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When most students think of club sports at Marist, the Marist College Ski Team is not what comes to mind. Despite this, the Ski Team has made a name for itself this season with a successful end to the 2017 season.

Begun in 1981 by co-captain Shannon Haggerty’s father along with a team of 10 male and 10 female competitive skiers, the club team sought to be a cohesive group of passionate skiers who wanted to race and develop their skiing skills, but also have the opportunity to travel and ski at different mountains.

Since then, the club has sought to uphold these ideals and enforce more unity among its members. “Everyone is required to race,” Haggerty says. “But we’re not as competitive as other Division I schools. We really emphasize community within the team rather than competition.” Throughout training during the fall semester into the 5-7 consecutive weeks of traveling for the competitive races during the spring, the team meets and practices. During this time, the team participates in workouts and training sessions for the season as well as team bonding activities.

Eileen Crinnion, class of 2019, recalls the first trading session she went to: “When I first told my friends I was going to a ski team practice in September, people got confused because there was no snow, but we mostly just played games so we could all become friends and prepare for the time we spent together later in the year.”

During the competitive races this season, many Marist students on the team have achieved great success. The team finished with a record-breaking year with many of its skiers finishing in the top of their categories in the McBrine division. Other competing colleges include Yale, Vassar, Wesleyan, the University of Rhode Island, and Simmons College.

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William Ryan, class of 2018, finished third place overall for the men’s division. Griffion Simmonds, class of 2020, finished in the top ten overall for the men’s division. Shannon Haggerty, class of 2018, and Erika Rothman, class of 2019, both finished in the top ten of the women’s division. Finally, Joesph Kopp, class of 2018, one of the current co-captains, received the Captain of the Year award.

Along with their success, the team has stayed humble and encouraged their belief that the real success of the team comes from the friendships that are made. Matt Pintea, class of 2020, says that the friendships he made were the most gratifying experience for him. “Coming in as a freshman really worked to my advantage because I was able to make friends with people outside of my grade and major,” Pintea said. Not only Pintea but his fellow teammates also accredited their commitment to the club based on the people they met.

Kopp said, “I have a wider field of view and have been able to meet a larger group of people. It’s awesome!” During the year, the team has been able to travel to many mountains in New York and New England to compete in races and to ski non-competitively. During that time, the team stays in local hotels. “It’s a really great bonding experience,” Pintea said. “Overnight stays in hotels with your close friends is awesome.”

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When all the races are done, the team still hangs out outside practices as well. Crinnion said, “The season doesn’t end when the snow melts. We all still hang out.”

It’s true: even now when the snow has melted and their skis are stored away, the memories and success of this season still remain intact. “It isn’t really about winning races. It’s about good times with good friends,” Crinnion added. By the end of the season, those good times are what will be remembered by the teammates.

If interested in joining the ski team, contact Kopp or Haggerty, and be sure to look for them at the activities fair in the fall and spring.

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