Carnegie Mellon University
February 28, 2011

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon’s Ski and Snowboard Team Carves Out First Bid to National Championships

Contact: Abby Houck / 412-268-4290 /

ski clubPITTSBURGH—Five members of Carnegie Mellon University’s ski and snowboard team are welcoming winter weather this spring break at Idaho’s Sun Valley, home of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s National Championships. This is the first time the club team has qualified for the competition, set for March 8–12.

“We’ve been growing in size and competitiveness consistently, and it’s great that we’re at this level as such a young organization. The team has been working hard to get to this point both on and off the slopes,” said coach Hugh Dunn, who founded the team in 2005. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts in 2006 and resides in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.Ben Streeter (College of Engineering ’11), Jeff Bizzak (College of Engineering '11), Katie Dickson (College of Humanities and Social Sciences ’12), Maryanna Saenko (College of Engineering ’10, ’11) and Jeremy Slovak (School of Computer Science ’12) will represent the 27-member team at Sun Valley.The team participates in five competitions during January and February sponsored by the Allegheny Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Conference.

Conference teams span Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia and include the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University, West Virginia University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Davis and Elkins College, and Bucknell, Villanova and West Chester universities.

“A majority of our members have skied most of their lives, but only four of us had race experience before joining the team,” said Streeter, the team’s captain. For the third consecutive year, Carnegie Mellon’s conference standings earned the team a spot to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, held Feb. 18–19 at Hunter Mountain in New York. The team took first place in the women’s and second in the men’s freestyle competitions. Freestyle competitors participate in halfpipe and slopestyle events made popular at the Winter X Games and skier cross, the only new sport introduced at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The top three teams at each regional event are invited to compete in the national competition. Carnegie Mellon’s women alpine skiers narrowly missed a bid for nationals by placing fourth. The other Mid-Atlantic teams advancing to the national freestyle competition are from Penn State and Lafayette College.

In addition to the ski and snowboard team, Carnegie Mellon’s Office of Student Activities supports more than 20 team and individual club sports, ranging from baseball, cricket, ultimate Frisbee and water polo to cycling, fencing and Shaolin kung fu. Club sports are recognized student organizations that establish their own leadership, structure, membership requirements, competition schedules, dues and fundraising events.


Pictured above is CMU junior computer science major Jeremy Slovak. Photo by CMU team captain Ben Streeter.