Rush Hawkins Sweeps ECSC Championships; UMass Ski Teams Advance to Nationals
Feb. 26, 2006
WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - As he did last year, junior Rush Hawkins (Shelburne, Mass.) won both the slalom and the giant slalom at the ECSC Championships in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. His dominating performance helped the men's team win the giant slalom and place second in the slalom, to give the team a tie for first overall on the weekend with Plymouth State. Sophomore Eliza Hawkins (Shelburne, Mass.) led the women's team to a second place finish in the giant slalom on Sunday with a second place finish individually after senior Lisbet Rauh (Princeton, Mass ) led the team to a fifth place finish the previous day in the slalom. The stellar finishes for both the UMass men's and women's teams qualified them for the USCSA Nationals next week.
Despite his impressive accomplishment, Rush Hawkins kept his excitement in check on Sunday when discussing his victory.
"It happened last year," said Hawkins, "It's still pretty sweet though, but I'm looking to next week. It will be pretty difficult to win nationals again."
Sophomore Jason Small (Shelburne Falls, Mass.) and senior Pat Bachant (Hubbardston, Mass.) also had strong performances. Small finished just a couple tenths of a second out of the top three in the slalom to finish fifth, and then he finished right behind Hawkins in second in the giant slalom. Bachant followed up his solid performance in the EISA Championships on Friday with a 15th place finish in the slalom and a top ten finish in the giant slalom.
The women's team got off to a rough start on Saturday when Eliza Hawkins fell in the slalom. With Hawkins out, the rest of the women's team had to ski conservatively to ensure that they had enough skiers to score for the team standings.
The Minutewomen were able to rebound in the giant slalom on Sunday. Behind Eliza Hawkins second place finish, senior Erica Mains (Hudson, Mass.) turned in a career-best performance to finish in the top ten. Lisbet Rauh rounded out the top three for UMass.
The Hawkins siblings will try to lead the UMass ski teams to victory next week in the USCSA National Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine. Training and events begin on Monday, March 6, and conclude on Saturday, March 11.
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