Navy Skiers Ranked 10th Nationally

Story Number: NNS120223-30Release Date: 2/23/2012 5:20:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexia Riveracorrea, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The Naval Academy men's alpine ski team ranked 10th out of 135 teams in the 2012 College Snow Sports Rankings and qualified for the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Mid-Atlantic Regionals, Feb. 23-26.

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The women's ski team and both snowboard teams also qualified for the regional competition.

The men's team earned eight 1st place and two 2nd place finishes out of 10 races during the regular season. The teams compete in the Allegheny Conference, one of 11 collegiate snow and ski conferences in the U.S.

The Alleghany Conference includes teams from Penn State, West Virginia, Bucknell, Carnegie Mellon, West Chester and Villanova.

"We were very surprised, since Penn State has been the strongest competitor," said Midshipman 1st Class Garrett Long, team captain. "For the last few weekends the team has been very active and united."

The women's snowboard team, led by Midshipman 1st Class Nicole Leonard and Midshipman 2nd Class Caitlin Fine, took 2nd in the Alleghany Conference. The men's team, led by Midshipman 1st Class Ryan Goldsmith and Midshipmen 2nd Class Brian Gureck and Bill Gureck, took several individual top-five finishes during the season.

"It is very exciting to be able to compete," said Midshipman 2nd Class Pat Paap. "It's all about teamwork. You really have to come together and understand not only your needs but also other teammate's needs. We definitely help and coach each other."

"We are helping each other prep the skis, which is definitely one of the main things you can do to get ready for the race," said Midshipman 4th Class Stefan Schmidt. "It's also important to stay confident and not freak out during the competition."

The ski and snowboard teams hope to qualify for the national competition which will be held March 5-10 in Maine.

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