This weekend has been busy for the U14s! Saturday was the last regular season race, and despite some tough weather, the team put in an excellent effort. Today a group of 5 went to Bromley for the Vermont Shoot-out for that extra opportunity to make states. All the athletes put in their best team effort, and Skye Anker and Arden Bacon will be going to states at Burke Mountain next week! Now everyone is ready for a week of training to get ready to go up north!
Last week the U19 men and women headed south for a training day followed by 2 FIS SL’s held at the National Winter Activity Center in Vernon New Jersey. The NWAC is a private mountain helping to expose the youth in urban areas to winter sports such as skiing. They have expanded and developed the ski area making it ideal for ski racing. The hill was recently cut where the race crew set all four runs of SL at once with plenty of space left on the hill to free ski. The training was great and the snow surface was perfect for racing conditions. The men and women took advantage of the conditions and many of the athletes scored FIS points. Congratulation to Elise Bouchard and Kay Holscher for making it on the podium!
Here is a quick update that USSA Development Director Chip Knight sent out about the training leading up to 7 Nations Cup races in Germany this week:
Day 3 dawned with thick fog in the valley but it quickly burned it off for a bluebird day on the hill! We trained another day of GS on the same trail at Jenner, setting two courses to create different environments and continue to work on inspection and terrain skills. We also brought out the timer for additional feedback. There was a lot of razzing about whether the girls could beat the boys, and a little bit too much bragging about just winning the upper split – but all in good fun. Afterward, the girls skied all the way down to town, and everyone enjoyed the Women’s World Championship Alpine Combined back in the hotel lobby.
Tomorrow we will train SL and take part in a local German race to get the competitive juices flowing before the 7 Nations races next week. It will be our last day skiing here in Berchtesgaden before we move over to Hinterreit on Sunday.
Sounds like they have lucked out with some good weather and training. What a great experience! Good luck in the races Alex!
The Women’s team spent the past two days at Sugarbush racing GS. The team found the fall line and many girls scored their personal best point races. Nina Reichhelm found the podium with Marika Cakala in the top five and Mikayla Lathrop in the top ten. Danie Edwards cut her bib in more than half and skied from 60’s to a top 20 performance. The Women’s squad will be racing SL this weekend. The group will split up with one group heading to Proctor and the other Owls Head, Quebec. Good luck ladies get the momentum going.
Today Copper Mountain hosted the final two downhill races of the of the North American Cup series, Alice Merryweather placed 3rd in both downhills today. Based on Alice’s results in the earlier downhill races the two third places finishes were enough for Alice to win the Nor-Am downhill title. Winning the downhill title guarantees her a start in every women’s World Cup downhill next season. Congratulations Alice, see you on the World Cup downhill circuit next year!
This past weekend the U19 women were at Waterville Valley for two slaloms. With two challenging course sets the ladies rose to the challenge. Sarah Mangiacotti sitting 8th after the first run charged in the second run and came through with the fastest time for the run and moved up to second place overall and first for U19’s. Also a big shout out to Marina Skripnichuk starting bib 66 moving to 14th overall starting. Keep charging ladies.
The U19s have been on the road for sometime now, traveling throughout the east coast on the Eastern Cup FIS circuit. Although everyone is happy to finally get some time back at home, it has been an incredible few weeks of racing for the U19s with multiple podium finishes by both genders.
SMS athletes have been especially dominant this season when it has come to the speed races. An SMS man has topped the podium in every single Eastern Cup SG race and the women have been equally impressive with consecutive 1, 2 finishes in the most recent SGs at Sugarloaf. Also shout outs to Kevin O’Keefe – 12th place Sugarloaf SG, Kay Holscher – 4th place in both Gore and Sugarloaf SGs, and Sean Pomerantz -who moved from a 990 start position to finish 12th in the DH, for their career best speed results.
Unfortunately, it has not been all good news. We lost Hana Kusumi for the season with a broken leg after she fell towards the end of a DH training run at Sugarloaf. Reports from the coaches on headwall were though that she absolutely torched the field on the upper sections of the course. Hana was incredibly brave throughout the whole ordeal and we know she will be back next season stronger and faster than ever. Heal up Hana!
Great going everyone! Lets take this momentum into the second half of the season.
Pictures from the road: