Vermont ski team seeks national title repeat - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont ski team seeks national title repeat

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With expectations as high as the mountains they compete on, the defending champion University of Vermont Alpine and Nordic Skiing teams have hit the snow running in 2013 and they haven't looked back.

"We hold ourselves high, but we know we have to continue to work hard and push the limits," junior alpine skier Travis Dawson said. 

Building off a record-setting season the Catamounts have continued their podium dominance. Winning the St. Lawrence and Colby Carnivals by a large margin and currently leading their own by 28 points coming into this weekend's nordic events.

"Everyone is working on the little things," coach Bill Reichert said. "We just want to keep improving and hope we build off of it."

Clearly, staying hungry isn't a motto this team needs to hear. All-American's Kate Ryley, Kristina Riis-Johnassen and Ellie Terwiel have been electric, with one taking top honors in every women's slalom competition thus far.

" It's simple, trust in yourself," sophomore alpine skier Riis-Johnassen said. "Our team is really talented and if we trust in ourselves, we'll successful."

On the men's side, Travis Dawson and a slew of underclassman have shined bright early in the absence of injured alpine star Tim Kelley. Meanwhile, Scott Patterson has garnered national EISA attention for his back-to-back nordic event wins.

"We have a great team and even when guys went down, I love that everyone stepped up," Dawson said.

And if its up to the Green and Gold, their strong January is only a prelude to what they have in store down the slope.

"We welcome the challenge," Reichert said. "The competition will get us ready for the NCAAs."

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