Men ski team competes at nationals, Podnecky takes home title

This past week the Castleton ski season came to a close with the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championship in Newry, Maine.
The men’s team placed in third out of five in skier-Cross on Wednesday, March 7.
Michelle Podnecky placed first in the women’s individual results, reclaiming the championship and taking home the gold once again.
“Last season she couldn’t defend her title because of an injury,” explained Co-head ski coach Christopher Eder. “It was nice that she could win the title back.”
Ski-Cross is similar to Moto-cross in that there is a start and a finish with jumps and hairpin turns. Skiers are allowed to survey the course before hand so that they know what they’re in for.
 “Michelle is a very good skier. She knows how to navigate that type of terrain,” said Eder. “Compared to most of the competitors there, she had the least experience, but because she’s fast, she can compete.”
Four racers compete at once on a narrow course for first place, which is different from slalom and giant slalom where racers are timed individually.
“It can get dirty out there when they try and stop you from passing,” said Eder. “She has the talent and ability to do it, she’s an over all great athlete.
The next day the men’s team placed in sixth out of twenty, in the nation, at the USCSA Giant Slalom, setting a new team record. Robert Burke posted the best time of those who represented Castleton with 2:27.38, for twentieth out of over 100 competitors.
Finally on Saturday the men placed eighth in Slalom ending the season.
Ben Hannah placed 30th, Karl Robicsek was 46th, and Connor O’Brien was 52nd out of 105 racers.
“The 2012 season has been a historic one for the Castleton ski team,” Eder said. “We went on to win our first-ever USCSA Eastern Regional Championship.  The sixth place overall result at the USCSA National Championships was our best ever.  The third place result in the men’s skier-cross was our first team podium result at the USCSA Nationals.”

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