STOWE, Vt. — The reigning NCAA Skiing Champions, University of Vermont Catamounts are set to play host to the best college skiers in the Northeast during their alpine Carnival races Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12. The champion Catamounts will be challenged by Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, and the University of New Hampshire among other ski powerhouses in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) when they contest both slalom and giant slalom races on their home training turf, the Main Street trail on Spruce Peak at Stowe Mountain Resort.
UVM Director of Skiing Bill Reichelt is optimistic about his squad, “We have a smaller roster across the board [than previously], so on any given day every ‘Cat’ in the race has potential to make an impact for our team. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch the veterans return to action, but look for the new kids on the block to step into the spotlight and make a name fo! r themselves in the Catamount family.”
The giant slalom races for both genders will be held on Friday with the first run of the women’s race starting at 9am. The men’s first run will begin immediately following the women, and the same schedule will be used for the slalom races on Saturday.
2012 NCAA slalom champion and giant slalom runner-up Kate Ryley is excited to lead the Catamount women’s team in Friday and Saturday’s races on her home hill.
“Main Street has a high speed quad, providing a quick turnaround which is always important especially because we need to time manage with school,” said Ryley. “To be honest, I don’t know what it is about Main Street but I always get a good vibe when I am there; it always feels good to be there, like home! We feel spoiled to be allotted the opportunity to ski there.”
The EISA accounts for only half of the NCAA alpine ski racing that take! s place in the U.S., as schools in the Western Region compete ! at Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association invitational’s until both regions meet at NCAA Championships, to be contested at Middlebury College in March 2013 this year.
“There will be strong competition in the Eastern Region which will prepare us for the perennial rivals in the West,” noted Reichelt.
As for the Catamounts’ mentality heading into the first races of the NCAA calendar, Ryley was confident that fans will be pleased with their performance.
“We are hungry!” Ryley exclaimed. “We’ve all been pretty committed to our training, both in the gym and on the slopes. We all maxed out our back squats this year, and even had a few pukes in the gym doing sled pushes, so we are feeling stronger than ever.”
Spectators can access the finish arena of the racecourse either by skiing down Spruce Peak off the Sensation Quad or by walking uphill from the parking lot adjacent to the Mount Mansfie! ld Ski Club. Come support the best college ski racers in the country as they battle for both individual and team victory this week.