Kuus, Yates, Watson to represent Panthers on biggest stage
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – For the first time in program history the Plymouth State University men's alpine ski team will send a full roster of three skiers to the National Collegiate Skiing Championships.
Senior Karl Kuus (Toronto, Ontario), junior Cooper Yates (Richmond, British Columbia) and sophomore Hunter Watson (Ottawa, Ontario) will all represent Plymouth State on collegiate skiing's largest stage when they compete for a national championship at Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman, Montana from Mar. 11 – 14.
Plymouth State will send at least one skier to the national championship for a seventh straight year, while the three entries match the most qualifiers in a season – the 2018 team qualified two men and a woman. Kuus becomes PSU's first four-time qualifier, while Yates will be making his second appearance and Watson his first.
A total of 34 men and 34 women were selected to participate in the alpine events with half coming from the East Region and the other half from the West Region. Participants were selected on a regional basis with bids awarded to regions using a formula determined by the skiing committee. Plymouth State joins powerhouses Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, UNH and UVM as the only schools from the East to send three male alpine skiers.
Kuus has been the Panthers' top racer this season, posting top-10 finishes in all four of his completed slalom races and notching the team's best finish in five races. He put together his best effort at last weekend's EISA Championships/NCAA East Regionals at the Middlebury Carnival when he took seventh in the slalom. His top giant slalom performance was an 18th-place finish at the Harvard Carnival on Jan. 18.
Yates has been a top-20 finisher in five slalom races and three giant slaloms and was the team's top finisher twice. His sixth-place performance in the slalom at the Colby Carnival on Feb. 1 was PSU's best result of the season. His best GS finish came at the Williams Carnival on Feb. 14 when he took 15th.
Watson matched Kuus by leading the Panthers five different times. He finished in the top 20 of all four slalom races and three giant slalom events. He has been particularly strong since the calendar turned to February, with eighth and ninth place finishes in the GS at the Bates Carnival on Feb. 8 and Williams Carnival Feb. 14. He also posted back-to-back 13th place performances in the slalom at Williams (Feb. 15) and Middlebury (Feb. 28).
The trio will compete against the top collegiate ski racers in the country, including Division I scholarship student-athletes and skiers with World Cup and Olympic experience.
A live webcast of the championships will be available on NCAA.com at http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule.
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