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College Athlete of the Week: Morgan Duffy

  • Morgan Duffy on the slopes.

    Submitted photo

    Morgan Duffy on the slopes.

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By Scott M. Johnson
Herald Writer
  • Morgan Duffy on the slopes.

    Submitted photo

    Morgan Duffy on the slopes.

Player: Morgan Duffy
Year, school: Freshman, University of Washington
Sport: Skiing (club team)
Hometown: Snohomish (Archbishop Murphy High School)
What she did: After being named the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference skier of the year, she helped lead the Huskies through the West Regional and to a spot at this week's nationals.
What's next: Duffy and the Huskies were scheduled to fly east to compete in the USCSA national championships in Sunday River, Maine.
Two-minute drill
Hate to say it, but I didn't even know UW had a ski team until this week. Is that news to most people you meet?
Yeah. A lot of people have no idea there's a UW ski team. I didn't even know it coming into UW.
You didn't know? You didn't go there to ski?
I mainly picked UW because it has a really strong Computer Science program. Right after I got in, someone wrote on my Facebook page that they had a ski team, and I was like: 'Oh Sweet.' So that pretty much made my decision for me.
Were there other schools with ski programs you were considering?
St. Olaf, in Minnesota. And Marquette, which is in Milwaukee. And I actually knew that WSU had a team. And Michigan.
So what can you tell us about the UW club team?
Well, it's a fairly small program right now. We have five volunteer coaches now that come up. We ski on Wednesday and Thursday nights during the winter, and we go up to Snoqualmie Pass from 6 to 8:30, so it can make for some pretty late nights.
What are the financial commitments, it being a club sport?
It can be pretty expensive, since we don't have school funding. The equipment can cost a lot if you don't have skis or boots. Usually, we get rides from upperclassmen, so you have to pay for gas. We do have fundraisers, especially when we're going to national meets.
What did it take to get to nationals this week, financially?
We're still trying to get money. We made a PayPal account so people can add money to it. Since we didn't know we were going to nationals until a week ago, we're trying to raise some money beforehand but most of it after we go.
If someone wanted to chip in, how can they get involved?
There's a Facebook group called Send the Husky Ski Team Women to Nationals.
And is this the national meet with NCAA teams?
It's actually USCSA (United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association). A lot of schools around the country actually have varsity programs -- schools like Colorado and Dartmouth. So this is one step lower.
Tell us about this week's event. How many teams? What do you expect?
This year, they cut down how many teams, so only 20 teams get to go. I'm expecting it to be fairly competitive. Some of the schools -- I know there's one in Utah and some on the East Coast -- they bring in girls from Sweden, which is really cool but also makes it really competitive.
You were recently named the NWCSC skier of the year. How did you become such a good skier?
Well, (laughs) I've been skiing since I was really little. Since I was 4, when I moved up here (from Arizona). I've always had a knack for it. I really loved it from the start. I was on the Stevens Pass Alpine Club since I was really little, since like 6 years old.
Are you one of those skiing snobs that hates snowboarders?
(Laughs) No, I don't hate all snowboarders. Although I have had a few instances where I've had snowboarders come up to me and say they hate skiers, so I say: 'Well, I hate you then.' (Laughs) But, no, I don't hate all snowboarders.
Have you ever snowboarded?
I've actually never had the time to snowboard. I love skiing so much that I don't want to waste time when I'm on the mountain trying it. But I've always wanted to try. I probably will one day.
So you're more inspired by Picabo Street than, say, Shaun White?
Yeah. Just because I know how hard it is to race and how much training it takes, how much you have to put into it. Especially Picabo Street, with such a horrible crash, and her being able to get back into it.
Is she your role model?
I don't know about that. She's definitely a role model. But I definitely think Lindsay Vonn is the girl to be. I just heard that she's the all-time leader in World Cup wins -- out of guys and girls.
Do you have any idea what the mountains are like in Maine for this week's national event, or are you going in blind?
I kind of know, since it's flat. It's at a lower elevation; they have more vertical feet than Stevens Pass does, which is kind of amazing to me. But it's at a lower elevation.
What's your goal for this week?
I didn't actually expect to go to nationals as a freshman. It was just one of my goals over four years. So I just want to have fun with my teammates, get a feel for it and a feel for what East Coast skiing is like and maybe come back the following year with a better idea of how I can do against all the girls there.
What do you do with all the free time in the summer?
It's kind of funny. I actually like to wakeboard instead of water-ski. My dad has a boat (that the family takes on Lake Washington). I just had a knack for it, and I love it.
So you're one of those snobby wake-boarders who hates water-skiers then?
(Laughs) I don't really know if there's such a thing as that. No, I actually respect people that can water-ski. I'm still trying to get up on skis. I can get up on two skis, but I can't do it on one yet.
Story tags » Community SportsDownhill Skiing

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