Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Once a week...so far, so good!

At the end of last week, Alita and Kelsey traveled to Okemo for a pair for FIS SG's.  They had some solid results over the two days including a 13th place overall finish for Alita in the first SG and a 6th place overall finish for Kelsey in the second SG, 3rd for J2 athletes!  Unfortunately, Alita fell during the warm-up portion of the second SG and sustained a season ending knee injury.  She tore her ACL, her meniscus, and has a fracture of her patella.  Injuries are a huge bummer but are part of the sport.  She is handling the injury with a great deal of maturity and is already looking forward to getting on snow this summer.  Give her a pat of the back and hope for a speedy recovery!

Alita Rogers - 13th
Kelsey Chenoweth - 22nd

Kelsey Chenoweth - 6th (3rd for J2's)

Saturday evening, we went to Sloane's house for another wood fired pizza party.  Sloane's father, Bob, is quite the pizza artist as he continually came out with exotic pizza's!  I must say my favorite was the cheddar and apple pizza, what a great combo!  Thanks so much to the Ross' for hosting us and to everyone that provided appetizers and desserts!

On Sunday, we had a Vermont Cup GS at Stowe.  It is always nice to race at home, stay in your own bed, and be familiar with your surroundings.  Also, I am not sure if you noticed, but MMSC puts on a great race!  It was a beautiful day full of sunshine and no wind.  It was a strong field with the entire Middlebury College Ski Team racing.  Congrats to everyone on a great day!  The sunrise in the morning when we went up to set the course was amazing...yes, we get on the lift that early!

Stowe VC GS
Kelsey Chenoweth - 2nd (1st for J2's)
Denali Balser - 12th
Kelsey Higgins(MMSC PG for the month) - 16th
Emma Sahn - 17th
Linley Shaw - 18th
Hayley Armbruster - 22nd
Sarah Reilly - 23rd
Sophie Leiter - 32nd
Issy James - 34th
Molly Danzig - 38th
Neza Stefanic - 41st
Sam Dyar - 42nd
Caroline Armbruster - 44th
Colleen Cataldo - 46th

Kelsey atop the J2 podium

Kelsey 2nd place overall

Somehow, we haven't quite endured enough terrible weather so it poured all night making training today not possible.  The girls were in the gym from 8:30 to 10:30 and then we had some mental training with Dr. Topher Harlow.  Well, maybe not from Dr. Harlow but he did utilize some information from Dr. Jim Taylor.  We have decided to start incorporating some mental skills into our weekly training.  Today's topic: Overcoming Frustration.  Ski Racing Magazine has Dr. Taylor, former ski racer, write for them in a segment titled, "Inside the Ski Racing Mind."  We watched his video about overcoming frustration and discussed at different times throughout the video.  It is our hope to continue with weekly sessions trying to help the athletes prepare mentally for both training and racing.

If you are interested in seeing some of Dr. Taylor's "Inside the Ski Racing Mind" articles, you can find them at the link below...

We will have a busy weekend with athletes racing a VC SL at Suicide 6 on Saturday, a VC GS at Killington and/or and Eastern Cup SL at Cranmore on Sunday!  Til next time...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Has it really been 2 weeks?

I know, I know, it has been far too long.  Well, I guess I am just a bit busy this time of year and although I set the lofty goal of a daily blog, I will now revisit that goal and adjust...  I will now try to do a once a week blog update.  Seems a little more reasonable.  We have so much to catch up on I am not sure where to start.  We have had some great training days, some difficult weather, a few races sprinkled in and lots to report.

First, we had a fantastic pasta social at the Danzig's!  We enjoyed tasty pasta, delicious desserts, Roy the Dog, and some very entertaining charades!  Thank you to Molly and her family for hosting us!

We had a weekend of SL's at Smuggs that seemed to be marred by the sickness that swept through the academy as well as some difficult conditions and some trouble finding the finish.  Of those that did finish...

Day 1 at Smuggs
Kelsey Chenoweth - 4th (2nd for J2's)
Emma Sahn - 6th (3rd for J2's)
Denali Balser - 7th
Neza Stefanic - 32nd
Sarah Reilly - 34th

Kelsey and Emma on the J2 Podium
Day 2 at Smuggs
Sophie Leiter - 7th
Emma Sahn - 13th (Won 2nd Run)
Molly Danzig - 21st

We then had a group of athletes head to Stratton to compete in the next set of Eastern Cup races with 2GS's and 2SL's.  The conditions were ideal for attacking from the back however, you needed to have your skates sharpened...yes it was basically a skating rink for the two GS races.  It was an impressive field with the majority of colleges tuning up with one last series before they began their college carnival season.

Kelsey Chenoweth - 59th
Alita Rogers - 79th
Linley Shaw - 108th

Alita Rogers - 54th
Kelsey Chenoweth - 58th
Denali Balser - 73rd
Linley Shaw - 95th
Hayley Armbruster - 99th
Issy James - 105th

The SL races offered a nearly equal opportunity to move up in the field with similar conditions...under the 8inches of fresh snow they received!  The athletes worked hard to help prepare the hill and the SMS crew did a great job to pull of both days with some challenging weather.  Both Alita Rogers and Emma Sahn scored career results with Alita scoring a 45 and 44 point race and Emma scoring a 76 point race!

Alita Rogers - 13th (3rd for J2's)
Emma Sahn - 38th
Denali Balser - 54th
Courtney Hayden - 59th
Issy James - 91st
Alita, 3rd place J2's

Alita Rogers - 12th
Emma Sahn - 49th
Linley Shaw - 75th
Alita, 1st place J2's

We then headed to Sugarbush for the MLK Day Race and had some great results!  After an hour delay to start the race, the athletes rallied to the finish.

Sloane Ross - 7th
Courtney Hayden - 9th
Emma Sahn - 16th
Linley Shaw - 18th
Sarah Reilly - 23rd
Sophie Leiter - 25th
Neza Stefanic - 35th
Molly Danzig - 42nd
Denali Balser - 44th
Caroline Armbruster - 50th
Sam Dyar - 51st
Colleen Cataldo - 61st

Over the last couple of days we have taken our GS skiing back to basics to try and reinvent the turn.  We seemed to be getting away from the fundamentals we started with and needed to revisit some basic, key elements to having some success in GS.  I must say, we had a phenomenal day training today!  Each athlete made progress in their GS skiing today and we are fired up to continue with GS for the next couple of days leading up to the VC GS at Stowe on Sunday!  Below are some random pictures from the last few days.

I can't remember if I have posted this picture or not but...Sunny Stowe?

SG Training on Main St.

SG Training on Main St.

SG Training on Main St.

SG Training on Main St.

GS Training 1/19

Just a bit cold for 8am...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cochran's Night SL, GS, and back to school!

On December 30th, we took the team to Cochran's for the 1st Annual Cochran's Holiday Night SL.  For many, it was their first opportunity to put the last month of hard work both in the gym and on the slopes to the test.  It is never easy getting in the start gate for the first time of the season and all athletes handle it differently.  Some can channel their nerves into aggression, while others get a little tentative with the idea of racing for the first time.  It was a cold evening that only got colder as the night progressed, thus, I do not have many pictures... sorry!  All in all, we had some great results and solid skiing.  The coaches were all proud to see how well the team is skiing and are excited to think about the direction we are headed.  It was nice to have Igor at the race to see all of the girls compete.  He could not have been more thrilled with how they skied and was really proud to have them representing the club.  Excellent job everyone, keep working hard!

Alita Rogers - 3rd (1st for J2's)
Kelsey Chenoweth - 4th (2nd for J2's)
Denali Balser - 5th
Emma Sahn - 6th (3rd for J2's)
Courtney Hayden - 7th
Linley Shaw - 8th
Hayley Armbruster - T13th
Sloane Ross - T15th
Sophie Leiter - 22nd
Lucy Merriam - 25th
Sarah Reilly - 41st
Neza Stefanic - T47th
Caroline Armbruster - T47th
Molly Danzig - 53rd
Colleen Cataldo - 55th
Jamie Johnson - 74th

J2 Podium

Winter break has come to a close.  On the final day of break, we finally had some quality GS training.  We are fortunate the mountain has allowed us to take over Perry Merrill Monday-Friday of this week.  While we would much rather be ripping on our trail, Main St., Perry Merrill is in reality a better venue to hone our GS skills.  The moderate terrain allows the athletes to get up to speed but not have to battle the aggressiveness of Main St.  On New Year's Day, the coaching staff along with the help of some UVM athletes and coaches went up and lined the trail with 60 rolls of fence.  With the cold temps this week, we will finally have the opportunity to focus on GS and try to figure some things out!

First big fencing day of the year!

The finished product

Day1 of Perry Merrill GS

For those of you that could see the mountain this morning, you will agree that the sunrise on the mountain was incredible!  For those of you who didnt see it, check out the picture below taken by Emma's dad...