Ski ‘Birds move on to USCSA Nationals

Christina Donnelly

MCCALL, Idaho – The UBC Thunderbirds alpine ski teams travelled to McCall, Idaho to compete in the USCSA Western Regional Championships.
The first day of competition saw the women take to the slopes of Brundage Mountain for a day of giant slalom, where they battled with poor visibility. Samantha Bisnaire started off the competition on the podium in third place behind Rocky Mountain College’s Frida Svedberg and Eloise Julliand. Sandra Gerlich continued her strong rookie campaign finishing in ninth place. Kayla Johnston and Christina Donnelly finished in 16th and 18th respectively. The first day of racing saw the UBC women sitting in second place as a collective behind Rocky Mountain College and ahead of the University of Colorado.
The men took to the hill on day two of the competition where once again, bad weather plagued the competition. Michael Cadman and Austin Taylor continued their extremely consistent and steadfast season finishing in eighth and 11th  Jake Wellian was 37th and Jackson Hamersley 46th. The men’s team as a whole finished in fifth place.
Both the men and women participated in slalom on the last day of competition. The women’s team had a very strong performance with three racers in the top 10. Samantha Bisnaire finished the day in fourth, Gerlich in seventh followed closely by Donnelly in eighth. Kayla Johnston occupied the 19th position. The women ended up yet again in second place behind Rocky Mountain College and the College of Idaho. On the men’s side, Taylor and Cadman were yet again in the top 15 with Taylor sitting in seventh and Cadman in 15th. Wellian finished in 41st position. The men’s team earned fifth place for the second straight day.
In terms of the overall title, Rocky Mountain College claimed both the men’s and women’s team and individual titles. The ski ‘Bird women claimed second place in the overall competition with Bisnaire finishing third in the overall individual title race. The men’s team earned fourth place overall; however they qualified as the second-place team for the national championships as both Montana State and Colorado are NCAA Division 1 teams.
Both men’s and women’s team will now travel to Lake Placid, N.Y. to compete in the 2014 USCSA National Championships March 9-14. The women are looking to improve on a fourth-place finish in the overall standings. Joining the Thunderbirds from the Western Region will be Rocky Mountain College, the College of Idaho and the Colorado School of Mines.

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