Two Panther skiers made Plymouth State University history this winter, becoming the first to capture NCAA All-America honors. On March 10, Mathilde Nelles ’22 won the distinction after placing fifth in the women’s giant slalom, and, just 48 hours, later Hunter Watson ’22 matched the honor by placing ninth in the men’s slalom. The breakthrough runs took place as the nation’s top collegiate skiers competed in the National Collegiate Skiing Championships at Mittersill on Cannon, PSU’s home mountain.
NCAA All-America recognizes the most accomplished athletes in a range of sports, and Plymouth State is now the proud home to two of the nation’s very best college skiers.
PSU joined the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) as part of NCAA Skiing in 2012, following 32 years in the US Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA). “NCAA skiing is the best of the best of collegiate skiing,” says Chris Kilmer ’99, assistant director of communications for athletics. “This is as good as it gets for individual accomplishments, outside of winning a national championship.”
“Being named as an All-American in skiing is an incredible accomplishment,” says Skiing Head Coach Trevor Hamilton. “You need to be one of the top ten in the NCAA Championships against the best collegiate athletes in the country. Both Mathilde and Hunter have worked incredibly hard, honing their craft to get to this point. We are all incredibly proud that our program is able to support ski racing at the highest level. Hunter and Mathilde are excellent students, amazing athletes, and supportive members of the PSU Team.”