By Troy Price, Program Director
As we wrap up another season, there are so many areas where the Rowmark Junior Program has been successful. I’m very proud of our team culture. As part of our team values, we focus on the skills of perseverance and determination. We continued to persevere through some challenges associated with the pandemic. We continued to keep our community healthy and executed our mission of providing our athletes with an amazing experience.
As part of our team culture, we benefit from the involvement and support from our amazing parents. Being a ski racing parent is not an easy task. There were several times that I was so grateful to have a community that supports each other and steps up during the difficult times, as well as one that enjoys each other as we celebrate improvements and successes along the way.
Our training sessions at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) and Park City continue to provide the ideal mix of terrain and course sets, allowing our athletes to develop new skills. We also continue to benefit from our use of the Ikon Pass as we free ski our local resorts of Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, and Brighton.
The continuation of our Love-to-Ski program for first- and second-grade students was a great success. Thanks to Wendy Hare for leading this group. Big shout-out to our Middle School athletes as they served as mentors, paving the way for the next generation. This was yet another area where the UOP venue provided exactly what we needed.
Below you will read about our competition highlights. I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks for our amazing coaching staff. I’m honored to have so many great coaches return year after year; I’m so pleased with our new hires too. Our coaches are professionals in the industry, and they take so much pride in the character development of each athlete. Thank you, Matt, Parker, Mary, Madi, Guy, Eric, Penny, Charley, Kate, Megan, Jay, Wendy, and Tiffany. You are the key to our ongoing success and the athletes love you.
Throughout the season we strive to peak during March and April. This all starts with our fitness training in the fall, on-snow training, and our sports psychology sessions. Everything builds as we move through the qualifiers and prepare for the championships, critical races in the closing of our season. Below are competition highlights of current Rowmarkers who captured top finishes during the last month of the season.
U14 Regionals, Mammoth, California
Our Academy Prep program set a record, qualifying seven athletes to Regional Championships. This event is held for the top 60 U14s in the Western US and is the pinnacle of the Rowmark Junior Program, providing a clear path as the athletes continue their ski racing journeys. Congratulations to Ruby Rosh, Sophia Hijjawi, Tallulah Proulx, Teo Shamah, Lukas Postnieks, Luke Kanarowski, and Chase Dennis.
Top Performances: Sophia Hijjawi (second in slalom and sixth in giant slalom), Teo Shamah (fourth in slalom)
Tri-Divisonal Championships, Jackson, Wyoming
This event provides an additional tier for our U14 and U16 athletes as they compete alongside Northern and Alaska divisions. Congratulations to Andrew Hanrahan, Eli Rankin, Rhys Schillinger, Jax Salinas, Jameson Moore, Wyatt Williams, and Jett Winkler.
Top Performance: Andrew Hanrahan (fifth in giant slalom)
IMD Championships, Sun Valley, Idaho
This is the premier event for our All Star program and a common outcome goal for our U12s. This event brings the best 50 U12s from Utah to race with the best 50 U12s from Idaho and Wyoming. Sun Valley provided an exceptional race environment for our athletes. Congratulations to Addison August, Dylan Galan, Gabrielle Hanlon, Harper Jensen, Callie Lipson, Mei Mei Morgan, Zoe Rankin, Finley Taptich, Elle Wuetich, Will Hanlon, and Asher Williams.
Top Performance: Callie Lipson (sixth in giant slalom)
IMD Finals, Snowbird, Utah
This event provides a great environment, allowing everyone to have a final race. Our Rowmarkers crushed it, once again peaking at the right time. Congratulations to Cate Abuhaidar, Evelyn Chen, Chandler Corcoran, Lucy Dahl, Viktoria Hall, Paulina Ize-Cedillo, Makenna Karr, Romann Brandolini, Aaron Chen, Paxton Cichos, Owen Donigan, Pedro Huerta Strodthoff, Logan Karr, Dylan Kinkead, Rohan Pani, Nilkas Tognina, Andrew Wentz, and Will Wucetich.
Top Performances: Paulina Ize-Cedillo (first in giant slalom and second in slalom), Lucy Dahl (fourth in giant slalom and fourth in slalom), Cate Abuhaidar (sixth in slalom)
YSL Finals, Snowbasin, Utah
This is the premier event for our All Mountain Rippers. The YSL Finals brings all the programs across the state of Utah together. We are very pleased with the progress this group has made throughout the year. They have a strong foundation to build upon as they continue their journey. Congratulations to Evelyn Chen, Evelyn Donigan, Emi Salmon Garbett, Viktoria Hall, Makenna Karr, Chandler Corcoran, Wyatt Daniels, Logan Karr, Dylan Kinkead, Rohan Pani, Aaron Chen, Owen Donigan, Pedro Huerta Strodthoff, William Wucetich, and Beck King.
Top Performance: Evelyn Chen (10th in giant slalom)
OHG Spring Series, Bozeman, Montana
This event provides a great environment, allowing everyone to have a final race. Our Rowmarkers crushed it, once again peaking at the right time. Congratulations to Andrew Hanrahan, Luke Kanarowski, Rhys Schillinger, and Wyatt Williams.
Top Performance: Luke Kanarowski (second and third in the slalom races)
IMD Spring Series, Grand Targhee, Wyoming
This event brings together the best U12s and first-year U14s for a fun series focused on skill development. The athletes competed in a giant slalom, dual slalom, and a Kombi. Congratulations to Callie Lipson, Finley Taptich, Romann Brandolini, Andrew Hanrahan, Niklas Tognina, and Wyatt Williams.
Top Performance: Andrew Hanrahan (third in giant slalom)
Snowcup Series, Snowbird, Utah
This event invites the second-year U14s to race up with older athletes, including our own Academy athletes. Congratulations to Sophia Hijjawi, Tallulah Proulx, Chase Dennis, Jax Salinas, and Teo Shamah.
Top Performance: Sophia Hijjawi crushed it, finishing second in giant slalom and third slalom OVERALL; Teo Shamah, Chase Dennis, and Tallulah Proulx all had top-three finishes for the U14 age class