Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Colorado Freestyle Ski Brings Home National Collegiate Championship

SUNDAY RIVER, Maine (03/13/12)– The University of Colorado Freestyle Ski team brings home the 2012 Collegiate National Championship after a week of tough competition.

“I'm very proud, and excited for everyone,” said Head Coach Palmer Hoyt. “Each of us shares in this great accomplishment, but we have a huge thanks and congratulations to give to our fearless athletes and coaches who fought to bring home the title.”

During the 2010-11 season Colorado placed second at the USCSA National Championship behind the University of Southern California.

Scott Szawlowski, Ian Simpson, Ben Hitchcock, Nick Pease, David Lilja, Lauren Ladley, William Baum and Jeremy Brown all fought for the 2012 title. The team of coaches that led the athletes to their victory is Mike Suleiman and Jon Peot.

Brown won the slopestyle competition and was announced the first team all-American individual champion.

“It was great seeing all of the different schools out there throwing down their best for the title,” said Pease. “There is always a heightened intensity when it comes to competing because you need to make sure you land a good enough run to qualify for finals, but at the same time it has to be a run you are comfortable enough with so you won't fall.”

Skiercross was the first event that Colorado competed in where the team went head-to-head with other freestyle athletes. Brown took the lead in this race, qualifying to continue on to time trials.

Colorado continued on to the slopestyle competition where they competed against Liberty University, University of Southern California, Western State and Sierra Nevada College. Brown cleaned up this event, coming in first place. Simpson trailed behind, picking up fifth and placing CU first on the point boards.

The last event of the week was the halfpipe. Each of the players excelled in this event, all qualifying for a second running, avoiding elimination. Brown placed number two in this event with Hitchcock coming in close behind at number three.

The Buffaloes picked up the most points of the week, finishing in first place winning the title of the 2012 USCA Freestyle Skiing National Champions.

“It was an amazing weekend and we finished with the title we were all hoping for,” said Lilja. “It was the best way I could think of to finish my senior season.”