Steamboat Springs to Host Two Major Skiing Championships
● By Dan Greeson
Two major skiing championships will be taking place in Steamboat Springs in mid-March: the NCAA Skiing Championships, Wednesday-Saturday, March 9-12, and the U.S. Freestyle Skiing Championships, Friday-Sunday, March 18-20.
2016 NCAA Skiing Championships
The NCAA Skiing Championships are an intense four days of competition, as the 60-best male and 60-best female collegiate skiers from across the nation compete in one of two disciplines: alpine or Nordic. Athletes on each school’s team compete in freestyle (skate) and classical cross country events, or slalom and giant slalom alpine events. The team with the highest combined score from all of these events is crowned champion.
“It’s going to be a really great week of college camaraderie and competition,” says Sarah Floyd, associate executive director for the Steamboat Winter Sports Club.
University of Colorado held off Denver University in Lake Placid last year to win the 2015 NCAA Skiing Championships but DU still has the lead with 22 ski championship wins to CU’s 20. Schools like University of Vermont and University of Utah have also been putting together stellar team performances in recent years, so the 2016 championships are sure to be a spectacle for anyone attending.
The current schedule for the NCAA Ski Championships is:
Wednesday, March 9 – giant slalom at Steamboat Ski Area
Thursday, March 10 – freestyle cross country at Howelsen Hill
Friday, March 11 – slalom at night at Howelsen Hill
Saturday, March 12 – classic cross country at Howelsen Hill
2016 U.S. Freestyle Championships
The U.S. Freestyle Championships take place the weekend following the NCAA Championships. The Freestyle Championships feature thrilling competition between the nation’s best individual aerial and mogul skiers. Athletes from the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and the best divisional skiers from all over the country will face off for the Divisions Cup in moguls, dual moguls and aerials. All events take place at the Park Smalley Freestyle Complex, within hiking distance of the Christie Base.
In 2015, the U.S. Freestyle Team won four world championship medals, four World Cup globes, three FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year awards, five Junior World medals, and made 25 World Cup podium appearances. The U.S. Aerials team put together one of its best seasons and finished number one in the world as a team.
The current schedule for the U.S. Freestyle Championships all taking place at the Steamboat Ski area is:
Friday, March 18 – moguls
Saturday, March 19 – aerials
Sunday, March 20 – dual moguls
Spectators have an opportunity to meet and greet athletes following the competition on Saturday, March 19, along with a chance to enjoy a free concert on the mountain.