A snow team in Orange County?
Sounds crazy but Cal State Fullertonâ€™s ski and snowboard club is just finishing up its third season on campus. Although snowboarders outnumber skiers four-to-one, together the team competes on behalf of CSUF against student-athletes from 11 other universities in California.
The team participates in the Southern California Collegiate Snowsports Conference, which holds six race weekends at Mammoth Mountain. The SCCSC offers a wide variety of competitions among men and women in a number of different ski and snowboard events.
This seasonâ€™s races consisted of slalom for skiers and giant slalom for snowboarders, boarder-cross and skier-cross, slope-style and half-pipe.
â€œWe ride and have fun. It is a good way to meet people on campus with the same interest, and we all become best friends by the end of the season,â€ said snow team President Aaron Honda, a business management major.
Members practice for the races on their own time, but Honda said the riders tend to practice together anyway. This year the team was able to lease a cabin in Mammoth in January and lived together for three weeks over winter break where they hit the slopes every day.
Jesse Krygsman, a kinesiology major, is finishing his second season as part of the snow team. He said their goal next semester is to get more members and eventually rent a cabin in Mammoth for the whole season so the team can go up more often to practice and not only be promised a place to stay during race weekends.
â€œNot many people know that our school has a snow team,â€ said Krygsman. â€œWe want it to get out there so our team can flourish.â€
The club has teamed up with some corporate sponsors who help them out with funding, gear and discounted products. They are sponsored by Grenade, Fuel TV, Cliff Bar, Liftopia, Wrong Gear and Smith Optic.
Andrew Brown-Tomasso, a civil engineering major, has won several top-10 finishes throughout the season and currently stands as No. 4 in the league.
He encourages anyone who is interested in skiing or snowboarding to join. â€œOur team consists of beginners and experts. We all progress throughout the season.â€
Champion teams are determined by the accumulated points a team has after all six races. With one more race in March, the overall team results have not yet been posted.
Honda said, â€œI feel like we have improved this season in our teamâ€™s overall standing. Last year we placed sixth in the league but we have been improving every year since the team was formed. We are hoping next year we can get more members and become more known on campus.â€
The last race will take place in Mammoth on March 25 to 27. The team encourages anyone who is interested in joining next semester to come up to the mountain to watch and see what it is all about.
There is also open enrollment that weekend so any CSUF students who are interested in riding with the team and representing our school can do so. There are no tryouts.
Brown-Tomasso said the snow team will have a booth at Discoverfest at the beginning of the fall semester where they are hoping to recruit more riders for next season.
Each member of the snow team pays a one-time fee of $450 for the season. This covers housing and racing fees. The season begins in late December and ends in early April.