 91.33 seconds. Also counting as part of Whitman's team score in the giant slalom was freshman Jonathan Heras, who placed sixth in 102.24 seconds.

The Missionaries were clear-cut winners in the giant slalom team scoring with a time of 282.98 seconds for their top three. The University of Idaho was second in 307.25, followed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (318.64), University of California-Santa Barbara (322.97) and North Carolina State (374.09).

Caron and Schoenemann earned First Team All-American honors in the giant slalom by placing in the top five. Heras made the Second Team.

Also placing for Whitman in Friday's event were two freshmen, Sean Lee-Seibels, who placed 12th in 105.07, and Brian Stater, who was 17th in 113.57.

The Missionaries won Thursday's boarder-cross team title with nine place points for their top three finishers. Schoenemann was first, Caron third, Heras fifth.

The University of California-Santa Barbara was second in the team scoring with 21 points, followed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute with 30 and Albertson College with 34. North Carolina State placed fifth.

In finishing one-two, Schoenemann and Caron swapped places from a year ago. Caron was first and Schoenemann second in leading Whitman to a team victory in the boarder cross at last year's championships.

Caron was leading Thursday's four-man championship heat when he fell and was overtaken by Schoenemann. As Caron attempted to get up, he was hit from behind by the University of Southern California's Scott Thompson. That collision allowed Santa Barbara's Ryan Wood to slip across the finish line for second place.

Caron managed to stumble across the line to place third. Thompson settled for fourth.

"The ending to that race was fairly dramatic," Whitman alpine coach Tom Olson said. "James was disappointed he wasn't able to win again, but falling and collisions are all part of the boarder-cross event. Four guys start at the top of a course that includes jumps and obstacles, and victory goes to the one who makes it to the bottom first, barring any real interference."

Heras just missed the final heat in placing fifth. Two more freshmen, Brian Stater and Sean Lee-Seibels, placed 14th and 18th, respectively.

Schoenemann, Caron and Heras earned First Team All-American honors in the boarder-cross by placing in the top five.

In this year's individual all-around scoring, Schoenemann was first with 45 points. Caron was second with 40 points. Last year, it was Caron placing first and Schoenemann second.

Heras finished with 21 points to place fourth in the individual all-around scoring. Schoememann, Caron and Heras picked up First Team All-American awards for making the top five in the combined scoring.

Three members of the men's snowboard team also received Academic All-American honors. Schoenemann and Stater were named to the Second Team. Lee-Seibels received honorable mention.

CONTACT:

Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information
(509) 527-5902; Email: holden@whitman.edu