MSU skiing ready for Nationals

The Bobcat ski team’s season is winding down, but recently they were tested in their only home competition of the season. The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) Championship/NCAA West Regional took place Feb. 22-24 at Bridger Bowl and Bohart Ranch.

The Bobcat Alpine team took fifth place overall, with multiple top-ten finishes. On the men’s side, senior Mike Mackie took fifth, followed by sophomore Michael Radford in the ninth spot. The Bobcat women were led by sophomores Kelly McBroom and Stephanie Irwin, who placed seventh and ninth, respectively.

McBroom has been impressed with the team’s success this season. “We had a breakthrough season, growing into stronger athletes both mentally and physically,” she said. “In a sport where time is of the essence, we hit the snow turning due to a lack of preseason training and on snow volume, and used what we had and rolled with it.”

The Nordic team was without junior standout David Norris for much of the season, but in his first competition, he took fourth place overall in the 10K with a time of 29:05.3. Norris led the team to a third place finish, and junior Pat Madden also placed in the top ten. The women were led by sophomore Jessica Yeaton, who finished eighth overall in the 5K. On the second day of competition, Yeaton took sixth place in the 15K, and freshman Isabella Smith placed tenth. For the men, Tyler Reinking took tenth in the 20K.

The next competition for the ski team is the NCAA Championships, which will take place on March 6-9 in Middlebury, Vermont.

Twelve MSU skiers qualified for Nationals, and McBroom is optimistic about the team’s chances. “I think we have a strong team, and working closely with the Nordic team this season has given us the opportunity to play off each other’s strengths and work well as a team,” she said.

“We are up against some stiff competition, but if we keep our heads straight, chins up and stay calm in the mind, we will execute our game plans and perform to the best of our abilities. Every person who qualified deserves to be there and has worked extremely hard. I personally am very excited and confident in our abilities as a team,” McBroom said.

With the ski team leaving for Vermont on Friday, McBroom is confident that the team will compete hard. “Just because we are at nationals does not give us a reason to feel out of our element. We are not there to participate, we are there to be competitive,” she said. “It’s easy to get distracted at large events, with so much going on off the snow, so keeping focused on the end result is going to be crucial to our success. We’ve worked hard and are a force to be reckoned with.”