WCU skiers to compete at national collegiate ski and snowboard championships

WCU students Jacob Bennington, #76, and Lance Shallenberger, #77, visit with fellow collegiate skiers Bradley Wacker, #39, Radford University, and Mikel Smalle, #236, Appalachian State University, during the men’s alpine competition of the Mid Atlantic Regional of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard competition at Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

Western Carolina University tied for 10th place in the men’s team alpine combined (giant slalom and slalom) at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s Mid-Atlantic Regional competition, Feb. 28-29, at Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

Individually, WCU junior Jacob Bennington, of Waynesville, finished 24th in the slalom event with a two-run combined time of 1:38.09 and 24th in the giant slalom with a combined time of 2:21.06. WCU sophomore Lance Shallenberger, of Clyde, finished 29th in the slalom event with a two-run combined time of 1:47.97 and 33rd in the giant slalom with a combined time of 2:34.42.

Columbia University placed first, United States Military Academy was second and Lehigh University was third. WCU tied with Appalachian State University; 14 universities competed in the men’s alpine events.

In the ski freestyle competition, Shallenberger placed 8th out of 27 skiers and Bennington placed 17th. As a result of their participation in the freestyle event, Shallenberger and Bennington are eligible to compete in the USCSA National Championships freestyle event scheduled for March 10-14 at Lake Placid, New York. “The sport is still growing at the national level, so anyone who qualifies as a freestyle athlete can go to nationals,” said Doug Grayson, USCSA executive board vice president of sport.