Colby's NCAA Division I ski program has had enormous success, with eight skiers earning 23 All-American honors since 2003. Abbi Lathrop '06 won the giant slalom at the 2006 nationals, while current skier Mardi Haskell already has three All-American honors heading into her senior year during the 2016-17 academic year.
Colby’s program offers a variety of training advantages. Colby’s fall training program begins in September with off-snow workouts scheduled five days a week. The fall program includes strength training, flexibility, core strength, speed training, and plyometric circuits among other exercises intended to allow individuals to exhibit and train their abilities in athletic situations. Fall program activities make the most of the exceptional facilities and trails on the Colby campus.
In the second week of November, Colby begins training at Sugarloaf Mountain—one of the premier eastern resorts for snowmaking, size, and terrain. Located an hour from the Colby campus, Sugarloaf is Maine’s second highest peak at 4,237 feet. It has the only lift-serviced above-tree-line skiing in the East and the most continuous vertical drop in the East (2,820 feet). Sugarloaf is home to the famous Narrow Gauge trail, the only FIS-approved trail for all four alpine events. Sugarloaf was host to the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2002, 2006, and 2008 and regularly has FIS events. The exceptional support that Sugarloaf provides the Colby ski team, and the mountain’s extended on-snow season, help make it the best training facility in the East.
The Colby ski program begins in earnest with a team training camp over Thanksgiving break. Afterwards, training continues at Sugarloaf through the end of first semester. After final exams the race season begins with the December Eastern Cup FIS series before students head home for winter break. Following the break, Colby’s academic schedule provides another huge advantage to the program. Jan Plan is a one-course, one-month term that can provide ski team members ample time for training and racing throughout January. In January the team focuses training around the NorAm, Eastern Cup, and Eastern Intercollegiate racing schedules. Jan Plan allows Colby athletes to race in a number of events without having to juggle a full semester class load. When second semester begins the program continues training and racing through the spring FIS series. With so many advantages it is not surprising that Colby’s ski program has had so much success at both USSA/FIS events and in the NCAA Division I carnival circuit.