By Brady Cote
For the first time ever, the Springfield College ski and snowboard club made its long-awaited debut on New Hampshire’s Whaleback Mountain.
This past weekend the team competed with great success, having a total of three podium finishers. Darby Hartmann finished first in the women’s slalom and third in the giant slalom. Troy Travaglino finished in third place in Saturday’s rail jam. Josh Newell additionally placed first in the men’s snowboard slalom, first in Saturday’s rail jam, third in giant slalom and second in Sunday’s rail jam.
The team’s preparation for their first-ever season as a team has included getting fit by heading to the weight room as well as fundraising to pay for the overnight stays.
“The overnight experience is really fun; packing the bags Friday afternoon after everyone finishes classes,” said Newell. “It’s those experiences that allow us all to get closer and bond as a team.”
Being a part of this team does not only take place on the slopes, but a lot of the bonding comes from outside of the competition as well. Newell continued to add that the sport itself is a very welcoming one as anyone at any skill level can join and compete.
“Obviously it is a competitive sport, but it is a very fun division where everyone there is just trying to get better rather than trying to beat each other out,” said Newell.
A big part of their success is having a pre-meet routine, something that allows oneself to get in the zone before competing. For some, it is eating a very specific meal, taking a nap, or even doing some reading. For Newell, he likes to eat a nice light meal, get some stretching in and most importantly blast some Mötley Crüe.
“I have to make sure that I stretch and have a good meal beforehand, but nothing too crazy because once you are out there you want to be light on your board,” said Newell. “I have to have my go-to warm-up song ‘Kickstart My Heart’ by Mötley Crüe blasting in my ear before I try any tricks.”
By following his routine, Newell was pleased with his results and could not be any more proud of the team for getting out there and having a great day on the mountain.
After a very successful meet, the team looks forward to their next competition this upcoming weekend in Vermont.