The 2013 season kicked off with a weekend filled with tournaments. There were two tournaments in the Great Lakes and two tournaments in the Great Plaines. At the Jepawhit Ski Fest, ten teams fought for glory. The overall scores of Andrew Schmitt, Jack Lake, Max Schwein, Lauren Smith, Alison Saunders, and Megan Lambert helped their teams in the battle for the gold. The top three team finishers were Michigan State, Grand Valley State, and University of Michigan.

In the Southern half of the Great Lakes Conference, the seven other GL teams battled it out at the Southern Ohio Challenge. The University of Cincinnati beat Miami of Ohio by a mere 135 points. It was tough competition throughout. Emily Van Treese and Erin Slater ducked it out on the women’s side and the Cincy men dominated the slalom course, despite the weather.

On the western half of the Midwest, two more tournaments were taking place. In the southern half of the states, it was the MO State Fall Showdown. Paving the way for a successful season, Kansas University beat the University of Missouri and the tournament hosts, Missouri State. Big overall scores from Dylan Brittain, Joseph Hediger, Andrew Fendler, Emily Doyle, Chelsey Regester, and Abbey Bays.

Up in corn state, there was tough competition at the Hawkeye SkiFest. The University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Iowa State University, University of Wisconsin Madison, Marquette University, and the University of Iowa were all within a few thousand points of one another. Blaine Bierschenk landed a personal best jump of 140 feet and Jennifer King scored her team major overall points.

Second Weekend

Only three tournaments took place this weekend. The competition bar was raised in the Great Plaines with only one tournament. The Iowa State Cyclones hosted a very tough tournament with the top three teams all being within 300 points of one another. Derek Thompson and Cody Paggen battled during the slalom competition, Thompson won with 3.5 at 32 off and Paggen was the runner up with 2 buoys. Jenny Kaldor set a new record with an amazing score of 3 at 35 off! Congrats to her and the La Crosse Eagles! The top five team finishers of the Shane DeJong Fall Classic are: fifth place The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, fourth place the University of Wisconsin Stout, third place the University of Wisconsin Madison, in second place the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and in second place, the Iowa State University! Wisconsin dominated that tournament!
In the Great Lakes, the Ripfest took place in the northern half of the conference. Lauren Smith put up a great trick score of 1120. The top five team scores were: fifth place Hope College, fourth place Bowling Green State University, third place the University of Michigan, second place Grand Valley State University, and in first place Michigan State University.

Down in the south half of the region was the Ball State Fall Fling, hosted in Van Wert, OH took place. I’m not sure how it is even possible, but it appears that the University of Cincinnati tied with Miami of Ohio! Both scored 7345 points. Briant Detty crushed the slalom and jump competition with 2 buoys at 38 off and a leap of 149 feet. Megan Lambert brought in 2 buoys at 32 off and Riley Daulton jumped 99 feet! Emily VanTreese killed it in trick, as always, with a score of 2740 points!

Conference Weekend

As always, it was a very competitive weekend as teams vied for a spot at the Regional Competition. The Great Lakes Conference Championship took place in Van Wert, OH while the Great Plaines Conference Championships took place in Wilmington, IL.

In Ohio, 14 teams gathered for the competition. The men’s slalom competition was tough as the top five finishers all skied into at least 32 off, with Kevin Dammeyer bringing home the gold with 1 at 35 off. In men’s trick, Robert Daulton, Andrew Schmitt, Jeremy Knafla were the top three finishers with three way tie for fourth between Alex Beiersdorfer, Reid Postle, and Max Schwein. In men’s jump it was close competition again with Schwein, Rouse, Condra and Daulton all jumping in the 90s and Schmitt won it all with a 120 foot jump. For the women, the slalom competition was rough due to weather. Megan Lambert won with 4.5 at 28 off and Riley Daulton was a pass behind with 4.5 and 22 off. Trick was a different story, Lenz scored 700 points, Slater scored 1090, Daulton, 1180, Smith 1230, and Van Treese winning it again with 2490. In the jump competition, the top five finishers were Dofka, Saunders, Slater, Smith and Daulton winning it all with a 102 foot jump. The team results from bottom up were: University of Notre Dame, Ball State University, University of Dayton, Hope College, Western Michigan University, Bowling Green State University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, Purdue University, Grand Valley State University, Miami of Ohio, Michigan State University, and the University of Cincinnati.

In the Great Plaines, 19 teams competed for one of the coveted regionals spots. In men’s slalom, the top five finishers all shortened the rope. Dylan Brittain was the runner up to Cody Paggen who scored 3 at 32 off. The trick event was exciting with the top three scores all in the thousands. Kathe came in third with 1010, Shull in second with 1160 and Brittain won with 2040. Competition was close again in the men’s jump event, top five finishers were Bierschenk (130), Walczak (107), King (98), Doeren (98), and Brittain (92). In women’s slalom, Regester, Lorenz, and Hamilton all skied into 22 off and then Katie O’Connor got 2 at 28 off for second place and Jennifer Kaldor got 2 at 35 off for first place. The top 8 women trickers all scored in the thousands, making it hard to get on the podium! Top five from top to bottom were Hamilton and Huthings (tied), Regester, Bays, Lorenz, and O’Connor. Onto jump, Backlund won the whole thing with an 87 foot leap, Boeckmann came in second with a score of 71, Lorenz in third for 68 feet, O’Connor in fourth with 62 feet, and finally Brooks in fifth with 61 feet. The team results from top to bottom were:

University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Kansas University, Iowa State University, Madison, Marquette, University of Illinois, Kansas State, University of Iowa, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Missouri State University, Stout, Illinois State University, Nebraska, Southern Illinois University, Eau Claire, Principia College, Northern Illinois University, and Whitewater.

Regionals

16 teams advanced on to the Midwest Regional Championships in Decatur, Illinois. The top five teams advance on to the National Championships and the 6th, 7th, and 8th place teams go into the wild card tournament. This tournament is always brings on the best competition and this year showed no different. Noteworthy events are: Cody Paggen and Brett Phillips tying for 1st place in men’s slalom with 4 at 32 off, the top 8 men slalomers all skied into 32 off, Dylan Brittain scored 2000 points to win men’s trick, Andrew Schmitt and Blaine Bierschenk jumped 132 and 130 feet respectfully, Jenny Kaldor got 3 buoys at 35 off to win women’s slalom, Emily Van Treese beat Katie O’Connor by 160 points, and Riley Daulton jumped 94 feet. The five teams guaranteed a Nationals spot were Kansas University, University of Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley State University. The three teams moving on to the wild card tournament were Iowa State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

Nationals

The 2013 Collegiate National Championships took place in El Centro, CA. The Iowa State University competed in the Division II event and came in 6th place. Kansas University, Miami of Ohioa, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Wisconsin Madison competed in the Division I event. Madison came in 12th, Cincinnati in 11th, Grand Valley in 10th, Michigan State in 9th, Miami of Ohio in 8th, and Kansas University in 6th. Once again, Team Midwest had the most teams present at the competition!

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