New Ski Club Waiting for the Snow to Fall
Student organizations at Alma College cover a wide range of
interests, from the Alma College Otaku & Gamers, a social
organization interested in Japanese animation and role-playing games,
to the service oriented Alma Leadership Alliance.
More than 75 registered student organizations exist in all.
One of the newest organizations on campus is the club sport of alpine skiing. Organized by Traverse City senior Adam Valentino and Sterling Heights junior Jennafer Watson, the Ski Club is gearing up for its first competitive season this winter with five races scheduled in January and February, followed by a regional race against both club and college varsity teams.
“Skiing is a great way to appreciate the winter in Michigan,” says Valentino. “There are 12 club teams in Michigan. It’s nice to continue racing; it’s something I’ve been doing all my life.”
Valentino raced independently as a freshman at Alma. This year he decided to form a club team. About 20 students expressed an initial interest. A group of nine students have been getting together twice a week to do agility drills and team-building activities while waiting for the snow to fall.
Races take place during the weekends, with the giant slalom race on Saturdays and the slalom on Sundays. Alma’s first races are scheduled for Jan. 12 and 13, 2008.
“Most of our races are held at Crystal Mountain, and one is at Schuss Mountain,” he says. “We plan to visit Nub’s Nob or Boyne Mountain over Christmas break to practice.”
Valentino began skiing at the age of two and started racing at four. He was team captain and a first-team all-state skier for Traverse City Central High School. He also skied in an independent race league, where he became acquainted with many of the skiers who now compete for college ski club teams.
Assisting Valentino with the Alma Ski Club is Watson, a transfer student from Western Michigan University who serves as vice president of the club.
“I adore skiing, but I learned late at age 12,” she says. “After I started driving, I drove myself to skiing every weekend. It’s one of my favorite things.”
Watson shattered her collarbone while skiing for the WMU ski club, but she continued to go to every ski event and support her teammates. She transferred to Alma for academic reasons and is having a great time developing the Alma ski club team with Valentino.
“We have a good group of skiers,” she says.
One of the Valentino’s goals is to advance to the regionals, which is difficult for skiers on club teams competing against varsity skiers who receive athletic scholarships.
“To advance to the regionals would be quite an accomplishment for anyone on a club team, but it’s been done before,” he says.
Posted: Fri, November 30th, 2007 at 4:18PM