Alpine ski team to host regional meet


This weekend Northern’s club alpine ski team will get a chance to host the Midwest Collegiate Snowsports Association (MCSA) Regionals on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14-15.

If either the Northern’s women’s team or men’s team finishes in the top three in the region, the team will get to travel to Winter Park, Colo. to take part in the National Championships on March 3-7.

In addition, individuals who finish in the top three will also have a chance to compete at nationals.

Club president Kevin Karagozian said he thinks several individuals from the men’s and the women’s teams have a good chance of qualifying this weekend.

“We’re hoping we can finish in the top three and make it to nationals,” he said. “It’s going to be pretty close.”

One athlete in particular who Karagozian mentioned had a chance to finish in the top three is freshman Jessica Frankowski.

There will be over 20 teams from Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Indiana competing in this weekend’s competition. Included will be teams from schools such as the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan.

In the sport of Alpine skiing the competitions are broken into two races, the slalom and the giant slalom. According to club member Bobby Mantz, the difference between the slalom and the giant slalom (GS) is the distance the gates are placed from one another. The greater distance between gates in the GS races allows races to achieve a higher speed.

“Sometimes we end up going 35 to 40 miles per hour on a good day in the GS,” Mantz said. “It gets intense.”

This weekend the team will be competing on the “Cliffs” and “Rocket” runs at Marquette Mountain.

Five members compete on a team, and the officials determine team score by adding the combined Slalom and Grand Slalom times for the top three skiers from each school. Northern has a women’s and a men’s “A” and “B ” team that will be competing this weekend.

Mants said this team aspect of the sport is different for many people.

“For most of us, skiing as always been an individual sport,” he said. “It’s a real change, but we have a good time together and we have great camaraderie.”

Karagozian said he thought that NMU students would enjoy coming out and watching the team.

“Most NMU students probably haven’t seen a ski competition before,” he said. “This is a good chance for them to see one for themselves and experience something new.”

Mantz agreed with Karagozian on why students should attend.

“If you’ve never seen a slalom or GS competition before – it can be a pretty intense experience,” Mantz said.

The MCSA regional meet will be held at Marquette Mountain on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The spectator viewing area is located at the race finish line, near the middle chair lift.

The races begin at 10 a.m. and the event is free for anyone who would like to attend.