Alpine ski teams open season in Oregon

Sandra Gerlich

BEND, Ore. – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s and women’s alpine ski teams travelled to Mt. Bachelor, Ore. this past weekend to kick start their United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) season.

On the first day of competition, the women’s team picked up right where they left off in USCSA Northwest Conference racing, claiming gold by a significant margin.

Sandra Gerlich started off her university racing career in great fashion, claiming the silver right behind teammate Samantha Bisnaire, a junior from Toronto who claimed gold. Senior Christina Donnelly finished in sixth and Kayla Johnson ended up in 13th.

The men’s team had a good day on the hill with seniors Michael Cadman and Austin Taylor having almost identical days finishing in sixth and seventh, only .32 seconds apart. First-year skier Jake Wellian kicked off his career with a 16th-place finish. The men’s team collectively claimed bronze.

On the second day of competition, the UBC women yet again claimed top spot with all four skiers finishing in the top fifteen. Samantha Bisnaire and Gerlich once again found themselves on the podium in second and third positions, respectively. Donnelly claimed seventh spot and Johnson finished in 14th.

The men’s team held on to the team bronze with Cadman and Taylor finishing in eighth and ninth positions, again separated by only .32 seconds. Wellian finished off the weekend in 16th place.

Both teams will likely have to wait until Feb. 17-18 for their next competition, which will take place in McCall, Idaho. The slalom at North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain originally scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled because of a lack of snow.