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College athletes take over Mt. Bachelor


More than 500 athletes from 65 schools, their coaches, officials and volunteers are taking over Mt. Bachelor this week. The plan is to ski or snowboard their way to a national championship title.

Athletes from all over the United States are in Central Oregon from the East Coast to the Midwest, to the West and everywhere in between.

The competition alternates from East to West every year. Last year it was in Lake Placid, New York. This year, the 37th National Championships weren’t the easiest to get to.

“We had three flights to make. We had one 8-minutes-long connection, but we made it work,” Robin Derr from Penn State said Monday.

Others, from Salt Lake City, spent 10 hours in the car. Competitors from Geneva, NY traveled for 16 hours straight. All said in the end, it was worth it.

That’s something the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Assocation hoped when they signed a contract with the mountain this summer.

“It’s always a find like to walk to find a really good place to have a competition and what other amenities and what else is available,” said Andy Wrangen with USCSA.

On Monday, the teams are able to train. So far, organizers say, the mountain isn’t just walking the line — it’s shredding down it with style. The mountain, hidden in the High Desert, was an easy sell for them.

“I’ve heard a lot of athletes saying they could really see themselves living in a place like this,” Wrangen said.

The secret is getting out.

“Mt. Bachelor and Bend, Oregon might not have been on their radar,” said Mt. Bachelor spokesman Drew Jackson.

Now it is. Once they’ve crossed the finish line, maybe they’ll come back.

“It’s the definition of a ski town, just like — everything is awesome about it,” Derr said.

The competition runs through Saturday. Learn more here:

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