Skiers take RIMSA/NCAAs by storm

The Montana State Ski Team put together an impressive showing at the 2015 Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RIMSA)/NCAA West Regional Championships in Anchorage, Alaska on Feb. 27-28, with freshman Garret Driller nabbing the men’s slalom title. He had a two-run total of 1:21.77 which captured the Bobcats’ first title in history in the men’s slalom at this meet.

Sophomore David Neuhauser and senior David Owsley also scored for the Cats, placing 17th in 1:25.29 and 19th in 1:25.83, respectively.

For the MSU women, freshman Benedicte Lyche placed ninth with a two-run total of 1:29.27, with her teammates close behind. Kari Hole placed 12th in 1:29.40, senior Stephanie Irwin placed 13th in 1:29.48, junior Tenaya Driller came in 17th with 1:31.78, and sophomore Elizabeth Koprucki grabbed 21st place in 1:32.7.

The Nordic skiers also did well for MSU. Lina Hultin placed a season-best 11th in the 15-kilometer, racing in 45:25.4. Junior Cambria McDermott was close behind in 12th place in 45:32.3. Junior Annie Liotta closed out the scorers for MSU in 17th place in 46:52.9.

The men were led by junior Sawyer Kesselheim, who skied the 20k course in 52:22.8, good enough for 15th place. Senior Forrest Mahlen was right behind him, placing 16th in 53:01. Freshman Martin Muan rounded out the scorers, placing 22nd in 54:04.3.

The Cats took fifth place overall with 513 points, both season highs for the team. Colorado won the team title with 651 points, with Utah (609), New Mexico (550) and Denver (542) in second through fourth place.

The Bobcats look ahead to the NCAA Championships on March 11-14 in Lake Placid, New York. For the third straight season MSU qualified a full team of 12 athletes, and is one of only eight teams in the country to do so. Nordic skiers Erik Axelson, Kesselheim, Mahlen, Hultin, Liotta and McDermott, and alpine skiers Garret Driller, Neuhauser, Owsley, Hole, Irwin and Lyche all qualified for the Cats.

Camria McDermott’s athlete profile:

Sawyer Kesselheim’s athlete profile: