“Rail Jam” winter competition fills quad

The Oswego State Ski Club’s annual snow competition “Rail Jam” was held Feb. 14 and the winner was Marcus Piscitelli, while John Shutter and Noah Kasman took second and third, respectively.

This year marked the 4th anniversary for the competition. Formerly sponsored by Red Bull, this year’s sponsors included WNYO FM, Zink T-shirts and Monster Energy.

Each of the top three competitors had some aspect that set them apart. Shutter managed to damage his board during preliminaries and Kasman was filming heats for the club when he was not taking runs himself. Piscitelli strapped on his skis for just the second time of the season.

Response from entrants was overwhelmingly positive, despite having only 18 participants.

“It was a lot of fun, really great to get everyone out here,” Kasman said. “Thanks to WNYO, Zink and Monster.”

The entries featured a healthy variety of first-timers and veterans. Piscitelli was new to the event, while both Shutter and Kasman were well acquainted with Rail Jam from earlier experience.

“Once everyone is throwing down and feeding off of each other you can go with it,” said club Vice-President, and competitor, Brandon Maxwell. Maxwell would end up continuing to the final, but could not secure a top spot.

Despite having a multitude of wipeouts on the hill, the event has had little injuries to speak of in its four years.

“It looks close,” said SAVAC member Quentin Mariano. “It’s also that fine line of people being like, ‘I’m OK, I do not want to be a wuss and go over.’ ”

Eric Randall, the club president, noted the preparation period was one thing that could have been improved.

“We should have started preparing for this before winter break, by getting the grounds-crew orders and whatnot,” Randall said. “We started like the first week we got back, put in a request for [grounds-crew].”

Another area that could have used the most improvement was the advertisement of the event. In previous years, there were flyers plastered throughout campus so the student body was aware. This year, however, there was minimal marketing and most in attendance knew someone taking part.

“I did not even know there was an event until I passed by the quad,” said student Patrick Donovan.

Many students later said they did not hear anything about it because there was so little hype around campus.

It is hoped by some that these solutions can be applied and will keep with the positive precedent established.