Presque Isle, ME - Director of Athletics Dan Kane announced Monday that the University of Maine at Presque Isle men's and women's Nordic ski teams will compete in the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) starting this upcoming season. Previously the UMPI Nordic ski teams have competed at the NCAA level.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has been affiliated with the NCAA since 2008 when UMPI was accepted as a full member of the NCAA and will continue to compete at the NCAA Division III level and within the North Atlantic Conference in men's golf, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, and men's and women's outdoor track and field.
The shift in Nordic ski to the USCSA was made to better align the overall student-athlete experience for our Nordic skiers as well as help build our Nordic ski program. UMPI has a rich history of performing well on the USCSA national level prior to their NCAA affiliation.
"In making these tough decisions the number one thing we look at is what is best for our student-athletes and their overall college experience," said Kane on joining the USCSA. "Our top priority is the health and well-being of our student-athletes, as well as providing the best overall experience possible. We want our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete at a high-level in the sport they love while gaining a great education and having the opportunity to have a well-balanced college experience."
The USCSA has hosted their national championships in the past at venues in Lake Placid, NY and Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. The 2019 USCSA national championships will be hosted in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in March. The shift to the USCSA will allow for more opportunities to host regional and conference races at the Nordic Heritage Center. The Nordic Heritage Center is an outdoor recreational site with year round activities located just minutes from the UMPI campus. This community facility includes a world class cross country ski and biathlon venue with a stadium and lodge, a team wax building, and 20 kilometers of cross country ski trails that has been home to multiple world championships.
"The USCSA is a top-notch organization that has the uniqueness of being very competitive as well as inclusive at the same time. We look forward to providing our Nordic skiers an opportunity to earn the right to compete at USCSA nationals that have taken place at some of the most prestigious venues across the country as well as hosting Nordic races in our own back yard at the world famous Nordic Heritage Center."