Small rosters, coaching changes as winter sports prep for season

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SNC’s freeski team has eight athletes on the roster headed into the 2019-2020 season. In years past, the team (2016 team shown above) has had more than a dozen members. | Photo credit: Dylan Jerz

Gabby Dodd, Managing Editor

With winter around the corner, Sierra Nevada College winter sports athletes are preparing for the competitions ahead in hopes of making it to the 42nd annual USCSA National Championship in Lake Placid, New York, March 8-14. All events will take place at the same sites as previous Winter Olympics. Due to the new SNC calendar, nationals will take place over spring break, compared to midterm week in years past.
Budgets for all winter sports teams will remain at the same levels that the teams had in recent seasons, according to SNC Athletic Director Chris DeLeon. “Our budgets are stable, we’ve been getting a lot of support from admin,” he said.
While the alpine team is stable with a current coach, the freestyle teams are still looking for coaches and organization.
Alpine Skiing
Alumni Mihaela Kosi has returned as coach for the ski racers this year. After the graduation of many racers last year, the team now consists of nine racers, five of whom are freshmen. Many of these new athletes come from Italy, France, and Finland. Kosi hopes to recruit another racer in January.
Kosi is also looking forward for her team to win another national title this March at the USCSA National Championships. The only title the team didn’t achieve last year was a win in men’s giant slalom.
“That’s something we would like to achieve this year,” Kosi said. “First we need to work hard.”
The alpine team is four weeks into dryland practices, which consist of gym workouts, hikes, and training at Village Green. They also have a ski camp training planned for November. “We’re going to kick some booty,” senior Luka Gobec said.
Freeski
Seniors Cole Lyon and Sam McChensey will be getting practices and other essential logistics together for the freeski team until a coach can come fill their place.
“We are looking into two applications right now,” DeLeon said. The details of who has applied are not being released.
The team this year has shrunk significantly in size compared to years past, with only eight total athletes, five of whom are freshman. While the new athletes are essential to the team’s existence and longevity, this small team could pose an issue come nationals.
Five women and five men are selected each March to travel to the championships. While athletes could still take away individual titles, in order to win the overall team title for both women and men, all selected athletes are needed to help with scores. Opportunities to get these essential scores decrease when there are less athletes. With only one woman on the team this year, an overall women’s national title is unlikely.
Snowboard
In a similar situation to the freeski team, the snowboard team is also looking into filling the coaching position, according to DeLeon. For now, Cory Skaggs and Marc Speake will be getting things rolling for the team.
It is unclear which new athletes are officially on the team this year, according to Skaggs. Those athletes still need to be confirmed by DeLeon.