By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
This season, the CC Nordic Ski Team had a handful of students heading to the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Nationals at Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the first time ever. Ines Siepmann ’19, Maddie Strasser ’21, Oliver Jones ’20, and Benjamin Swift ’21all qualified for the event, and Laurel Sullivan ’21andSarah Packard ’21will be joining to complete a relay team. Sullivan is a co-captain of the team, and says “the Nordic season was incredibly successful and we are excited to be able to send our first group of skiers to nationals.”
Sullivan explains that participation as a member of the team is accessible to all CC students, as “we are able to provide gear for any skier on the team, allowing the team to remain open and accessible to people with little to no Nordic skiing experience.” As a club sport, they receive some funding from the school, but also rely on donations to keep the team running smoothly, and are solely student-led. Twenty-three students raced for the team this year, seven of which were first-years or transfers, and 13 were able to take advantage of the provided ski gear.
To qualify for nationals, skiers must “attend at least two races of each style (classic and skate), and at least one of these races must be fast enough to fall below a certain threshold.” Sullivan adds that “this is the first year we have been able to send any of our skiers to nationals, primarily for scheduling reasons. We are excited to take part in nationals and join some of the best Division II skiers in the country in a beautiful place.” The team has enjoyed all the snow that has fallen in Colorado Springs this winter, and they are continuing their twice-weekly dry land strength and technique practices in the lead-up to nationals. “Our main goal is to get there and enjoy the experience! We’re excited to meet more teams and compete in a new environment,” Sullivan says.
Upon returning from nationals, Sullivan says it was quite successful. “We skied in four different events, the trails were beautiful, and we got to ski with teams from all over the country,” she explains. Additionally, Swift made it to the quarter finals for the skate sprints, the women’s relay team placed ninth in the nation, and all athletes who went to Wyoming were either First- or Second-Team Scholar All-Americans. “There is a strong community within Nordic skiing and we felt very lucky to be a part of it,” Sullivan says.