Skiing nationally ranked heading into regional championships

After having their races postponed due to weather this past weekend, the men’s and women’s ski teams have both been nationally ranked according to the USCSA (United State Collegiate Ski Association). The women’s team, who are ranked for the first time ever, have been placed 6thin Alpine. The men’s team are ranked 7th.

This is their second season competing in the ECSC (Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference) MacConnell Division. The MacConnell Division is known as one of the toughest USCSA divisions of the country, according to head coach Christopher Eder.

“Our goal is to always finish fist in the division,” Eder said, “If we don’t it’s not a big deal, we just want to be competitive.”

Both teams have qualified for the USCSA Eastern Regional Championships, which will be held on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 at Mt. Abram in Maine.

So far this season, the women’s team has been competing back and forth with St. Anselm, while the women’s team from Brown has been dominating the division.

The Spartans have had contributions from all levels with junior Ali Spencer, freshman Simona Croccolo and senior Bri Kullberg all leading the team. Spencer is ranked 10thin the division with one podium result and five different top-15 finishes. Croccolo has five top-ten results and is also ranked 11thin the division. Kullberg is ranked 14thwith five top-15 finishes.

The men’s team has had a very back and forth season, finishing a few races in first but also finishing as low as sixth so far this season.

“It is nice to enter race not knowing which team is going to win each day,” Eder said. “It is very competitive and we like that, as it gets us ready for the USCSA Eastern Regional Championships.”

In the men’s forth race of the season, they suffered the loss of senior Steve Zotter who tore his ACL, putting him out for the rest of the season.

“Luckily, our team has a lot of depth,” Eder said.

Sophomore Patrick Burke, who is ranked seventh overall out of over 80 racers has two podium results so far this year, while senior Connor O’Brien is ranked ninth and has two podium results.

Despite Zotter missing most of his season, he is still ranked 20thand is the only Spartan racer to has earned a victory this season.

Up next for both teams are the USCSA Eastern Regional Championships.

“Dale Solotruck (co-head coach) and I are very pleased with the way things are lined up for the regional championships,” Eder said. “If both teams take care of business and finish two clean runs on both days, we should have a good result and hopefully advance to the USCSA National Championships with both teams.”

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