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ISSUE 118 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/18/2005

Sloping upward: Skiiers win President's Cup

By Marjorie Thirlby
Sports Editor

Friday, March 18, 2005

Last Saturday, the St. Olaf alpine ski team triumphed in Brundage, Idaho. The team combined with the nordic ski team to win the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA)’s President’s Cup, which is a combined nordic, alpine and snowboard title.

The women’s alpine team tied for fifth and the men finished in 15th place.

Megan Harrod ’05 took 16th place in the giant slalom and 18th in the slalom, which garnered an Olaf women’s team record of 15th place overall.

Ali Guinn ’06 also performed well, finishing in 21st place in the giant slalom and 22nd in the slalom.

“The women’s team has shown a lot of improvement the past few years,” Harrod said about her alpine squad, which finished sixth at the national competition last year and ninth in 2003. “Before this season we sat down and decided our goal was to finish in the top five at Nationals, and we were able to do that,” Harrod said.

On the men’s side, Jacob Olsen ’06 finished in 33rd place in the giant slalom, and teammate Chris Reiman ’05 had a 53rd place run in the slalom. Olsen and Reiman produced the top results for the men’s team.

The St. Olaf alpine team turned in a very successful season in 2004-05. Prior to their victory in Idaho, the team won the Regional title in Marquette, Mich. Feb. 19-20. They also performed well at the Divisional Championships on Feb. 12-13, held at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minn. The women’s team won the event while the men took second place.

In addition, a strong and supportive coaching staff has guided the Oles this season. Former Ole alpine coach Paul Wojick was given the Holger Peterson Lifetime Service Award at the USCSA for his longstanding contribution to the team and support for alpine skiing.

Now the Oles have new head coach, Scott Skavanger ‘98. Skavanger, an All-American for the Oles in 1996, also earned four letters and was a two-time team captain.

“It was a great ending to the season to win the Presidential Award,” Harrod said. “I know this team has a bright future, and I’m confident they can works towards a top-three finish next season.”

With their strong performances at the Division Championship, Regionals and USCSA Nationals, it appears the Ole skiing program will be a national force for many years to come.

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