Bronco Women's Ski Team charges out the gate

The inaugural year of the Bronco Women's Alpine Ski Team was nothing short of a rousing success.<br><br>The recipe appears to have been, combine one part highly respected Olympian and World Class ski coach Uros Pavlovcic, and add six fearless and talented female skiers from around the globe. Once well blended, you get a trip to the NCAA Championships for the women's ski team in their first year of existence.

The inaugural Boise State Alpine Ski team.

Beginning Wednesday March 10, three of the six Bronco Alpine team members begin their runs for the title of best collegiate female skier of the 2004 season. The NCAA Championships, held at the Auburn Ski Club and Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, in Truckee California will test the Broncos along with 32 other female Alpine skiers from both the East and West regions. The competition consists of 2 Slalom and 2 Giant Slalom runs, with individual awards up for grabs in both events as well as Team honors.

During the regular season the Bronco team competes in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association along with Montana State, Alaska-Anchorage, Colorado, Denver, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Western State College and Whitman.

The three Bronco competitors making the trip are all freshmen. But don't think they're new to the slopes. Spela Bertoncelj and Mateja Gombac are from Slovenia, and Margit Walter is from Austria. Walter seems to be peaking at the right time with her fourth place finish in the Slalom at the NCAA regional on Feb 27th at Crested Butte, Colorado.

Walter finished in 1:21:16 at Crested Butte less than 2 seconds behind winner Pia Rivelsrud of Denver University, who finished in 1:19.43. Both Bertonceli and Gombac made the Championships based on combined results from throughout the ski season and last weeks regional.

The three women finished fifth, ninth and 15th in the Giant Slalom at the NCAA Regional Championships, so a chance for medals looks promising in both events.

Three other women's team members will hone their skills and wait for next years shot at the crown. They are freshman Star Lee, Sophomore Jill Mendenhall and Junior Hannah Stauts.

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