University of Colorado skier, and former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Shane McLane races down the slopes of Winter Park last season. McLean will represent the United States at the World University Games, which begin this week in Italy. McLane was chosen for the races based on her FIS points from last season when she won a race and placed second in another. Her season was cut short because of an injury.

Christina Rosch/Courtesy

University of Colorado skier, and former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Shane McLane races down the slopes of Winter Park last season. McLean will represent the United States at the World University Games, which begin this week in Italy. McLane was chosen for the races based on her FIS points from last season when she won a race and placed second in another. Her season was cut short because of an injury.

Steamboat Springs contingent heads to Italy, World University Games

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— Super-G training for the 26th World University Games will open Wednesday in Trentino, Italy, and a couple of former Steamboat Springs skiers and a coach from Colorado Mountain College are planning to be part of the festivities.

Shane McLean is a junior at the University of Colorado and will compete in the women’s giant slalom, women’s slalom and super-G during the games, which run from Wednesday to Dec. 21. The World University Games, which happens once every three years, included 12 sports ranging from curling to biathlon.

“I’m just really glad that I will get to spend part of my break hanging out with several of my teammates,” McLean said.

McLean was a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club from ninth grade through her post-graduate season. She was a top-ranked collegiate skier last season but didn’t get to ski in the NCAA championships because of a nasty concussion that kept her off the slopes and limited what she could do off the slopes. The Buffs won the National Title in 2013, but McLean was in Boulder dealing with the affects of her concussion. She is expected to open the World University Game on Thursday.

Middlebury senior Hig Roberts, who also is team captain, will join her at the games. He is expected to ski in the men’s giant slalom, men’s slalom and super-G. Roberts was sixth in the slalom at last year’s NCAA championships, which were held at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl.

Roberts grew up in Steamboat Springs and was a member of the Winter Sports Club before leaving for college at Middlebury.

Colorado Mountain College ski coach Terry Leonard, who was named to the American team’s coaching staff under University of Colorado coach Richard Rokos, will join the local skiers.

McLean said all of the athletes are heading to Italy with high hopes for the American team. She said her results are important, but she also hopes the races will be a experience that she can carry with her long after her college ski racing career is over.

“This only happens once every three years,” McLean said before boarding her plane to Italy. “This is my one chance.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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