Emily Garrant and Rachel Bachman in the 15K skate race at the USCSA Nationals - photo by Alicia Perras

CU has Strong Showing at USCSA Nationals

March 13, 2011

A first-place showing by the Golden Knights’ Men’s team and four second-place finishes for the Women highlighted a strong showing for the Clarkson University Nordic Ski team at the 33rd annual United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho this past week.

Overall, for the championship, the Clarkson Women placed second in combined results out of seven teams with 67 points. St. Olaf out Minnesota claimed the women’s national title with 39 points. The Golden Knight Men finished third overall out of 10 teams with 104 points, trailing only Western State (62) and St. Olaf (63).

The Clarkson women opened the five-day long championship with a second-place showing in the 1.5k sprint event on March 8. The Golden Knights, led by junior Andrea Walsh’s (Underhill Center, VT) fourth-place individual showing, posted 15 points, trailing by only four points, St. Olaf, which won both the women’s and men’s national titles. The University of Wyoming finished third (32 points). Walsh, along with classmates Alyssa Dausman (Syracuse, NY) and Emily Garrant (Marcellus, NY) earned All-American honors for the Clarkson women. Also on the podium for the Green and Gold were senior captain Alicia Perras (Portsmouth, RI) and sophomore Rachel Bachman (Queensbury, NY).

The Clarkson men finished fourth in their 1.5k sprint race. Junior Alex Benway (Queensbury, NY) earned All-American honors with a second-place showing (4:10.8)

In Wednesday’s 8.5k classic race, the Clarkson Women once again placed second as the Green and Gold bunched three skiers in the Top-10. Bachman finished seventh (32:32) followed by Walsh in eighth (32:40) and Garrant in 10th (32:54). St. Olaf captured the women’s title with 16 points followed by Clarkson with 25.

A 10th-place finish by freshman Nick Marshall (Huntington, VT) helped the Clarkson men to a third-place team showing in their 8.5k classic race. Western State won the race with 15 points, followed by St. Olaf in second (17 pts) and Clarkson (40).

In the 15k freestyle on Friday, the Clarkson Womenfinished runner-up (18 pts) to St. Olaf (10). The Knights had two skiers in the Top-6, Dausman placed fifth (48:27), followed by Walsh in sixth (48:31).

Marshall once again paced the Men’s squad with a seventh-place effort (38:39) to lead the Knights to a third-place finish in the 15k freestyle race. Western won the event with nine points, followed by St. Olaf (19) and Clarkson (27).

In the championships’ final event for the Nordic skiers on Saturday at the Sun Valley Nordic Center, a late sprint to the finish helped the Clarkson Men to the national title of the 3x5-kilometer relay. The Golden Knights used a late pass after the final exchange – as the team of Benway, Marshall, and sophomore Andrew Klem (Dalton, MA) finished the circuit in a time of 39:13 – 18 seconds ahead of St. Olaf.

The Clarkson Women trio of Dausman, Garrant, and Walsh placed second (51:43) in the relay, trailing only St. Olaf (49:57).

Over the course of the week-long championship, Walsh emerged as the fifth top skier among the women competitors with 18 points. Jamie Woelk claimed the women’s national title with three points. Dausman placed eighth (22), followed by Garrant in ninth (30), Bachman in 11th (35) and Perras in 16th (53).

Benway was the eighth best skier in the men’s combined events, totaling 25 points. Elias Bucher of Nevada was the men’s national champion with three points. Marshall placed 12th overall (33), followed by Klem in 18th (60) and juniors Bryan Rose (Honeoye Falls, NY) in 30th (87) and Tim Sick (Chambersburg, PA) in 34th (100).

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