Colorado College’s student-run co-ed club Nordic skiing team hit the snow running this season, building on its growth over the past few years. Becoming competitive in its Division II conference just three years ago, the team has become a perrenial contender, with team members qualifying for Nationals each season.
The skiers compete in four races per year, and their individual and team scores in each race determine if they will qualify for nationals. “In each race, your ranking within the conference decides how many points you may receive,” Laurel Sullivan ’21 said. “You have to have two classic races and two skate races with a low enough point value (faster is lower) to qualify for NCAAs.”
“Unfortunately, we’ve qualified [for nationals] but never actually attended, because Nationals is a week long, and as a club, we don’t have any money to pay for that long of a trip because we don’t receive a budget,” said Captain Ines Siepmann ’19. “Also, missing a week of school isn’t feasible at CC.”
The team had five skiers qualify for Nationals in the 2017-2018 season: Maddie Strasser ’21, Benjamin Swift ’21, Oliver Jones ’20, Alice Oline ’18, and Siepmann.
Club sports are much less intense than Varsity sports, but CC’s Nordic team successes are largely a result of the team’s camaraderie and incredible work ethic.
“We lift once or twice a week and then dry land practice twice a week,” Oceane Mauffrey ’22 said. “We ski when possible and run everyday if we can’t ski.”
More specifically, the team practices two times a week and lifts at the Varsity gym on campus twice a week. Most of their practices involve dryland training like running or swimming, but according to Sullivan ’21, the team has been able to ski “at Woodmoor Country Club this winter because we have had enough snow.”
The team competes in Nordic races every weekend of Block 5 in the Rocky Mountain Conference. “We race against Colorado Mesa University, Western Colorado University, University of Wyoming, and the Air Force Academy,” Sullivan said.
Despite being a club team and not practicing quite as much as Varsity sports, the Nordic team has a close bond which has contributed to their successes in recent years. “The team is very relaxed but determined at the same time,” Mauffrey said. “The more experienced team members really help the beginners. Everyone feels included and the dynamic is really awesome. I felt welcomed by the upperclassmen right away.”
CC’s Nordic team just competed at Colorado Mesa University this past weekend, and will be competing in Crested Butte next weekend.
Good luck Tigers!