THE “U” IN TEAM
FOR USCSA RACERS, CAMARADERIE OFTEN WINS
OVER INDIVIDUAL SCORES BY SUSAN THEIS
Higher education at the 2011 USCSA National Championship.
Eyes on the St. Olaf
For many accomplished high school ski racers, graduation marks the
end of their competitive careers unless they make — and desire to be
a part of — the highly competitive NCAA arena. But for athletes who
don’t want the commitment of NCAA, or for skiers who were always
curious about the sport of ski racing, there is an alternative — the U.S.
Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA).
USCSA fields some 5,000 athletes in alpine, cross-country, ski jumping,
freestyle and snowboarding in more than 200 races and events each
year. Nearly 180 colleges and universities, which are broken down into
11 different conferences, compete throughout the winter from coast to
coast. Some conferences are also further broken down into two, three or
Teams within these divisions compete at each conference’s regional
championships to vie for a spot to compete at the USCSA’s national
championships — this year at Sunday River, Maine, from March 5 to 10.
The event marks the USCSA’s 34th annual championship. Disciplines
USCSA; ST. OLAF SPORTS INFORMATION
include giant slalom, slalom, cross country sprints, cross country relays,
cross country distance, halfpipe, slopestyle, ski cross, snowboard cross
and ski jumping.
What’s unique about the USCSA approach is its emphasis on team rac-
ing, straying away from the typical individual or World Cup scoring format
that is found in most competitive skiing. The amount of involvement that
the races require from the athletes also sets the USCSA apart.
Besides a core group of USCSA employees, each race depends on the
athletes to gate-keep, collect and organize bibs, assist with timing and
help with general course preparation. This teamwork helps to create ca-
maraderie between the teams, as everyone needs to collaborate in order
to pull off each race.
Says Mark Sullivan, the USCSA president, “Most former USCSA ath-
letes agree that the USCSA’s team orientation has been the seed for
developing and nurturing a team approach in other aspects of their lives
USCSA Team Results
Southeastern Conference - Southeast Division
Beech Mountain, N.C. (Jan. 22)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (4: 10.07)
University of Virginia (4: 13.68)
James Madison University (4: 28.68)
Virginia Tech (4: 39. 41)
Appalachian State University (4: 54.00)
Duke University (6: 14. 47)
North Carolina State University (7: 47. 10)
University of Tennessee (9:01.79)
Look for more Ski Racing USCSA coverage throughout
this season. Please email comments or story ideas to