Alpine Teams Qualify for USCSA Nationals
News Release Date:
Sunday, February 21
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College alpine ski teams are headed back to the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association’s national championships.
Competing last weekend in the western regionals at Utah’s Snow Basin, the Missionary men qualified as the third-place team while the Whitman women snapped up the fourth and final spot after an outstanding performance on the second day of action.
Racing started on Friday, Feb. 19, with the men’s and women’s slalom events
The men placed fourth in their team scoring, led by Nathan Ord (20th, 1:24.66), Tim Bak (21st, 1:24.71) and Brad West (22nd, 1:25.02).
Only the top three individual count finishes count toward a team score, but Chris Machesney also skied for Whitman, finishing 28th in 1:25.84.
Meanwhile on Friday, the Missionary women’s team finished seventh in its slalom event. With just three skiers on hand, the women knew that a single DNF (did not finish) would scuttle their shot at nationals.
All three Whitman women made it through both runs, however. Lexie Dreschel (1:34.52) led the way, finishing 24th (1:34.52). Torey Anderson was 26th (1:35.14) and Polly Evans 41st (1:48.15).
On Saturday, the men took care of business, nailing down their spot at nationals with a fourth-place finish in the giant slalom.
Machesney (2:07.11) paced the Missionaries with a ninth-place finish (2:07.11).
Ord and West rounded out the team score, placing 18th (2:08.74) and 21st (2:09.11). Bak was 22nd (2:09.60) and Charlie Procknow 61st (2:31.13).
With their backs against the wall headed in the women’s giant slalom on Sunday, Whitman’s trio knew it needed a higher finish than Friday’s seventh-place showing.
With Evans leading the way, the Missionaries moved up to a fourth-place finish, which gave their the fourth and final women’s regional berth at nationals. Their combined time was 6:40.50, just 2.5 seconds out of third and four seconds out of second.
Evans placed 14th (2:13.42) while Dreschel (21st, 2:13.86) and Anderson (23rd, 2:14.22) were close on her heels.
The women’s teams qualifying for nationals from the western region, in addition to Whitman, are Westminster College, Rocky Mountain College and College of Idaho.
Westminster’s Camilla Fraschini won both the slalom (1:24.15) and the giant slalom (2:04.87) in a field of 96 skiers.
Joining Whitman at nationals on the men’s side are Westminster, Rocky Mountain and the University of British Columbia qualified.
Two Westminster racers won the two individual titles at regionals. Marc Perathoner was first in the slalom (1:17.58) while Juergen Karner won the giant slalom (2:01.50). The men’s fiel 94 racers.
The USCSA are set for March 1-3 at the Sunday River ski resort near Bethel, Maine.
Whitman Alpine Ski Team
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CONTACT: Sean Kinney
Sports Information Assistant
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 522-4446; firstname.lastname@example.org