Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Break Update

After a few days off for the Holiday's, we returned to training on Tuesday afternoon starting up a SL block.  The athletes have been working hard over the last 3 days and are ready for the Cochran's Holiday Night SL tomorrow!  For many of our athletes, this will be their first start of the season.  Having coached J3's the last couple of years, we always started our season off at Cochran's.  It is such a great place to begin your season with the easy to moderate terrain.  Athletes are able to continue with their focus from training without having to worry about skiing an aggressive pitch.  Everyone should be fired up for tomorrow as we have had a great block of SL and despite the weather, we have had a solid start to the season in terms of development.  On top of that, Cochran's is a sweet place to race!

I do have a set of competition results to report from yesterday's jump rope contest.  We had three athletes jumping at once for a 1 minute time period.  All athletes were given two opportunities to set a personal best for seeding purposes and then the top 7 were put into a single bracket elimination.  The athlete champion then moved on to face 1991 World Jump Rope Champion (8 - 10 yrs old) Erin Mascolino.  We saw many personal best records shattered, even in the bracket tournament!

Athlete Podium

Courtney Hayden - Gold Medalist
Hayley Armbruster - Silver Medalist
Kelsey Chenoweth - Bronze Medalist

World Champion Showdown

Erin Mascolino (new MMSC record 199) defeats Courtney Hayden

Athlete Records

Courtney Hayden - 188
Hayley Armbruster - 174
Kelsey Chenoweth - 172
Molly Danzig - 163
Alita Rogers - 156
Caroline Armbruster - 151
Michelle Connacher - 143
Denali Balser - 134
Emma Sahn - 132
Lucy Merriam - 112
Linley Shaw 110
Colleen Cataldo - 106
Sarah Reilly - 106
Sophie Leiter - 105
Sloane Ross - 94

We are ready for Cochran's tomorrow, I know you will all represent MMSC well!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

E Cup SL's

For the last two days, we had a group of athletes racing in the first Eastern Cups of the season at Sunday River. We had a healthy mix of results for the first ECup series of the year and I think everyone had some bright spots over the two days.  MMSC collected 4 of the 6, J2 podium spots for the two days and we had a couple of girls score career results.

Monday -
     Alita - 18th, 1st for J2's
     Kelsey - 20th, 2nd for J2's
     Linley - 52nd
     Hayley - 58th
     Sloane - 63rd
     Issy - 76th

J2 Podium (missing 3rd Place Lexi Skovran)

Tuesday -
     Alita - 19th, 1st for J2's
     Kelsey - 22nd, 2nd for J2's
     Denali - 32nd
     Linley - 46th
     Emma - 48th
     Issy - 62nd
     Hayley - 80th hiked 2nd run :(

J2 Podium (missing 3rd Place Lexi Skovran)
We still have a handful of athletes racing back to back GS's for the next two days, good luck to Alita, Denali, Kelsey, Linley, and Sloane!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A lot to catch up on!

With some difficult weather, we spent quite a bit of time in the gym last week.  We did have an entertaining circuit one afternoon to change things up a bit.  After using it for our workout, the athletes were split into teams and the circuit became a serious obstacle course relay race!  The event was scored on total time and the highly anticipated results are...

5th Place - The Fantastic Four, 5mins 25.0secs
4th Place - Team Smelly, 5mins 9.8secs
Bronze Medal - Team Deuces, 5mins 7.7secs
Silver Medal - Notorious Thugs, 4mins 44.8secs (fastest run of the day 2mins 13.3secs)
Gold Medal - Four-Rocious 4mins 41.9secs

Friday night we went to Shelburne to Colleen's house to put her wood fired pizza oven to the test!  The night was a great success.  The athletes had a great time and made some creative pizzas, shared some great laughs, but failed to figure out who took a bite out of Sophies whoopie pie...for some reason they think it was me.  Thank you to the Cataldo clan for hosting us!

Hard to see, but their pizza dough came out heart shaped!

Saturday, the mountain open SL Hill exclusively for ski club training.  They ran the Alpine Double just for us!  It took a few runs to get through to a firm surface, but once we did it we had some quality training.  We had a few guests with us for the day: Morgan Klein and Amanda Reilly from Stratton, Michelle Connacher from Proctor (by way of MMSC), and Alita's Uncle Mark.  After 2 hours of full length, we shortened the course and had a team sprint SL race.  We randomly split the girls into teams of 5, including Uncle Mark.  They were able to run the course as many times as possible with each athletes best time being used for their total team time.  It was an exciting event and a great way to finish the day with each girl pushing harder and harder each run.  And the results are...

4th Place - Hayley, Amanda Reilly (SMS), Sam, Jamie, Emma, Uncle Mark
Bronze Medal - Colleen, Elly, Molly, Linley, Michelle Connacher (Proctor)
Silver Medal - Lucy, Issy, Sarah, Alita, Bess
Gold Medal - Caroline, Morgan Klein, Courtney, Sophie, Neza

Today was another great day of SL training.  The surface on SL Hill was amazing!  We skied two different sections working with a rhythm section on the top flat and then a tradition SL set from the top of the pitch down.

We have a group of athletes racing over the next few days in the first Eastern Cup's of the season.  Good luck to Alita, Bess, Denali, Emma, Hayley, Issy, Kelsey, Linley, and Sloane as they race SL tomorrow at Sunday River!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finally training at home!

For the last two days we have had SL training on Lower North Slope.  While it is not the most aggressive terrain the mountain has to offer, it is perfect for being able to focus on your skiing without worrying about steeps.  Every athlete made some great progress over the last two days as we finally returned to skiing following nearly a week and a half off snow.  I attempted more still shots yesterday and was successful with a few of them...while my percentage is certainly higher than the Vail photos, I think I need to figure out a better setting for the camera!  Anyone know anything about Sony Cyber-Shot cameras and taking action shots????








Monday, December 12, 2011


Sunday turned into Funday after a great core workout.  We headed to Colchester to hit up Spare Time for 3+hours of bowling!  While I don't have any big scores to report, I did see lots of smiling and laughing, and yes, coed bowling!  I did capture some quality video which will make an appearance at the end of the year as well as some pictures that I will post in the next blog...I need to locate my camera first.

The same four girls finished their Open FIS SL series at Sunday River and had some solid skiing.  Court again was skiing well but missed out on reaching the finish.  Denali finished 23rd, Kelsey 25th, and Alita 15th.

Alita 2nd for J2's

We will finally start training at Stowe tomorrow!  The mountain is working really hard to prepare SL Hill for us and hopefully we will be able to start training there Wednesday.  For tomorrow though, its to Lower North Slope!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

There's no place like home!

We are finally skiing at home!  At lease, we were skiing at home...  We managed to get one day on snow at Stowe on Friday.  While the skiing was less than ideal, it was still nice to make some turns at home for the first time this season!  Now we are taking the weekend off to stay away from all the yahoo's on the ribbon of death and preserve our personal health! 

The top of Stowe, still managing to smile!

Today was the first race for a few of our team members.  Alita, Courtney, Denali, and Kelsey made the trek to Sunday River to start their season.  It was reported that everyone had some positive moments throughout the day: Court skied really well but failed to finish first run, Alita ended up 13th after 2 runs but was disqualified for straddling 2nd run, Kelsey put together two clean runs to finish 19th, and Denali recovered from a 1st run mistake to finish 13th 2nd run and 20th overall.

Sunday River SL

Kelsey 3rd for J2's

Looking forward to another good workout tomorrow morning followed by some serious bowling!  Good luck to the girls racing again, go fast!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vail Reflection

Now that we have all had time to decompress from our trip out West, I thought I would offer a few words and thoughts about the camp.  While working at the golf course this summer, we had to fill out “After Action” forms whenever we put on an event.  It was basically a reflection on how you performed your job, how well the staff worked together, what you could have done better, and what would have made the day more successful.  I recommend all the athletes sit down and reflect on their own about the camp.  If you choose to share with others that is fine, but it can be as simple as a private journal entry highlighting aspects of your skiing you were working on, things you want to remember, and perhaps things you felt helped you start the season.  It can also be things you feel you could have done better as an athlete, as a teammate, and as a daughter.

First, the camp was a great success.  We were able to work on fundamental skills for 5 full days.  In reality, we should probably spend the entire camp working on fundamentals but we do need to keep your interest a bit and having a lane to continue the progression is important.

One of the things the coaching staff is most proud of is your (athletes and parents) willingness to participate in the camp.  It is a lot of money and to have 100% participation shows great dedication and commitment.  We spoke a lot about COMMITMENT in our parent/athlete meeting.  Commitment between athletes/parents and athletes/coaches all of which shone through with your participation in the camp.  Had we not gone to Vail…where would we be in terms of a fundamental base right now?

While things may not have been the most fun or most entertaining, I can handle that.  Although it is fun to go to Vail and spend time with your friends, the main goal is to prep for the upcoming season.  By sending you to your rooms at 9:00pm and bed by 9:30pm, we are not trying to hassle you with rules to suck the fun out of camp, it’s to make sure the on-snow portion of camp is successful.

I think every athlete saw success after the first 5 days off free skiing/drill work.  By the 5th day, you were all skiing infinitely better than day 1 and perhaps better than you had skied in recent years.  Once we moved into the brushes it was clear that some were ready and some were not.  It does not make anyone a better skier or worse, it just means you need more time to build your fundamental base.  This is one area I feel the coaching staff needs to adjust next year.  We need to make sure we evaluate the athletes and the readiness for actual brush work and if they are not, we need to be able to offer them continued free skiing/drill work on the main mountain.

We succeeded in getting many miles on snow before coming home.  The only full day off-snow we had was to go to the World Cup and that is by design, albeit not traditional in terms of camps, but we want to maximize our mileage out there before returning home.  While the snow is not guaranteed at Vail, we can usually count on it more than we can here.

Something not to be lost in this reflection is all of the hard work that went into planning the trip.  Igor and the MMSC office staff did an incredible job organizing the logistics of the camp.  Be sure to say thank you at some point when you see him, Laura, Julie, and Caroline Mortimer (Ellis' mom).

The next few days may pose a few challenges in terms of on-snow productivity which makes the days we spent progressing at Vail all the more important.  The coaching staff thanks you all for attending the camp.

Lastly, I want to apologize for any typos.  While I want to proofread the reflection, I am still recovering from the trip and I am ready to go to sleep.

Thanks again for all of your hard work on and off the snow the last couple of weeks.  We are having a solid prep-period and hopefully we can transition that into solid results in the coming weeks.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vail - Day 10

Our last day on snow.  Fitting it was another blue bird day but it was our first taste of cold weather.  Perhaps mother nature is preparing us for the Vermont winter that awaits us...or the Vermont winter we are hoping to have.  We finished the camp with another day of SL which included a mix of brushes and tall gates.  We have worked quite a bit on body position the last couple of days and it was nice to see everyone make some improvement in that aspect of their skiing.  I attempted to take some action shots today but failed to some degree.  Usually, I am pretty handy with the still shots but for some reason I ended up with mostly blurry pictures.  I will include the few pictures that were of good quality.  My apologies to those who I did not get a clear shot of, it wont be the last time we take photos though!
As you may remember, we had a synchronized competition our first day.  Today was the final day of the competition as well as the judging and awards ceremony.  Teams were judged by every other team in the competition in four categories: Technique, Synchronization, Creativity, and Improvement (day 1 to the final day).  Each category was worth 5 points each and you were not allowed to judge your own team.  The results were tabulated and awards were given to the top 3 teams.  Winning the bronze medal with 105 points, Courtney Hayden and Alita Rogers.  The silver medal went to Hayley Armbruster and Linley Shaw with 107 points.  The gold medal to the team of Issy James and rookie Jamie Johnson with a new world record of 115.5 points!  Congrats to all competitors and it will be the first of many mini-competitions throughout the year.  There will be a video coming out in the near future of the competition as well as team interviews.

(L to R)Bronze Medalist Team Courtney/Alita, Gold Medalist Team Issy/Jamie, Silver Medalist Team Hayley/Linley

With the conclusion of camp comes time for reflection.  That time will come when we are safely back in VT, too tired to do so tonight!  I will offer a few words for now.  We had an incredible camp with cooperating weather, a group of motivated athletes, and a coaching staff that worked tirelessly to push each athlete everyday.  It was a great way to start off our season and even though we would rather stay here and ski for another week while VT remembers it is in fact winter, I am sure we are all looking forward to getting home!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vail - Day 9

We changed gears today and skied SL for the first time.  The weather also changed gears over night and dropped a few inches of snow after the training hill was groomed, making it a bit of a challenge getting started.  We skied a SL apex course as well as a single brush SL for the morning session.  After lunch, a handful of athletes requested an additional study that is not a joke, they actually wanted additional study time!  The athletes who were comfortable with their studies came out for an afternoon free ski/drill SL session.  Tomorrow will be our final day of skiing in Colorado for the 2011 Vail last day of SL!

As you can see, we had another cloudy day...

Full Camp Photo!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vail - Day 8, Men's World Cup SG at Beaver Creek!

We are all part of MMSC because we love skiing and ski racing.  Having the opportunity to see the world's best compete at the highest level is incredible.  Seeing one of your former teammates/classmates compete against the world's best and beat all but 28 of them, scoring his first ever World Cup Points is inspiring!  It was a great day at Beaver Creek and the perfect off day activity.  We move to SL tomorrow with a morning lane followed by an afternoon of free skiing/drill session.  2 more days on-snow...

Team picture before heading to Beaver Creek!

MMSC athletes and coaches with MMSC/MMWA Alumni Jimmy Cochran and Ryan Cochran-Siegle

Podium: 2nd Svindal, 1st Viletta, 3rd Feuz

Waiting for the bus, Beaver Creek Village