(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – On the heels of its best ever team finish at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association/NCAA West Regional Championships last weekend in Steamboat Springs, Colo., nine Bobcat skiers have earned All-RMISA honors for their efforts.
Named to the All-RMISA First-Team were alpine standouts Garret Driller and Addison Dvoracek. In addition, Kari Hole, Jocelyn McCarthy, Morten Bakke and Jeff Bell of the alpine squad, along with Nordic skiers Emma Tarbath, Erik Axelsson and Karsten Hokanson garnered All-RMISA Second-Team kudos.
Driller, a senior from Tahoe City, Calif., captured three (two giant slalom, one slalom) individual titles this winter, including the RMISA/NCAA West Regional giant slalom crown. In all, the two-time All-American recorded eight top 10 finishes and five podium appearances.
Dvoracek, a sophomore from Truckee, Calif., posted two individual giant slalom titles, including the NCAA qualifier last weekend in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Dvoracek had six top 10 finishes this winter.
“Garret and Addison started off the strong and kept it going throughout the season,” said MSU Alpine Coach Kevin Francis. “The exciting thing for both of them is that they’ve come around a lot on their off-event. To see their off-events improving and the hard work they’ve put in is great for the team as we need points in both races. I commend them for the effort they’ve put in”
The depth of MSU’s men’s alpine squad was apparent as both Bakke and Bell were named to the All-RMISA Second-Team. Bakke registered six top 10 finishes and placed among the top three in three races, while Bell notched four top 10 outings, including one podium appearance.
“It’s been awesome having five men and five women who have been so competitive,” Francis said. “Everybody on the team has the potential to be in the top five at any given time. Both Morten and Jeff had incredible seasons. It’s cool to see these kids get rewarded for their efforts.”
Norwegian Kari Hole guided the Bobcat women’s alpine team this season earning six top 10 showings and two top three finishes, while McCarthy tallied six top 10 showings and three podium appearances, including a runner-up slalom finish at the Utah Invitational.
“Kari got a fourth-year from the NCAA and she really put her heart and soul into the season,” Francis said. “Every ounce of effort that she can put in, she has. And, that’s led to her get to this point. It’s great to see Jocelyn (McCarthy) rewarded, as well. She’ll be an alternate at the NCAAs and I’m happy she was able to put together a great season. ”
Sophomore Emma Tarbath, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, had her best season as a Bobcat with eight top 10 showings, including a fifth place finish in the 15-kilometer freestyle at last weekend’s RMISA/NCAA West Regional championships. For her efforts, she was named Second-Team All-RMISA for the first time.
“Emma had a tough season last year coming into the college circuit,” said MSU Nordic Coach Matthew Johnson. “She hadn’t seen competition at this level. I knew what her potential was, so we developed her to the level where we knew she could compete. At regionals in the 15k, she was right out of the win as the fifth girl and that’s just what we’ve come to expect. She is a real podium contender at the NCAAs.”
Erik Axelsson and Karsten Hokanson have guided the MSU men’s Nordic team. Axelsson has registered six top 10 finishes, while Hokanson has five. Both found the podium once this season as Axelsson was second at US Nationals and Hokanson third at the Denver Invitational in freestyle.
“The reality is if you’re top 10 in the RMISA, you’re going to be top 10 in the country,” Johnson said. “It’s really exciting for us as a program to see the depth that we have on this team. It speaks a lot to the team dynamic we have.”
The Bobcats will compete at the NCAA Championships, March 7-10, hosted by the University of Colorado in Steamboat Springs, Colo.