The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Ski team goes to nationals

The ski and snowboard team celebrated a nationals appearance in Lake Placid, New York last week. (Photo courtesy of @lafskiandboard on Instagram)

The club ski and snowboard team competed at the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association Nationals in Lake Placid, New York from March 4-9.

Each of Lafayette’s subteams hit the slopes at nationals, including the men’s and women’s alpine teams and the men’s and women’s freeski teams. The men’s alpine team placed 14th out of 27 teams, while the women’s alpine team finished 23rd out of 25 teams.

Junior club treasurer and alpine skier Charles Steele detailed the importance of each step of the group’s preparation.

“To even get there, doing well during the regular season and at regionals is always a challenge,” Steele said. “Beyond that, equipment preparation and maintenance is crucial leading up to all meets.”

The top alpine performer for the men was junior Sebastian Bjorkeson, who finished 35th out of 121 (419.91). The top alpine finish for the women was junior Lindsay Correll, who placed 81st out of 108 (1189.22). 

For the freeski teams, the men finished ninth out of 16 and the women finished fifth out of 15. Junior Lukas Juhlin placed 19th out of 48. On the women’s side, junior Hayden van Steyn qualified for finals in the slopestyle, where she took home a seventh-place finish (65.67) that helped her secure 12th place overall out of 31 in the freeski. Junior Anna Rosenblum was also a finalist in the rail jam, finishing 12th out of 27.

The snowboard events also involved some noteworthy performances, including sophomore Grace Gazza’s seventh-place finish in the slopestyle. Junior Kayla Jarski was a finalist in the border cross, where she finished fourth in her heat. This was Jarski’s first time competing in the event.

“We did well because of our preparation for the other events,” Jarski said. “I went out with the mindset that I was going to try it out and see what happened. I had a lot of fun trying something new.”

This season was Jarski’s first as a member of the team. Although a knee sprain in her first race sidelined her for much of the campaign, the rest of the team was supportive of her and helped her “find her place.”

“Everyone on the team was very accepting and supportive of me throughout the year,” Jarski said. “When I was injured, they invited me to watch their races, and were very supportive when I came back. It was nice to find that group and have them all be so helpful throughout the season.”

The competition at national-level ski events is historically challenging due to the experience and opportunities at other schools. So, although Lafayette typically places low in most events, the aspect of beating one’s personal record is much more important, according to Steele.

“As an overall team perspective, we were happy with how we placed,” Steele said. “We’re always thrilled to make the competition, but once we get there, we focus on doing the best we can while not worrying about the result.”

Looking back on the successes of the season as a whole, Steele pointed to the group’s strong sense of camaraderie.

“Everyone is such big fans of everyone else on the team,” he said. “When you’re not actively competing, you’re cheering your teammates on and helping others prepare. Our closeness is really what helps us do well as a team.”

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Dan Sullivan, Staff Sports Writer

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