Assistant Online Editor
There are many that admire the descending white powder droplets during the winter months, but a certain club on Alden Street appreciates that precipitation in a unique way. While some athletes experience the luxury of not being affected by weather, the Springfield College Ski Team must annually hope that Mother Nature provides terrain suitable for participation.
As is the case in most years, Mother Nature prevailed and a 2015 season is subsequently underway.
“We compete for five consecutive weekends leading up to regionals,” explains Victoria Sowizral, who is the club’s president. “If we make [regionals] that makes six weekends.”
Since 2010, Springfield College has consistently been represented in the mountains of Maine for Regionals. On six occasions, an individual qualified for Sugarloaf, while has the entire team gone three times.
The impressive trend looks to continue, as the women’s team is currently ranked third in the division, implicating a high probability of making regionals.
On the men’s side of things, however, with just two skiers on the team, their fate was unfortunately predetermined since they fall short of the required five skiers to qualify. Despite the unfortunate outcome to their season as a team, optimism remains that an individual will be sent to the slopes in Maine.
Due to the lack of involvement amongst other schools in the division, the snowboarding team will compete in regionals with hopes of moving onto Nationals, which is at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon.
Within the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA), teams are regionally separated into one of ten conferences, and then furthermore into subdivisions. Springfield College has an affiliation with the Eastern Conference and the McBrine Division, which has uniquely differed itself from any other division in skiing and snowboarding, or feasibly any sport, because of the unprecedented sportsmanship that has continued through the years.
“Our division is competitive, but we all cheer each other on like one team,” Sowizral says. “When you look at the other divisions that make up the Eastern Conference, you don’t find the same relationships as you find in ours.”
Even when a long day of intense competition on the mountainside has concluded, skiers and snowboarders in the McBrine Division recognize that the amities with fellow competitors do not have to melt away when with their beloved topography.
“We definitely build life-long friends from both our team and others,” stated Sowizral. “Last year at regionals everyone from our division went for dinner as one big team, and to my knowledge, no other division would do anything like this.”