The U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) kicked off its 5-day long annual national championships on Tuesday with women’s giant slalom in addition to men’s ski and snowboard cross, a 7.5k classic nordic race, and women’s snowboard and freeski rail jam.

The first day of alpine racing on Drapers Drop belonged to the women of Sierra Nevada College (SNC). The Eagles won both the team and individual giant slalom national championship titles with Saana Ahonen taking home her first individual giant slalom title.


“It was a really tough day, but the team worked really well together and in my opinion that’s why we won today. I’m happy to be an Eagle and part of this great team,” said the Finnish skier.

SNC Head Coach Elias Struz was proud of his team’s performance at the biggest event of the season, hosted at Lake Placid, N.Y.

“I am really happy with the team’s performance,” he said. “We have had a season with a lot of ups and downs, which made us stronger as a team. The girls stood up for each other and sacrificed their individual success to achieve the underlying goal, which was to win as a team. They made me really proud and happy about my decision to be the coach this year.”

USCSA action will continue throughout the week.

“Today we had a great first day of competition across all of our disciplines,” said Adam Stark, President of USCSA. “…If you were not able to watch the live broadcast, check out the archives on our website. We are expecting some great weather tomorrow and more great competition, so please come and join us at Whiteface or watch online.”

527 collegiate athletes representing 65 universities across 6 regions are competing over the 5-day period. This championship represents the best collegiate athletes from around the country. USCSA has member schools in every geographic region of the United States. Events include alpine skiing GS and slalom; nordic sprints, relays, distance; slopestyle; skier cross; snowboard cross, slalom, giant slalom; and a rail jam.

Watch all the action live here.  
A full schedule of events is available here

Release courtesy of USCSA