UO Snow reaches record participation, set to take part in USCSA Nationals
In 2014, University of Oregon Snow selected 50 members from a 70 person applicant pool. The team wrapped up the season with ambitions to increase the number of applicants in the following year.
This year’s season is now underway — and the program surpassed its initial goal by a wide margin.
Due to an expanded social media campaign and taking home the 2013-14 UO Club Sports Club of the Year Award, UO Snow’s increased campus presence attracted over 90 applications for the 2015 season.
The process of putting together a team capped at 50 members has many challenges, largely due to the limited application process. There is no snow in Eugene to allow for try outs — decisions must be made off of paper applications. Yet despite the limitations, UO Snow coordinators are confident in this year’s selections.
“We have some kids who can rip,” said coordinator Briggs Chapman. “We got some new seniors who have been friends for a while and a very good crop of freshmen. It is going to be a really great season.”
Though UO Snow has filled all open spots for this year, the team is in the process of setting up an open ski bus for those interested in spending a day at Mount Bachelor with the team. It is a new addition to the schedule that its members hope will turn into a tradition after this season.
Through campus events, such as movie screenings and gear swaps, hosted in part by Berg’s Ski and Snowboard Shop and Tactics Board Shop in Eugene, UO Snow has steadily increased its publicity. The team also tries to produce video edits from each trip up to Mount Bachelor in order for people to really see what the program is about.
“They are good to have on social media and YouTube, so people can watch them and see us there,” said UO Snow coordinator Caroline Reardon. “A lot of people watch the videos then find us on Facebook and send us a message. But we also utilize Twitter and our Instagram to interact with people and get our name out there.”
Another new event on this year’s schedule: Participating in USCSA 2015 National Championships, set to be held March 1-7 in Mount Bachelor, Oregon. UO Snow expects a handful of members to compete.
“We’re all very excited about that — especially having it close by on our home mountain,” said Reardon.
UO Snow is only a few practices into the season, and snow conditions at Mount Bachelor have not been ideal for the day-long practices that the team travels over two hours each way for. But it has already started to progress and prepare for its first competition of the year: Vertfest at Mount Bachelor on Feb. 7.
“We have a lot of returners and they help things run smoother because they know the process,” said Reardon. “But in general, we’re all just really stoked on all the new members, and the potential to keep growing on campus.”
Follow Sarah Scrivens on Twitter @sarahescrivens
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