The Tahoe League Championships at Northstar brought the development racing season to a close the last weekend of March. Saturday brought clear skies and an intense sun, but Sugar Bowl athletes held their cool. On Saturday, the 11 and ups tackled a long GS course down the Face and Pioneer trails. Daniel K and Emma M led all SBST athletes in the 11/12 category, while Scout A (7th) and Alex A (5th) broke the top 10 in the 15+. Meanwhile, the 10 and under skiers negotiated the slalom courses off of Surprise. Sophie H took third with a solid first run and a blistering second. The 9/10 girls made an impressive showing with 4 in the top 10, including Nye D (10), Allyson T (7), Becka P (5th), and Daphne J (4th). Alyx F also skied to an excellent 12th place finish. The 7/8 boys placed 3 in the top 10 and 5 in the top 15, with Addison F (10th), Marcus L (8), and Cameron S (4th). Daniel M stepped up with a 9th place finish in the 9/10 boys, but the day belonged to Will B, who had the fastest combined time of the day to unseat a trio of Alpine Meadows skiers who have worn-out the podium all season long.
On Sunday, the East wind picked up reminding us all how quickly spring in the mountains can change. With temperatures 15 degrees cooler, the 10 and unders and 11 and ups swapped venues from the previous day. In the slalom Gwendolyn G led SBST 11/12 athletes, and the brother/sister combo of Scout A (10th) and Alex A (7th) gave Sugar Bowl representation in the 15 and up categories. Meanwhile in the giant slalom, Sophie H backed up her strong slalom with a 6th and was joined by Sydney G in 9th. The 7/8 boys stepped up their game, flooding the stage with yellow bibs, by placing 6 in the top 11. Ben E rode a smoking second run into 10th, with Peter S in 8th, Cameron S in 7th, and Dashiell P-J in 5th. Marcus L charged into 3rd with two strong runs. The 9/10 girls backed-up their Saturday performance with another solid showing, highlighted by Daphne J (5th), Nye D (9), and Christine W (10th). When the final 9/10 male racer crossed the finish line, the Tahoe League series came to a close. When the snow settled, Daniel M took 9th once again. A special thanks to Brad T and other parent volunteers who helped prep SBST athlete skis at the top of the course before second run, giving our athletes skis a little extra speed on the long flat section. Congratulations to all SBST athletes on a strong finish to our race season. Parents witnessed some amazing skiing amidst sunshine and chants of "Lets Go Sugar Bowl" as skiers cheered on their teammates. Enjoy the spring skiing. Results. (Mike Wyreman, posted 3/31/9)
Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy will be represented by 27 student-athletes at junior championship events throughout the nation. Over the next month, SBA student-athletes will be competing in the J2 National Championships in Aspen, the J3 Jr. Olympics in McCall, ID and the J1/2 Jr. Olympics in Schweitzer, ID. See http://www.fwskiing.us for details and team selections. Congratulations and good luck to team Sugar Bowl! (Bill Hudson, posted 3/11/9)
Over the past weekend Far West J4/5’s racers descended on Alpine Meadows for one day of Slalom and another of GS. The split screen spectator viewing allowed parents, with a turn of the head, to see simultaneous races without taking a step! Very fun! Saturday it was J4’s skiing slalom and J5’s running GS. In the girls it was Chase H. taking home gold followed by Anna H. in 5th and Diana A in 8th. The three girls mixed in up just a bit in Sunday’s GS with Chase in 4th, Di in 6th and Anna in 8th. Also getting onto the first page over the weekend were Grace M. (10th and 11th) Daisy S. (14th) and Shelton R. (14th) It bears mentioning that Shelton skied to her 14th place in the slalom going “old school” most of the run. That girl learns to cross block and she’s well inside the top ten! Great skiing Shelton, now go have your dad buy some shin guards!
For J4 Boys it was Scotty “The Anvil” L. leading the charge both days with two podiums and the biggest smile on the hill. He was joined on the first page by Fraser “Kiwi” H. and Matthew H. who skied great all weekend. The J5 girls once again made a strong showing with the Mighty MoMo L. speeding to a 3rd and 9th, Whitney M. a 5th and 6th, Paige H. a 4th and Julia P. a 7th. Also on the first page were Pilar A. (8th and 11th), Kathleen S. (11th), Sarah “Edgy” R. (12th) and Campbell D. (15th). In the Boys J5 races “Cool Hand” Luke R. continues to wear out the podium taking a 3rd in the GS. Right on his heals and showing incredible touch on the snow (that he inherited from his father!) was Griffin K. in 4th. Also joining the first page parade were Graham “The Graminal” P. (13th) and Leo “The Locks” N. in 15th.
A special thank you goes out to all the coaches who worked the race. It was great weekend of racing and hanging out with the Sugar Bowl crowd. Parents, start stocking up on your Maalox now because next up are the high speed the Super G’s at Northstar! (Jim Harleen, posted 2/10/9)
The first J4/5 GS race of the season took place on Squaw Valley’s Exhibition course, home of the infamous “road.” While the course sets were such that no athletes were launched, the snow, alternately described as bulletproof, rock hard or sheet ice, posed plenty of challenge. One racer described a section as “a frozen pond.” (As she was inspecting the course she swore she saw a rainbow trout frozen in place a foot under the surface!). Congratulations to all the kids that had the gumption to push out of the start gate.
In the J5 boys “Cool Hand” Luke R. took a third the first day and then climbed back to his customary podium position with a win on Sunday. Close on his heels was Griffin “007” K. who stylishly arced his way to 4th and 9th place finishes. Also on the first page (top 15) Saturday were Leo “The Locks” N. and Noah “Juice” M. putting 4 SBST boys in the top 15. The J5 girls were led by Maureen “MoMo” L. who smoke the field on her first run Saturday only to take one of the more prodigious crashes on her second run. She shook if off and climbed to the top of the podium with a gold metal finish on Sunday. The J5 girls were all over the first page both days with Whitney “One Ski” M. taking a second on Saturday and Pilar A. doing the same on Sunday. Meghan “Megs” W. had a 4th and a 6th, Kathleen S. two 8ths and Julia P., Paige “Turner” H., Campbell D., Sarah “Edgy” R. all showing up in the top 15.
J4 Boys had a bit tougher go of it but Fraser “The Doctor” H. skied very well taking a 9th and 11th and Scotty “The Anvil” L. a 6th on Sunday. The J4 girls turned in excellent results with Diana A. making the podium on Saturday with a 3rd and then skiing to a 7th place finish on Sunday. Also on the first page Saturday and Sunday was Alexandra A. with two 13th places. Grace M. joined Alexandra on Sunday with a 12th place. Putting down the run of the weekend was “High Speed” Chase H. who seems ready to take it to the next level. In 4th place after the first run on Sunday, she didn’t back off a wit on her second run and moved on to the podium with a third place finish. A great two days of racing and time spent with friends in the Sugar Bowl community. Next stop, Sugar Bowl for the slalom competition with Johnny “Sinatra” Knorpp on the mic! (Jim Harleen, posted 1/21/9)
On Saturday, January 10, the Sugar Bowl Freeride Team, lead by Head Coach Sean Carey, hosted the first competition in the new North Tahoe Junior Big Mountain Invitational series. These events are for invited skiers 11 to 14 years old from the freeride teams at Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. This is one of very few big mountain freeskiing competitions in the country available to skiers under 14. It’s intended to give our younger athletes a taste of what our 14 to 17 year olds experience when they travel to the Junior National Extremes in Crested Butte and similar comps.
Each of the 40 competitors skied two lines of their choice on Mt. Disney’s Avalanche, with each run judged on Line, Technique, Fluidity, and Control. Conditions were firm for the first run leading to heads up skiing, while softer snow on the second run let out the aggression and creativity.
In the end, the host team put three skiers on the podium, with Sugar Bowl girls Zoe A. taking first place and Lauren H. in third, and Andre T. grabbing second place among the boys. Drew H. was given the “Sick Bird” award by judge and former Sugar Bowl Freeride coach Roy Tuscany for the crash of the day. All of our athletes skied super well, and the Sugar Bowl Freeride Team leads the team competition standings in the series. Congratulations Freeriders! Thanks to the judges and our Freeride parents for all the help and enthusiasm brought to the event. And thanks especially to Sean Carey and his Freeride coaching staff for organizing it and inspiring our skiers.
The next comps in the series are February 1 at Alpine Meadows and March 8 at Squaw Valley. (David Riggs, posted 1/16/9)
Far West Skiing is one of five divisions that comprise the Western Region of the USSA. Each winter the Western Region invites the top fifteen J3 men and women (based on Junior Olympic results) to compete in the prestigious Topolino shootout, the winner of which then gets to go on and represent the US in Topolino, Italy. Of the total field of 30 competitors, three Sugar Bowl athletes have qualified to compete for the honor to possibly represent the U.S. in Italy. Dylan M., Devin D. and Grace D. will all compete in the 4 day qualifier to be hosted at Mission Ridge in Wenatchee, Washington, January 2-5, 2009. Let’s wish these athletes well as they go on to represent the Sugar Bowl Ski Team, Sugar Bowl Academy and the Far West. (Big G, posted 12/24/8)
The Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation has installed a truly revolutionary hill watering system on the Van Ruiten Race Arena at Sugar Bowl resort. Eight fire fighting guns have been mounted ten feet above ground alongside the trail. These units will allow the Sugar Bowl Ski Team coaching staff to quickly and easily drench the hill with water before grooming - creating a perfectly hard surface for training and racing. Training on this hard surface during certain times of the season will allow Sugar Bowl athletes to simulate racing conditions as well as gain the advantage of developing solid technique on the demanding surface. With their watering experience at Sugar Bowl, the Sugar Bowl Ski Team staff was able to develop a unique system that is specific to use in the climate of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Coach Hermann Gollner exclaimed, “Controlling your training is critical to success, and this year we will be able to easily direct that most significant element – the snow!”
The Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation Golf Tournament was met by a day so beautiful that it was mutually agreed that the pray for snow chant would be suspended for the afternoon. This year’s event was held at the Resort at Squaw Creek and Jim Hudson once again did a masterful job filling out the foursomes, collecting and distributing the prizes and insuring a good time was had by all. As for the competition, well, Jay Lebel must be running out of room on the mantle. He brought his stacked team of near professionals and without the benefit of a single handicap stroke was able to claim (yet again) the first place hardware generously donated by coach Rodney Mott. Following close on Lebel’s heals was the team led by Jim Harleen and “Chef Tom” Ameika with Katie Hitchcock and Bill Hudson as backup. The acknowledgments would not be complete without a mention of Heather who works so tirelessly in behalf of the Foundation and the tournament was no exception! Many thanks to Jim, Dawn and Heather and all the volunteers who made the day such a great success.
Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy’s Director of Competition, Aaron Atkins, has announced that Hermann Gollner and Ashley Carter will be returning as J1/2 coaches, and they will be joined by Guenther Birgmann. Guenther has coached the Austrian men and women’s teams and is most recently known for his success coaching an elite group of skiers at Kirkwood as well as his current summer position as Director of the Treble Cone Racing Academy in New Zealand. Guenther’s tremendous experience, skill, and determination will certainly have a positive impact on the entire Sugar Bowl program.Danielle Nichols will be returning as Head of the J3 program and NCAA standout, Luke Patterson, will be back as well. The J1/2/3 staff will also include newcomers Rhys Mullens and Devin Gill. Rhys will be adding his professional strength and conditioning and extensive coaching experience to the staff. Devin was formerly a Carrabassett Valley Academy coach and University of Maine Alpine Team Captain
“This incredible staff, combined with our new watering system, increased snowmaking capacity, and the extremely low athlete to coach ratio will allow us to provide the ultimate athletic training site,” said Executive Director, Bill Hudson.