The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Ski you next year! Northeastern Huskies wrap up a fantastic alpine ski season

A Husky slides down the slope during competition. Northeastern’s men’s team finished 11th at the national championship, and the women placed 15th. Photo courtesy Tom Martin.

Attending school in Boston, these Huskies are no strangers to the snow. The Northeastern Alpine Ski Team wrapped up its winter season March 9 with phenomenal finishes on both the men’s and women’s teams.

Founded in 1971, the club team competed until 2013 and had a temporary one-year hiatus before being re-formed for the 2014 ski season. It hasn’t stopped the momentum since. Northeastern is a member of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association, or USCSA, competing in the Thompson Division of the Eastern Conference, or ECSC, with three events — the Slalom, Giant Slalom and Dual Slalom.

Led by captains senior Susanna Serrano and fifth-year Joey Pollak of the women’s and men’s team, respectively, the Huskies headed to Whiteface Mountain for the USCSA National Championship March 4. Both teams had fantastic performances to close off the season, with the women’s team coming in 15th out of 25 teams and the men’s earning 11th out of 27 teams.

The women’s team also won first in its division for the second year in a row. 

“We made it to nationals and came in fifth at regionals, which is a really big achievement for us because a lot of the other teams within our division we race against are only club teams. But at regionals and nationals, it’s Division II and III varsity club teams in addition to club teams,” Serrano said.

This success was mirrored by the men’s team, which earned second in its division. 

“Regionals takes seven of the top teams from the Eastern Division, and we ended up taking the seventh spot,” Pollak said. “We actually beat out the team that beat us during the regular season, so that was really exciting.”

Freshman Miles Rucker was among the Huskies who faced off at nationals, snagging 15th in the Slalom event, the highest individual placement among the team. 

“I am just thankful for the support and camaraderie that I experienced with the NU ski team,” Rucker said. “They really make skiing fun, and I look forward to the next few years.”

For many team members, snowy slopes are  their second home. Serrano has been skiing since she was 6 years old and racing competitively since she was 10, and she’s not the only one with childhood memories of skiing. Pollak also began racing competitively when he was 10.

“I eventually came to Northeastern not really intending to race competitively in college, but I had a friend from high school who told me about the team and eventually got me to do it,” Pollak said.

Balancing skiing, classes and co-op is no easy feat for the team. The Huskies don’t have a coach, nor official practices, and their success is solely driven by the determination and passion of its members. 

“It’s pretty much unheard of for a club with our level of funding, a club that doesn’t recruit and a club that doesn’t train to compete at the level that we do,” Pollak said. “We’re surrounded by teams that are getting tens of thousands of dollars from their schools, they’re training multiple times a week, recruiting kids from all over the world. We’re skiing against world-class European athletes at these competitions so it is absolutely an honor that both of us were able to participate in nationals.”

“On the women’s side there were also some standout performances, with Haley Kutzer and Annabelle Forsley taking fifth and sixth respectively at Regionals.

Both Serrano and Pollak are graduating this spring, and although that means the end of their time on the team, they are excited to see the team evolve. 

“It’s always our goal to increase our level of competition, a goal for the future leaders of this team is to start implementing training back into the regular functioning of the team,” Pollak said. “The team is always forward-looking and are really excited about the possibility of going to nationals on the West Coast next season.”

Being a part of the ski team shaped both Serrano and Pollak’s college experiences. 

“You spend so much time with these people,” Pollak said. “And it is definitely a sprint— our season is only around six to seven weeks — but you’re spending every single second with the team on your weekends. I actually live with quite a few people on the team. Since joining the team two years ago, these have become my people at Northeastern and that definitely trickles into academics, personal life and stuff like that. It’s a great group of people and I’m really glad that I did it.”

Serrano echoed the sentiment, hoping to set up their underclassmen for future success after their graduation.

“I hope we leave them in a good place to make the team what they want it to be, leaving them in a good place financially, with a good reputation, and the option to make it what they will,” Serrano said.

Even though the season just ended, the captains are already thinking about the future.

“We’re going to be looking to recruit new racers, we have a few people who are graduating. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for incoming racers this upcoming season,” Serrano said.

The Huskies upcoming season kicks off January 2025.

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