MEDFORD – With an outstanding performance at the Eastern Regionals, the Tufts University women’s ski team qualified for the 2019 U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championships taking place this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The Jumbos finished fourth out of 15 teams the Regional, which was held at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. Tufts was behind only Castleton University, Babson College and UConn. Castleton and Babson placed third and fourth at the national championships last season, respectively. The top five teams at the Regional qualify for the USCSA national championships.
The Tufts women advaced to Regionals after winning their regular-season Thompson Division. Racing in both giant slalom and slalom events to earn a combined score, the Jumbos had four skiers place among the top 15 in their conference this season. Junior Sami Rubin was first, freshman Pippa Hodgkins earned sixth, sophomore Annette Key was 11th and junior Olivia Wentzell was 13th.
Skiing at Tufts is a club team (non-varsity), but at the USCSA Eastern Regionals the Jumbos compete against a handful of varsity teams which actively recruit across the ski academies such as Brown, Babson, Clarkson, Maine and Castleton. This makes the Jumbos’ accomplishment even more remarkable.
The Jumbos were third out of 14 teams in the region in the slalom event with a combined 4:42.86 time. Rubin led the team with a 1:30.13 mark for two runs, while Hodgkins recorded a 1:35.43 and Key came it at 1:37.30. For giant slalom, the Jumbos were fifth out of 15 teams with a 5:54.49 team time. Rubin (1:54.43 for two runs), Key (1:59.46) and Hodgkins (2:00.60) again led Tufts. Their final team standing of fourth is determined based on their results from both slalom and grand slalom races.
Including senior Taylor Hart, five Jumbos skiers are now currently at Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole for the USCSA Nationals. The women will compete in the giant slalom on Tuesday and slalom on Thursday starting at 11:30 am on both days.
Follow live results of the Jumbos at the USCSA Nationals at https://livetiming.usskiandsnowboard.org/. A video webcast of the event is available at https://www.uscsa.com/broadcast.html. You can also visit the USCSA Nationals website at - https://www.uscsa.com/general-info.html.
In today’s giant slalom event, Rubin is bib #12, Hodgkins is 32, Key is 54, Wentzell is 75 and Hart is 102.
The Tufts men’s ski club also qualified as a team for Regionals and finished seventh, their best finish ever. Freshman Matthew Siegel was 21st in the combined standings and classmate Will Neary was 22nd.