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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Ski qualifies for regionals after fun-filled weekend

The women’s alpine ski team finished first overall for the conference. (Photo courtesy of Meghan Gillis ’23)

This past weekend, the ski and board club was back on the slopes after the cancelation of its meet the week prior due to a lack of snow. The team hit up Hunter Mountain in New York for its last regular season meet and found out at the end that it qualified for regionals.

On Saturday, Lafayette women’s alpine won first place overall. Individually, senior Meghan Gillis finished first and classmate Allie Soper finished fifth. The men’s alpine finished third overall, with sophomore Sebastian Bjorkeson finishing third individually and freshman Josh Libby finishing ninth.

“Libby joined halfway through the season … and he got into it pretty quick,” Bjorkeson said. “Me, [Libby] and [sophomore] Charlie Steele, we all did really well. We had some really nice runs. Also, the guys who aren’t as competitive and are just getting into it. They had a great time as well.”

Since it was the seniors’ last regular season meet, many of them chose to wear fun outfits to commemorate their commitment to the team over the past few years and to have a little fun. Bjorkeson said that senior Sebastian Wallach wore an all-camouflage suit and hat. Freshman Piper Chimento said that senior Theresa Chua wore a unicorn onesie. She also said that senior Jay Schoudel went down the mountain holding a breakfast sandwich.

“One guy went down with the Lafayette College Ski Team flag on his back. The senior girls all wore like little kid backpacks,” Chimento said. “A lot of other teams were doing the same thing, someone went down in a lobster costume.”

Katie Neuffer competes in the freestyle competition last weekend at their last regular season meet in a hot dog costume. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Jochims ’23)

On Sunday, the women’s alpine finished first overall once again. Gillis finished first again, with Soper moving up to third place. Sophomore Lindsay Correll finished ninth. The freestyle team’s results from this weekend are not yet out as of Wednesday night.

The men’s alpine bumped up to second overall on Sunday, with Bjorkeson finishing third once again and Libby finishing in 10th.

“We placed really well as a school, beating Lehigh and getting second place, which … for the men’s team, it was a pretty nice accomplishment,” Bjorkeson said.

The overall conference results for the season were also announced when the weekend concluded. Women’s alpine finished first overall for the conference, and Gillis finished second overall individually.

Women’s snowboarding placed first overall in the conference for slopestyle, with freshman Grace Gazza finishing second overall individually in slopestyle and Chua finishing behind her in third overall. The freestyle team placed second overall, with freshman Rose Reohr finishing second overall and Chimento finishing behind her in third.

The freestyle competition is a bit looser than the alpine in terms of the judging. Chimento said that freestylers will even do dance moves to make the judges entertained.

“Katie Neuffer, who’s a freshman, wore a hot dog costume this weekend,” Chimento said. Chimento placed last week from doing the Macarena down the box.

Chimento said that the freestyle judges are sponsored by Monster and sometimes give out energy drinks and gift bags during competitions. She explained that she has been skiing her whole life, and when she came to Lafayette she didn’t know what the competition level would be like on the team.

“I went to the Blue Mountain race the weekend before the spring semester, and I literally was obsessed with it. Everyone is so fun, and I wanted to keep doing it,” she said.

The men’s alpine finished third overall in the conference, with Bjorkeson finishing third overall individually. Bjorkeson said that this finish gives them a secure spot at regionals, with a better seed than they would have had before this competition.

“In the beginning [of the season], we weren’t placing as well. The top five teams go on to regionals, and we were at fifth,” Bjorkeson said. “This past weekend, we had to do well because there was one race that was canceled, we didn’t have enough snow … So it’s like, ‘Okay, it’s all up to this weekend now.’ We came into it like, ‘Alright, we have to be on our game to do well, if we wipe out, another school could jump in.'”

Bjorkeson said that for regionals, the team can only take five people for the women’s alpine, five for the men’s alpine and four for women’s freestyle.

“We’re going to actually have the smallest group we’ve ever had going to a competition just because we can only bring people that have placed throughout the season,” he said.

The competition will be held today and tomorrow at Seven Springs near Pittsburgh, where they have never competed before.

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Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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