For a club team with no coach and no tryouts, the CSU Alpine Ski Team has high hopes and heavy determination for its upcoming season.
With a total of 18 members this year, team captains and CSU seniors Kelsey Fagan and Chelsey Fretz are â€œexcited to watch their team progress.â€
The captains say they are both fiercely determined to make it to the National Collegiate Ski Associationâ€™s regional tournament this season.
â€œLast year we were runner-up, and this year there will be four teams that make it [to regionals] rather than three,â€ Fretz said. â€œSo, if we do what weâ€™ve done before, itâ€™ll be great.â€
This year the team has a large majority of upper-class female athletes, while the men on the team are younger or less experienced.
One of the freshman male members, Jake Madecky, stated that the youth of the team did not change the attitude.
â€œIt is a great team atmosphere; we are all like a family,â€ Madecky said. â€œWe learn from the older athletes that do have experience.â€
Students on the CSU Alpine Ski Team compete all over Colorado, as well as other parts of the nation. According to Fagan, the shortest distance the team has travelled for a competition is three hours.
â€œThis often takes a toll on us as students as well as athletes,â€ Fretz added. â€œIt takes major dedication.â€
â€œWe want our team to be good athletes, but we also push for a good GPA and try to keep everyone working on school even during season,â€ she added.
Nationals will be held in Maine this year, and, along with the team striving to compete at Nationals, Fagan stated that they also hope to raise enough money to afford plane tickets in order to avoid driving.
Jan. 22 marks the first race for the team, while their preseason training begins Jan. 9 and finishes Jan. 14. In the meantime, Fretz said the team works on dry land training in the Student Recreation Center on campus.
â€œTraining is so important, but since we have no coach, we try to go in small groups,â€ Fagan said. â€œItâ€™s harder to maintain and gather 18 people than we had anticipated.â€
With such a young and inexperienced team this year, each member is focusing on training and setting personal, attainable goals.
â€œThis is sort of a building year for us,â€ Madecky said. â€œNo one knows for sure what will come of this. Many of us are freshman, and we are just gaining experience and really pushing to make nationals next year.â€
Collegian writer Sabrina Norwood can be reached at email@example.com.