Breaking Records and Building Community: Colgate’s Club Ski Race Team

Breaking Records and Building Community: Colgate’s Club Ski Race Team

For many of us here in Hamilton, the sight of snow is met with moans and groans, knowing it means the season of treacherously frigid walks, scraping ice off of our cars and endless shoveling. For the Colgate Club Ski Race team, though, it’s a sign that their competition season is finally here again. 

For some members of the Colgate Club Ski Race team, like senior co-captains Brooke Moran and Nick Scott, the team provides an opportunity for students to continue their competitive ski race careers into their college years. For others, like sophomore Claire Dodds who did not have a race team in high school, it was a second chance to pick up what they once participated in when they were young. 

“[I thought] it would be so exciting to get back into it,” Dodds recalled when asked why she decided to join the team. “I also thought it was such a great social opportunity […] I knew it was going to be a great way to meet new people from all different grades and also incorporate my love of skiing and racing.”

This semester, the team returned in January one week early over winter break for preseason, which included daily skiing and training at West Mountain. Their season then began with a meet at Greek Peak in Cortland, N.Y. the weekend before classes started. The coming weeks will be spent training during the weekdays followed by weekend competitions at mountains all over New York state, working towards the ultimate meet: nationals.

In order to qualify for nationals, teams must first race at regionals. 

Last year, we had a really good year. Both the men’s and women’s teams won at the Regional Championships and qualified for nationals,” Scott recalled. 

Placing first at the Regionals Championship means the team also placed first in the Mideast, as the team races in the Mideast conference of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA).  

“It was also the first time in Colgate history that both the men and women won,” Moran added.

Their record-breaking success did not just stop at regionals, though.

“Both men’s and women’s ended up as the top club teams [at nationals] […] so it was a super successful season,” Scott explained. 

Out of the entire nationals meet held at Lake Placid–including Division III and even DivisionI teams– the men’s team placed seventh out of 26, and the women’s team placed ninth out of 26. 

While ski racing can be thought of as a highly individual sport, the club has managed to cultivate a community that emphasizes the values of teamwork, support, and selflessness. 

“It’s such a strong community that we’ve built,” Dodds explained. “I feel that everyone on the team has all different activities that they’re involved with […] but everyone comes together and has a love for ski racing and a love for each other.” 

“Skiing growing up can be very isolating, but the people at Colgate and the Colgate ski team bring the camaraderie up,” Moran said of the team. “It’s still very competitive, but in a healthy way.”

“You’re cheering even harder for your teammates to beat you since it will bring the team score up,” Scott added. 

Their goal for this season? Do all of last year over again–maybe even better than before.

“For this year, we just want to keep it going,” Moran explained when asked about what the team hopes to accomplish this year. 

Their eyes are specifically set on Mammoth Mountain in California, where nationals will be held this year this upcoming March.  

If you’re interested in joining, it’s never too late to join the team, and they are always looking for new members.

“We have such a big team, but we’re always looking for new people to join because it’s such a welcoming community […] Even if you’re not the best skier, you can still join the team and come to our practices. It’s just such a fun community to be a part of,” Moran said.

Stay tuned for the results from the team’s Regionals meet, which will take place from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26.