MARS racers compete at Bridger Bowl

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Annika Severn-Eriksson competing at Bridger on April 2. (Photo courtesy Drew Meyer Photography)

Montana Alpine Race School racers ended a busy month with a stellar weekend at Bridger Bowl for the USSA Northern Division “Over the Hill Gang” series.

MARS racers spent the month of March competing at U14, U16 and U19-21 West Regionals in California, Montana and Idaho as well as Tri-Divisional Champs in Utah and FIS races in Washington. The OHG series serves as the Championship Series for USSA U16-Sr age groups. The OHG is a special opportunity for the junior racers to face highly ranked collegiate racers as Rocky Mountain College and Montana State University racers compete throughout the weekend. There were numerous NCAA and USCSA All-Americans in both the men’s and ladies fields setting the bar high.

MARS athlete Annika Severn-Eriksson, coming off a very solid U16 Western Regionals with three top 20 results, had a breakthrough weekend as the Ladies Overall Champion of the 2017 OHG series. Severn-Eriksson won Friday’s Giant Slalom by a healthy margin. On Saturday, the 2017 USCSA National Giant Slalom Champion as well as 2017 NCAA Champion and runner up were in the field. Severn-Eriksson kept her momentum, earning a fourth place overall finish in Saturday’s Giant Slalom amongst the RMC and MSU ladies. The Slalom was contested Sunday and Severn-Eriksson laid down two blistering runs to earn third overall amongst the ladies.

On the men’s side Nick Sramek had an excellent weekend finishing 13th and 15th overall in the Giant Slalom in the tough collegiate and junior field. He finished 11th overall in the Slalom.

Rayce Neill was 16th and 21st overall and placed third for U16 in the Giant Slalom. Jordon Jurasek, the youngest MARS member, also competed earning valuable experience.

All four MARS skiers made significant improvements to their USSA point profiles over the weekend.

This weekend was also the Northern Division Annual awards presentation. As a result of her success, Severn-Eriksson earned the coveted Bill Kenney award as the high school age lady for 2016-17 season in USSA Northern Division as well as the U16 overall title. Camas Rinehart joined his teammate earning third place and a $100 scholarship for his season rankings in the Overall Gold point Development series. Teammates Rayce

Neill and Nick Sramek were noted as academic achievers for their excellence in academics and ski racing.

This weekend two MARS members travel to Utah for six USSA races in Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super-G at the 74th Annual Snowcup Series at Snowbird Resort. Meanwhile other MARS racers are planning to compete in FIS races in Canada and California. The end of April and May will be a rest period before Montana Alpine Race School athletes go back to work with on snow and dryland camps this summer.

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