The Alpine Ski team kicked off the season with a home victory at the MSU Invitational at Big Sky Resort. Both the men’s and women’s slalom teams finished the first day in fifth place, and both teams managed to climb the ranks to third place on the second day. Head Alpine Coach Kevin Francis said these results were due to perseverance. “The first day wasn’t the best day ever, so we had high expectations for the next day,” he said.
On Jan. 6, the Bobcats did race on the giant slalom course, but no team points were recorded in order for the skiers to preview the course. However, the points they earned can help them qualify for NCAA championships individually. All five skiers for the men’s team finished in the top ten on Preview Day, and three of the women’s skiers finished in the top ten, led by senior Kari Hole, who won the first run of the first day. According to Coach Frances, these were “really good results.”
Senior Jeff Bell led the men’s team in the first day of the invitational in the giant slalom, finishing fifth overall with a combined time of 2:08.10. Following Bell was senior Garret Driller in seventh, with a time of 2:08.11, and sophomore Patrick Carry in tenth place finishing in 2:08.47.
Junior Stephanie Gartner led the women’s team on the opening day, grabbing a ninth place finish with a 2:10.65 combined time. Junior Mia Henry followed in 18th place, and Junior Jocelyn McCarthy took 22nd place.
On the second day of the invitational, standout Garret Driller snagged second place with a 1:39.65 combined time in the men’s slalom. Addison Dvoracek landed in fifth place with a 1:40.44 time, placing two Bobcats in the top five and on the podium. Francis said he was truly impressed with Driller’s performance, being on the podium twice even though he has not won before.
In the Women’s Slalom, the Bobcats saw similar success with junior Benedicte Lyche placing sixth with a 1:44.79 combined time and McCarthy placing eighth with a 1:45.06 time.
The Bobcats continued the momentum of last season’s sixth place finish in the NCAA Championships. Francis said this home victory was amazing, and went on to say, “it’s our goal to win at the MSU Invitational, and this is the best start we’ve had in five years.”
The Bobcats traveled to the Utah Invite over the weekend from Jan. 11-13.