Charley Field is getting set to graduate from the University of Alaska-Anchorage, and capped her last year with a solid showing at the NCAA Ski Championships in Colorado earlier this month.In her senior season with the Seawolves ski team, Field had a strong finish to her NCAA career, winning her first race at the collegiate level, a giant slalom at Montana's Big Sky Resort, in January. She also posted her best-ever giant slalom result in four tries at the NCAA Championships at Steamboat Springs, Colo. earlier this month, earning an 18th. While she finished last in the slalom, thanks to a fall, it was a better result than not finishing and costing her team points in the overall standings as the Seawolves placed ninth out of 23 teams.
"Unfortunately, I did fall on the first run, but I was able to get some points for our team," she said. "That's what matters the most.
"I'm pretty satisfied. I wanted an all-American (top-10) but unfortunately it didn't work out."Steamboat Springs is one of Field's favourites, as she has plenty of experience there and posted a top-10 on the hill in 2016.
"It's a very nice hill," she said. "It's a pretty steep slalom all the way down."
With the Seawolves offering a younger lineup this year, it was Field's responsibility to help prepare them for not only this season, but for two-to-three more as well. Field enjoyed serving in the leadership role, and also feels the team will be in good hands in future seasons. She noted that on the Nordic side, Hailey Swirbul led the team with second- and third-place finishes at nationals and should serve as an anchor for her two remaining seasons of eligibility.
"Everybody on my team works so hard and is deserving of how they performed this year. It was great to see them bloom into better ski racers this year and into better versions of themselves," Field said. "It was great to help them out with certain things or be kind of a leader for them, but most people on our team are leaders for themselves, so it wasn't too hard."
Field, set to graduate in May with a health-sciences major, plans to continue her schooling after another year in Alaska.
"I'm looking at, hopefully in the next couple years, applying to pharmacy doctorate programs across Canada," she said. "I'll hopefully find myself some new hobbies, get some research hours with some teachers and build up that resume for schools."
Field also plans to help out with the Alyeska Ski Club, the local organization at the Seawolves' home hill.
Field added she spent the summer in Alaska last year, enjoying the outdoors. She said she wasn't ready to head south quite yet.
"I have so many friends up there I didn't want to say goodbye to yet. The next year will be really fun," she said. "Alaska has given me a lot of really cool opportunities."
Field, who also posted a fifth-place finish in giant slalom at the recent Sport Chek National Tech Championships, credited her family, friends and coaches for helping her skiing career.