Ski teams aim higher

Patrick Burke takes a turn on a run. 
Christopher Williams / Castleton Spartan

The Castleton Spartans men’s ski team had a record year in the 2013-2014 season with a third place finish at the National Championships.

But despite the recent success, the Spartans are still not satisfied.

“We had a great season last year, but we really hope to make it to nationals again, and place third or better,” said senior Karl Robicsek.

However, the road to nationals will not be an easy one.

Head coach Chris Eder puts an emphasis on being consistent in conference play.

“Last year, we had races where we finished first one day, and the fourth or fifth the next. Any day it’s really anyone’s race,” he said.

The Spartans conference is highlighted by competition from the likes of Clarkson University, Babson College, St. Anselm College, and Brown University.

To keep up in such a competitive conference, Castleton has focused on off-snow training.

“We’ve really revamped the way we train this year. We’ve been doing more ski specific exercises, which I feel will have a big impact,” said Robicsek.

However, Eder feels his team has a niche when it comes to on-snow training.

“Most teams have one mountain they train on all year long, we mix it up skiing at Killington, and also have the opportunity to train at Pico, Okemo, and even West Mountain in New York,” he said.

Castleton also has a strong group of returning Spartan skiers to help them stay atop the podium. Sophomore Matt Couture had a tremendous season last year that included a fourth overall finish at the Slalom National Championship.

Senior Pat Burke also looks to repeat his success from the previous season when he posted many notable finishes.

The Spartans women’s ski team have their first event on

The women

A strong National Championship campaign has the Castleton Women’s ski team ready for more success for the 2014-2015 season.

The Spartans posted a fifth place finish for a program record at the National Championships last year.

However, head coach Chris Eder feels that with a strong conference, it can be tough to repeat the recent success.

“It can be a battle just getting into Regionals,” he said.

Despite the tough conference competition, Eder feels he has found the formula to what could be another successful season.

“I think we look good, we had some talented freshman come on board this year, so I’m pretty excited to see what they can do,” he said.

It won’t just be the freshman on the podium this year.

Castleton returns an excess of veteran skiers including Blaire Hooper, who finished 16th overall at nationals last season. Juniors Simona Croccolo and Lisa Davis also look to continue their success from last year, with both posting many noteworthy finishes.

The Spartans off-snow training is what could give them the edge this season.

“We’ve been working pretty hard with our trainers to get stronger and faster,” said Senior Kayla Rodgers.

Eder echoed Rodgers words about their work outside of the slopes.

“They are very focused, and have been getting in the weight room with coach St. Pierre,” he said.

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