Bates plays host to the NCAA Skiing Championships, March 11-14

The 2009 NCAA Skiing Championships are the sixth NCAA championship event hosted by Bates, which last welcomed the skiing event in 1999.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Welcoming the best collegiate skiers in the nation, Bates College plays host to the 2009 NCAA Skiing Championships March 11-14 at its two home venues: Sunday River in Bethel, Maine (alpine) and Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine (Nordic).

Viewers' guides to the alpine and Nordic events at Sunday River and Black Mountain, respectively:

Unlike most NCAA sports, the skiing championships combine the top programs in the country, regardless of division. Defending champion Denver, runner-up Colorado and 2007 champion Dartmouth will all vie for national titles with Division III schools such as Bates and Middlebury.

With three consecutive top-15 team finishes at the NCAA Skiing Championships, Bates will have five skiers representing the Bobcats:

  • Senior Nordic skier Sylvan Ellefson (Vail, Colo.), who won All-America honors in 2008 with a fourth place in the 10K Freestyle race. Ellefson, who is making his fourth trip to NCAAs in as many years, was one of only three Americans in the top 10 and the only one from a Division III school in last year's freestyle;
  • Senior Nordic skier Sam Evans-Brown (Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H.), who had an exceptional carnival season, and ranked 11th in the overall rankings from the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association to earn his first trip to NCAAs;
  • Sophomore alpine skier Micaela Holland (Belmont, Mass.), making her second trip to NCAAs;
  • Sophomore Nordic skier Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.), ranked 11th on the Eastern circuit, making her first trip to NCAAs;
  • Senior alpine skier Liz Thompson (Rangeley, Maine), believed to be Bates' first four-time female NCAA qualifying skier.

"Bates College is most pleased and proud to host the 2009 NCAA National Collegiate Men's and Women's Skiing Championships and to partner with two of Maine's outstanding skiing venues: Sunday River in Bethel and Black Mountain in Rumford," said Bates Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh.

"Having just staged the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships this past May, we are certainly mindful of what a tremendous honor it is to host an event of this magnitude," McHugh added, "as well as of the significant impact that the Championships have on the participants, the spectators and the communities where the competitions take place. We will do everything in our power to provide the best-run championship and to exhibit the signature warmth and hospitality for which Bates College is known."

These will be the sixth NCAA Championships Bates has hosted and the second in the past year, after serving as the site of the 2008 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships in May.

Bates hosted the NCAA Skiing Championships in 1999 and 1976, as well as the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships in 1985.