Sunday, December 30, 2012

Who needs a T-Bar or a rope tow when you have a snow cat!

Well, we finally got some snow...and lots of it!  We have had some snow pretty much daily for the last few days which has made the mountain look fantastic.

Alita took a tumble training before break...taking advantage of the fresh snow for a soft landing!

I must report on our first "gym challenge" that occurred just prior to break.  We were doing a jumping workout using the hurdles in the gym requiring athletes to be powerful, have flow with their jumping, and land softly and quietly like a ninja.  After the workout, we had a Ninja Competition.  Judges Lucy and Michael were tasked with sitting with their backs to the hurdles and score the athletes by who was most quiet.  Atop the podium was Sophie Leiter, followed by 2nd place Alita Rogers, and 3rd place Sandra Schoepke.

After break, we returned to Stowe and received over a foot of snow!  In most cases this would be fantastic, however we were at Cochran's for the annual Holiday Night SL.  If you haven't been to Cochran's before, it is not ideal for powder skiing.  It actually turned out to be not so ideal for racing with the heavy snowfall, the T-Bar broke during the day before the race, and then about halfway through the girls first run, their rope tow decided it was finished for the night.  The Cochran's being ever innovative fired up their groomer, loaded athletes into the cage on the front and pulled athletes behind with a rope and we had a successful night thanks to their determination to host their race.  We had athletes have some quality runs and post some solid results, including the top 3 U18 finishers.

Cochran's Holiday Night SL, December 27th

Alita Rogers - 4th, 1st for U18's
Courtney Hayden - 6th
Kelsey Chenoweth - 9th, 2nd for U18's
Elly Bengtsson - 11th, 3rd for U18's
Emma Sahn - 17th
Lucy Merriam - 21st
Molly Danzig - 23rd
Caroline Armbruster - 29th
Ingrid Klinkenberg (U16) - 30th
Sandra Schoepke (U16) - 33rd
Sarah Reilly - 35th
Denali Balser - 36th
Katelyn O'Toole (U16) - 37th
Neza Stefanic - 43rd
Bryce Zicarelli (U16) - 45th
Eliza McKown (U16) - 49th

A great race in some challenging conditions!
We also are on Main Street now!  Following break and the Cochran's Holiday SL, we spent the morning putting up B-Net on Main Street.  It seemed to be done in record time, taking us just a little over 2 hours to complete the job, thanks to all of the athletes for helping!  This gave the athlete the opportunity to get on their GS skis and do some free skiing in a safe venue.  Today we attempted to train GS...however Mother Nature had other ideas giving us high winds, some serious snow drifts, and a very non-productive morning.  We will be returning to Main Street tomorrow for GS training, then to SL for the MMSC Cruise into the New Year Race, then back to Main Street in the afternoon for an afternoon session.  Below are a few pictures from the morning of fencing...

Just getting started

View from Crosscut 3

The next blog post will be in 2013, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Where is the snow?!

Well, as I write this weeks blog post, we actually did get a few inches of snow!  However, the forecast is calling for rain...actually tomorrow's forecast is, "A mix of rain and freezing rain in the morning...changing to all rain."  It certainly has been a bit of a struggle for the ski resort of the northeast thus far but had a great two days racing at Sugarbush and Stratton over the weekend.  Alas, we will continue to be productive with the terrain provided and keep building on the great start to our season.

Before I get into the weekend results, I must report on the party the Danzig's hosted for us on Friday night.  The provided us with some amazing chili, cornbread, and salad while the girls were able to decorate some holiday cookies.  It was a fantastic night, thank you Danzig's for opening your home to all of us and providing such a great feast and festive cookie decorating!  Enjoy a few pictures from the evening...

As I said, we had a group of girls head to Sugarbush this past Saturday and Stratton on Sunday for a pair of USSA GS races.  It was very impressive to see the girls jump into their first GS competitions of the year and each athlete came home with something to smile about when it was all said and done!  Saturday gave us a day of sunshine and some career best results for the girls.

USSA VARA Open GS at Sugarbush, December 15th

Elly Bengtsson - 12th, 2nd for U18's, career best 79.06
Neza Stefanic - 14th, 3rd for U18's, career best 82.36
Sophie Leiter - 17th, career best 94.48
Molly Danzig - 21st, career best 103.69
Sarah Rowse - 26th, 112.42
Caroline Armbruster - DSQ2, it must be noted that somehow they didn't see Caroline miss the 2nd to last gate and she showed up on results, scoring a career best 103.11, and she asked to be removed from the results.  Way to go Caroline, you are a great ambassador of MMSC and MMWA!

Sunday the girls raced a VT Cup GS at Stratton in our first wintery conditions of the season.  It was cold, windy, snowing, all of the stuff we love about ski racing!  We also had the chance to spend some time with Erin as she is working at SMS now.  She is pretty happy in her new place but certainly expressed how much she missed all of us, we miss you too Erin!

USSA VT Cup GS at Stratton, December 16th

Sophie Leiter - 10th, bested her result from the previous day scoring a 93.84
Neza Stefanic - 13th
Elly Bengtsson - 16th
Caroline Armbruster -23rd
Sarah Rowse - 26th
Molly Danzig - 27th

We have a group of 5 girls racing at Sugarloaf Tuesday through Friday in 2 Eastern Cup SL's and 2 Eastern Cup GS's, good luck!  Keep your fingers crossed for some snow...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's good to be home...

After a long camp in Vail, CO, we have finally settled into our weekly schedule at home.  We have had the opportunity to get in some great SL training this past week on SL Hill.  While the snow is thin in spots, it is still very good.  We spent the week working on two different sections of SL Hill; from the start to the knoll, and from about halfway down the pitch to the bottom.  It has been fun to see the girls get back into SL and make some serious progress in one week.  With race after race being postponed, it gives us even more time to continue to develop as well as increase our mileage before stepping into the starting gate.

We did send a small group of girls to the Sunday River FIS Open Races on December 8th and 9th.  Courtney Hayden turned in a career best result on day 1 moving all the way from bib 70 to finish 26th, scoring a 55.16!  On day 2 Emma Sahn finished 2nd for U18's, way to go girls!

FIS Open SL at Sunday River, December 8th

Courtney Hayden - 26th
Sophie Leiter - 58th
Emma Sahn - 70th
Kelsey Chenoweth - DSQ Run1 (8th on the run...missed the last gate!)

FIS Open SL at Sunday River, December 8th

Emma Sahn - 26th (2nd for U18's)
Kelsey Chenoweth - 58th
Courtney Hayden - DNF2
Sophie Leiter - DNF2

All smiles out of Emma on the U18 Podium!

I had the opportunity to bring Sandra, Katelyn, Grant, and Trent to the U16 Fundamentals Camp at Burke December 9th - 11th.  I was extremely impressed with the ability level of the U16 athletes in the Eastern region.  It will be fun to have those athletes start to filter into the USSA race circuit as the season progresses.

Looking up to the start of SL Hill

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SL Hill pitch

Monday, December 3, 2012

Vail - Day 10

The final day on-snow has come to a close and the packing has commenced.  Michael and Andy are already 3+ hours into their trek back to VT!  For the final day, we made a move to SL and the athletes seemed to enjoy the change of discipline.  We had four different sections in our lane: an apex SL, a stubby SL, and mix of stubby and full gates, and a full gate section.  It was fun to see them jump right into SL and see some early success.  Fatigue from a long camp seemed to set in a bit earlier today and the track deteriorated a bit quicker than usual.  However, everyone finished on a high note and they all came up for one last free run at Vail to close out the 2012 camp.  I am sure the athletes have mixed feelings about heading home tomorrow, but I know I am ready to get back home and into our regular schedule.  I fully enjoy my time here for our camp, but it is hard to beat our set-up at home!  We are VT bound tomorrow morning and I leave you with a couple of pictures from today as well as one Sandra took yesterday at the World Cup.  I failed to mention that in between runs the "Go-Pro Bomb Squad" parachuted into the finished coral, pretty sweet to watch!

Great shot Sandra!

Halfway down our lane looking towards the top

Halfway down our lane looking toward the base

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vail - Day 9 - Men's World Cup GS

Today we had the chance to see the best male GS skiers in the world compete at Beaver Creek.  We have been going to see the one of the Birds of Prey races each year since bringing our camp to Vail.  Being able to see the highest level of competition for the sport we are all so passionate for is amazing, not to mention being able to cheer on the US Ski Team athletes and see Ted Ligety not just win, but crush the field!  It is inspiring for both the coaches and athletes to see an event like that in person.  We were also able to see many friends from other ski clubs, former MMWA athletes, cheer on former MMWA athlete Robby Kelley in his 2nd World Cup start, and visit with said former athletes mom and former MMSC legendary coach Lindy Kelley!  Not much else to say about today other than it was an incredible experience.

Tomorrow we shift gears and move into SL.  The girls did a great job with their GS progression but I am sure they are all ready to change it up and work on some SL!  One more day of skiing...

Can you find our athletes?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vail - Day 8

Our guest bloggers today are Sophie and Alita.  Their post is accompanied by an on-hill photo of them from training today...
Nap time...
As exhaustion sets in here at Vail a top of the course nap has become a common occurrence . While Sophie and I sprawled out at the top of the GS course we observed our teammates. We witnessed LBC (little baby Courtney) shattering the ice, Chenny crushing as usual and Caroline demonstrating new ways to wear a belt. We saw K-Link (Ingrid Klinkenburg) fight to link her turns and D-Bals (Denali Balser) doing some top of the course ski prep. We also witnessed G-Bals ( Griffen Balser) shredding some slalom. He is one in a long line of crushers from Suicide Six.

*Nicknames courtesy of Topher Harlow

We are now on the verge of our day off and the possibilities seem endless. We can catch up on sleep, tune our skies, do some homework.... Who are we kidding, the town is calling!! Bowling, hot tubbing, and eating out is the name of the game for the next 36 hours! We will be going to watch the men's GS at Beaver Creek tomorrow but after the GS we've seen the last few days they'll look like j5s, excuse me, U10s

We are late for yet another Starbucks run now gotta go!

Love Alita & Sophie   

After skiing, we had another exciting game of Swedish!  I was able to get some epic action shots as well as a video of the girls doing a strange warm-up activity...

Tough match up for LBC

Get her Lori!

Look out Michael!

Go Lucy, GO!!

Vail - Day 7

With day 7 complete, our guest bloggers tonight are Linley and Sandra.  We had another great day of GS, this time incorporating actual GS gates.  We still used the top brush as if we were skiing an apex course, but used a full GS gate in place of the bottom brush.  It was a nice change of pace for the girls as it gave them a different visual while skiing.

Today we were treated with a half an hour sleep in.  It was a relaxing morning but of course Lori didn't want us to get too comfortable so she scheduled a morning session of study hall.  After study hall, we had lunch at 11 and we were out on the hill by 11:30.  The conditions today were “awesome” says Sandra.  Today was exciting because it was the first day we were in gates!  Most people were satisfied with their run, but a few girls still hoped for the better.  Nevertheless, our coaches, Topher, Garrett, Jamie, and Michael were there to comfort us if we needed it or push us to our bitter end.  We had quite a bit of free time today after training to do whatever we pleased.  Some of us joined the boys for an intense game of Swedish, which sadly there was no winner.  Others went into town, tuned skis, showered, or did homework.  Everyone is getting pumped up to go watch Birds of Prey on Sunday, especially because we will be watching MMWA's very own Robby Kelly in the GS!  Robby is really cute... Shout out to mom and dad... specifically Sandra and mine's moms... Deb & Deb!   

Below are a few pictures from today as well as two "shots of the day!"  Unfortunately, my camera died early during the session so I was only able to snap a few shots of the athletes today.  I'll have more up tomorrow...

Halfway down our lane



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vail - Day 6

Today's guest bloggers are Sarah and Courtney.  We had another productive day with a double session of Apex GS.  Tomorrow we will have a single session of GS skiing, finally moving into some tall gates for the first time this season...

We awoke this morning eager for the ski day as well as for breakfast, which consisted of French toast, eggs, hash browns and a full array of fruit. After our stomachs were filled, we got on the lift at nine. The slope was filled with several courses and we were surrounded by many world cup racers and their coaches throughout the day.  Off the bat, we started our training with an apex brush course. The snow held up well in the morning but the afternoon sun started to shine through softening the snow.  So, we broke at 11:00 for a nutritious lunch of soft shell tacos. By 12:30 we were back on the slopes with the world cup racers alongside. Once we were all tired out we took off our boots and put on our sneakers. We enjoyed a fun co-ed game of Swedish, where many of us got intense grass stains. Not to mention we annihilated the boys (just kidding, but we did do well).  Now here we are at the dinner table, post tuning and getting ready for study hall. We look forward to more skiing, games and learning  ;)


Sarah and Courtney 

Panoramic view from the top of our lane

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vail - Day 5

Another day of great GS skiing.  The snow conditions are ideal for what we are trying to accomplish.  The girls do not have to battle ruts, rocks, or other poor snow variables.  They are able to work on progressing without having to worry about the snow surface...unless their skis are dull!  The coaching staff has spent some time in the tuning room with the girls making sure they are successful in their tuning so they can be productive on the hill the next day.

This afternoon we took to the field for an exciting game of "Swedish."  Swedish can be described as - man or woman for themselves massive game of dodge ball, but with the twist of if the person that got you out is knocked out, you are back in!  The game was intense, fun, and extremely tiring to play at altitude...especially for some coaches.  We all had quite a blast and have some very entertaining video from the game that will be incorporated into the end of the year video.

Another day of GS tomorrow and another day of 40 degrees and sunny!  Below are a few pictures from today.

Our lane for today

Michael and Igor

The disabled Aussie skier referenced in a previous blog

Pictures from our serious game of "Swedish"