Hawkins Finishes Season with a Solid Run at the U.S. Nationals
March 29, 2006
SUGARLOAF, Maine - Sophomore Eliza Hawkins (Shelburne, Mass.) concluded the 2006 ski season with a 38th place finish in 2:34.22, about midway through the field, in the giant slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine. Hawkins also finished in 38th place in the slalom on Monday with a time of 1:58.29. Hawkins competed against the top skiers in the nation, including those who just recently competed in the Winter Olympics.
Although Hawkins is used to finishing at the top of the standings, she still had a remarkable week. While about a third of the field failed to finish in both the slalom and the giant slalom, Hawkins successfully completed all four of her runs cleanly on a course that was longer and more difficult than she typically competes on. Hawkins also had to face competitors, most notably recent Olympians, she had never raced against before.
Hawkins did a fine job representing UMass at such a high level of competition. UMass head ski coach Justin Rouleau was also impressed with her performance.
"What she did would be the equivalent of someone from here on the track and field team, or the swim team, competing in the Olympic trials," said Rouleau. "She was hard on herself afterwards since she usually finishes at the top, but the reality is that those were the only thirty or so skiers in the country that could beat her."
Hawkins qualified for the U.S. Nationals when she claimed the overall title at the USCSA Championships, which were also held in Sugarloaf, from March 8 to March 11.
Last year, her brother junior Rush Hawkins (Shelburne, Mass.), competed in the U.S. Alpine Championships after he won the men's USCSA National Championship.
Eliza, and the rest of the UMass ski team, will be looking to have another strong season next year.
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