WILMINGTON, N.Y. – Crossing the finish line with the fastest second-run of the afternoon, Paul Rechberger put together the best performance of his rookie campaign to clinch the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's men's slalom national title on Friday at Whiteface Mountain.
Starting the day's original run with the second-best time (50.91), Rechberger persevered and threw down a dominating second split (50.07) for a combined 1:40.98. The newly anointed national champion took the title by more than a second as the next closest racer tallied a 1:42.23.
Rechberger is the first individual national champion in program history and is now a two-time USCSA All-American. The freshman also led the Spartans to their best team finish in program history as they reached the runner-up spot on the podium, falling just four-hundredths-of-a-second shy.
Jan Klindic secured the second spot for Castleton, claiming eight overall in a 1:44.89 combined time. Placing 12th and 15th, respectively, Cameron Heald and Oskar Eriksson joined Klindic and Rechberger in earning USCSA All-America status. The duo, separated by two racers, was less than a quarter-of-a-second apart.
Babson College (5:11.59), Castleton (5:11.63), Rocky Mountain College (5:13.74), Sierra Nevada College (5:16.43) and St. Olaf College (5:19.27) were the top 5 programs.
The 2018 USCSA Alpine National Championships will conclude on Saturday, but not before the Castleton University men's and women's alpine ski teams compete in the dual slalom.
Both teams have received a bye into the second round of the win-or-go-home tournament-style event. Each competing institution will send a team of five to race simultaneously down nearly identical courses with the victorious school moving on to the next round. Competition starts at 10 a.m. on the Lower Valley trail.
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