MSU Skiing: NCAA-Bound

MSU Skiing: NCAA-Bound

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Thompson, Nelle
This winter, the MSU ski team will benefit from a newfound recognition in the NCAA: for the first time in 17 years, the men will be eligible to join their female teammates in Slalom, Giant Slalom, Skate, and Classic competition at the national level.

In 1986, the MSU ski team’s NCAA membership was cut due to lack of funding. The skiers were restricted to competing solely in club events sponsored by the United States Collegiate Association. This eventually changed for the alpine women skiers, who were reinstated to the NCAA five years later, and the Nordic women, whose NCAA status was restored in 1993 to satisfy federal guidelines on gender equality. Until this year, however, there simply had not been enough financial support to get the men back onboard the NCAA.

Last year, the university conducted a self-study on NCAA certification. The results proved exactly what MSU ski coaches Dan Brelsford and Grethe-Lise Hagensen had known for years: because the NCAA uses combined team scores, the women skiers needed the men in order to compete for a championship.

Last season MSU sent three women to the NCAA Championships in Hanover, NH. The skiers led MSU to an18th place overall finish—not too shabby. This season, however, with the help and support of the men, the ski department has high hopes for an even stronger finish at the NCAA National Championships this March.
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