The Marist College Ski Team finished their season at the top of the McBrine Division in both Women’s and Men’s Alpine Ski Racing. There were also many notable individual performances, with sophomore Danielle Mason finishing first in Women’s Alpine and sophomore Hartley Walker-Money placing first in the Men’s Alpine division. Lily Caffrey-Levine, a junior who is one of the two females who both ski and snowboard for Marist, consistently placed in the top three in every snowboard race she competed in. Additionally, numerous other Marist skiers placed in the top 20 in the division, rounding out the team’s overall success.
Individually, Walker-Money, a racer originally from Vermont, felt that his season was both competitive and fun at the same time. “I placed second, up until last weekend, every weekend. There was one kid that was ahead of me in every race, and having that little bit of competition was a lot of fun considering I was coming off of an injury last season but managed to win all of my races,” he said. “This season now I’ve had some true competition, so it’s been a really successful season for me.” That edge has pushed him to give his best in every race he competes in. Similarly, Mason wants the team to be a more competitive environment. “I hope to take the team to a higher level, whether that means moving up to a higher level in club or even moving up to Division III which I know is possible at our school,” Mason said.
Coach Joe Kopp, a graduate of the class of 2018 who competed on the team himself during his four years at Marist, was very impressed with the team’s consistent podium finishes. While several individuals on the team stood out, he felt the overall success was mostly because the skiers were all competing to benefit the team as a whole. “The only reason this team exists and thrives is because there’s camaraderie between the racers. Because the camaraderie is really high this year, everyone wants to perform well for each other,” Kopp said. “It’s really no accident that the team is closer than ever and we performed better than we ever have.” He also hopes to have the team move into a more competitive division, and to get some training days during the week to strengthen the team and practice the more technical aspects of racing.
Going forward, the team aspires to be as successful on the slopes as they were this season. Although she’ll be graduating soon, senior captain Erika Rothman looks forward to seeing the team continue its tradition of camaraderie, as well as expand and become more competitive every season. “I want to see the team expand even further, get more established in the snowboarding and freestyle departments and just to continue dominating in our own division,” Rothman said. Caffrey-Levine agreed with this sentiment. “In my short time on the team, I’ve really seen people get into this,” she said. “We can really make ourselves known in this and put ourselves on the map as a team, so let’s go for it.”
The ski team’s 2019 season was one that was defined by success and friendship, and returning members will have a busy off-season planning to further develop their club and take it to new heights in the near future.
Edited by Meaghan Roche & David Salamone