The women’s alpine ski team has gone to nationals four times, but before this season they hadn’t placed better than 10th. This past March, the Beavers earned a historic fourth-place finish at the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association Championships.
One of the current team members wasn’t even born the last time Babson competed as a team at the nationals, which was in 1997. “It was a long time coming,” says first-year head coach Chris Jacobs ’10, who skied for the Beavers as an undergrad. “Last year we had a really strong team but unfortunately experienced some injuries. This year we were healthy.”
For three straight years, various team members—Kristen Sweeney ’17, Tatum Alkier ’18, Michelle Martin ’18, and Teagan Mosenthal ’19—achieved All-America status. This year Martin and Mosenthal secured All-America honors, and Mosenthal became the first Babson skier since 1998 to earn dual (slalom and combined standings) All-America accolades.
Even before coming to Babson, Mosenthal was familiar with the college ski scene thanks to two older sisters who competed for Brown, a division foe. “I’ve been watching races since I was in eighth grade,” she says, “and knew that I wanted to ski in college and in this division. It was definitely a mental game at first, because I didn’t realize it would be as competitive as it was. I took a step back, let the past go, and started focusing on what lay ahead.”
The 10-member team enjoyed success throughout the season, with Beavers placing in the top four spots in 12 out of 14 races. Last season, they placed in the top four spots in only five races. At regionals, the team was the runner-up after taking seventh place at the same event a year ago.
Jacobs attributes much of the team’s success to recruiting, which is influenced by several factors. Babson has a reputation as an outstanding school for women interested in business, he says, which helps attract talent. He also credits John deWit ’04, former head coach and current assistant coach. “John deserves an incredible amount of credit,” says Jacobs. “When he took over five years ago, he focused on recruiting and building the women’s team.”
With all but one skier returning for the 2017 season, the Beavers have their sights set on getting to the podium at next year’s nationals.—Scott Dietz, associate director of athletics