Alpine skiers pile up All-American honors

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It has been an outstanding season for Castleton’s Alpine Ski teams. After the men placed second in the giant slalom, first in the slalom, and the women finished first in both events at regionals at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, Castleton shipped out to Wyoming to compete in the USCSA National Championships. Some Spartans were feeling sentimental.

“Being nationally recognized is surreal, every year we attend nationals we have higher expectations for ourselves. The team continues to get stronger each year,” said junior Kylie Mackie.

At nationals, the women’s team earned a win over Northeastern in the quarterfinals to set up a matchup with west-region powerhouse, Rocky Mountain College. Castleton breezed through the Battlin’ Bears in the semifinals, and earned themselves a spot against the reigning giant slalom and slalom national champions, Sierra Nevada College, in the dual slalom championship. Castleton came up just short however, and earned silver in the finals (best in program history). They did so while claiming 13 All-American honors! Karoline Rettenbacher, Kylie Mackie and Kirsten Kruk finished in the top-15 of each race, each earning a total of three All-America honors for slalom, giant slalom and combined performances. Linn Ljungemo also earned two All-American honors in the slalom and the combined, while Lena Soehnle and Li Aunes each earned All-American nods in the slalom.

“This season has been record breaking,” Mackie said. “We went undefeated in our regular season, won regionals, and took home silver in every event at nationals. It has been a blast, we are all looking forward to next season.”

The men’s team began nationals with a first-round win over the United States Military Academy, advancing their way to the quarterfinals where they took down Washington State.

However, they fell short to Rocky Mountain College in the semifinals.

Despite the loss however the Spartans got a chance to battle Northeastern University in the third-place competition and earned themselves a spot on the podium.

The men accumulated six total All-America honors. Logan Mackie earned three honors for the slalom, giant slalom and combined event. Paul Rechberger and Anton Smith both earned all American honors in the slalom while Cameron Heald earned himself a nod for the giant slalom.

“The next thing for our team is to prepare for next season and make history once again. We all want the gold and we will work for it. It’s time to get our bodies into shape and mentally prepare for next season. We are ready,” Mackie said.

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