Alpine Ski Team
The MIT Alpine Ski Team promotes the sport of men's and women's alpine ski racing at MIT in the disciplines of slalom and giant slalom. The team is a student-run club sport that competes in the MacConnell division of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA).
The MIT Ski Team was founded in the 1950s as a combined nordic and alpine team. Although the nordic team eventually faded due to lack of interest, the alpine team thrived as one of MIT's 41 varsity sports until 2009. Jason Christopher '05 skied in the national competition, finishing 16th despite falling. In 2008 the team also sent senior Tim Pier as an individual competitor to the regional and then national competitions, where he placed top in the top 10. The 2009 season saw another individual, Kyle Backman, ski his way to regionals as well.
In the spring of 2009, budgetary restrictions forced DAPER to cut the ski team as well as 7 other varsity sports. As a result, the team lost its long time coach, Todd Dumond, and the majority of its funding. The captains at the time, Ian Wolfe '10 and Jillian Reddy '11, founded the club team in the summer of 2009. It is this team which operates today under the direction of head coach Ben Stewart '07.
The Club Team
The MIT Club Ski Team was founded in 2009 and raced its first season in 2010. The team races in the MacConnell division of the USCSA, which is widely considered the most competitive division in the nation. The team's competititors include Boston College, Brown University, Plymouth State University, Colby-Sawyer College, Smith College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Babson College, University of Connecticut, and St. Anselem's College. Many of these schools support varsity ski programs.
The club team welcomes racers of all abilities, from those who have under 50 USSA point scores to those just learning how to tuck properly. The team does not conduct tryouts but holds dryland practices at the Z Center beginning in October. The practices include strength and endurance training through running, weight lifting, and plyometrics. These practices are led by assistant coach Ian Wolfe '10.
The ski team trains at Waterville Valley in New Hampshire during IAP. The athletes spend four days per week training in gates and doing drills on the slopes. Two days per week are spent racing at various local resorts like Cranmore, Wildcat, Gunstock, Blackwater, and Sunapee. All races are USSA sanctioned and generally result in penalties in the 30s for men and 40s for women.
The team raises its own money to pay for expenses through its extremely generous alumni population. The captains for the 2011-2012 season are Jason Pier '13 and Sarah Laderman '12.