UMASS MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SKI TEAM TAKE HOME USCSA EASTERN REGIONALS CROWN
Feb. 28, 2005
For the first time in school history, both the UMass Men's and Women's ski teams are USCSA Eastern Regional Champions in the same year. Lead by superb finishes by 2004 All-American sophomore Rush Hawkins (Shelburne, Mass.) and freshman Jason Small (Shelburne Falls, Mass.), the Minutemen took home first place in both the slalom and giant slalom. The Minutewomen took home dual second place finishes in the slalom and giant slalom thanks to excellent races from freshman Eliza Hawkins (Shelburne, Mass.) and junior Caitlin Doughty (Quincy, Mass).
Hawkins continued his reign over the Northeastern slopes winning both the slalom and giant slalom. He won the slalom, besting runner up Joe Sampson of Colby Sawyer by 1.5 seconds. Counting second for the Minutemen was Small who placed fifth overall. Also finishing in the top-20 were senior Patrick Hoffer (New Canaan, Conn.) and junior Pat Bachant (Hubbardston, Mass.) placed 13th and 16th,respectively as UMass placed four skiers in the top-20.
Hawkins was equally as dominant in the giant slalom finishing almost two seconds faster than second place finisher Small . The Minutemen placed an impressive five skiers in the top-20 as junior Marc Epstein (Carlisle, Mass.) finished eighth, Hofer took 11th and Bachant captured 17th. The Minutemen's strong finish was aided by the top three second run times in the giant slalom
With the dual victories, Hawkins has now won 10 of his last 12 races while finishing no lower than second in any event.
Eliza Hawkins, who won the giant slalom and placed third in the slalom event once again paced the Minutewomen. Doughty had her top outing of the year with dual fifth place finishes in the giant slalom and the slalom.
Also posting dual top 15 finishes was junior Lisbet Rauh (Princeton, Mass.) who finished 10th in the giant slalom and 12th in the slalom. Other skiers having excellent days were junior Erica Mains (Hudson, Mass.) who took 15th in the giant slalom and 24th in the slalom and sophomore Shaleighne Collins (North Reading, Mass.) who finished 16th in the slalom.
Overall, the Minutewomen had an impressive total of four top-15 finishes in the giant slalom and five skiers finishing in the top-25 for the slalom.
The Men and Women will return to action on March 7 for the weeklong USCSA National Championships in McCall/Brundage, Idaho.
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