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Congratulations to junior Mary Bocock, who has had a banner year with Rowmark Ski Academy. 

Thanks to her performance at US Nationals in November 2020, Mary was invited to compete with the US Ski & Snowboard Team in Europe, starting in January. She kicked off her journey in Cortina, Italy, where she skied to fourth place overall (second for U19s) in super-G, earning an invitation to travel to Garmisch, Germany. There, she took third place (first for U19s) in super-G, followed by fourth overall and second place in alpine combined, ending with a ranking of 12th overall (second for U19s) at the German National Junior Championships.

“Mary has had an incredible season and has shown on multiple occasions that she is one of the fastest skiers her age in the world,” said Graham Flinn, head FIS coach. “The years of hard work and dedication that she has put in are showing, and we look forward to watching her continue to compete on the international stage. We are proud of her work ethic, ownership, and commitment to being an elite student-athlete.”

Since returning from Europe, Mary has continued to excel on the slopes. In the beginning of March, at Breckenridge, Colorado, she won the giant slalom. At the FIS Elite races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, in March, she placed 10th overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom, and 11th overall (fourth for U19s) in slalom. She then won again in the giant slalom race in Breckenridge, Colorado—with this finish, Mary is currently ranked second in the nation and sixth in the world in giant slalom for her age, as well as first and ninth in the world in super-G. Mary will complete her season at the Women’s US Nationals in Aspen, Colorado, later this week.

Well done, Mary, and good luck in Colorado!

Update April 19, 2021: At the Women's US Nationals in Colorado, Mary placed an outstanding 12th in super-G. 


Check out the below video to hear Mary reflect on her time in Europe, as well as to hear Coach Graham Flinn and English teacher Kody Partridge attest to how Mary's a force on the slopes and in the classroom.

Banner photo credit: Steven Earl

BACK TO THE FINISH LINE

Rowmark

Rowmarker Mary Bocock Competes with US Ski & Snowboard Team in Europe

Congratulations to junior Mary Bocock, who has had a banner year with Rowmark Ski Academy. 

Thanks to her performance at US Nationals in November 2020, Mary was invited to compete with the US Ski & Snowboard Team in Europe, starting in January. She kicked off her journey in Cortina, Italy, where she skied to fourth place overall (second for U19s) in super-G, earning an invitation to travel to Garmisch, Germany. There, she took third place (first for U19s) in super-G, followed by fourth overall and second place in alpine combined, ending with a ranking of 12th overall (second for U19s) at the German National Junior Championships.

“Mary has had an incredible season and has shown on multiple occasions that she is one of the fastest skiers her age in the world,” said Graham Flinn, head FIS coach. “The years of hard work and dedication that she has put in are showing, and we look forward to watching her continue to compete on the international stage. We are proud of her work ethic, ownership, and commitment to being an elite student-athlete.”

Since returning from Europe, Mary has continued to excel on the slopes. In the beginning of March, at Breckenridge, Colorado, she won the giant slalom. At the FIS Elite races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, in March, she placed 10th overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom, and 11th overall (fourth for U19s) in slalom. She then won again in the giant slalom race in Breckenridge, Colorado—with this finish, Mary is currently ranked second in the nation and sixth in the world in giant slalom for her age, as well as first and ninth in the world in super-G. Mary will complete her season at the Women’s US Nationals in Aspen, Colorado, later this week.

Well done, Mary, and good luck in Colorado!

Update April 19, 2021: At the Women's US Nationals in Colorado, Mary placed an outstanding 12th in super-G. 


Check out the below video to hear Mary reflect on her time in Europe, as well as to hear Coach Graham Flinn and English teacher Kody Partridge attest to how Mary's a force on the slopes and in the classroom.

Banner photo credit: Steven Earl

BACK TO THE FINISH LINE

Rowmark

Explore More Athletics Stories

Rowmarker Mary Bocock verbally commits to ski for NCAA Division 1 Dartmouth College.

At only 18 years old, Rowmarker Mary Bocock has already had an impressive skiing career.

In addition to her achievements as a top Rowmark Ski Academy athlete, Mary had the chance to compete with the US Ski & Snowboard Team in Europe in January 2021, an opportunity that led to her first nomination to the US Alpine Ski Team later that year. Earlier this month, she was nominated to the US Ski Team for a second time. And prior to sustaining a knee injury in December, Mary was ranked first in super-G, third in giant slalom, and eighth in slalom in the United States for her age.

Mary will soon add another achievement to her resume—college athlete—when she joins the Dartmouth College women’s ski team next year. She plans to enroll as a first-year student in fall 2023, after taking a gap year to continue her healing and focus on her commitment to the US Ski Team before she dives back into a routine of balancing school, training, and racing.

“Joining the Dartmouth ski team has been one of my athletic goals since I started thinking about colleges,” said Mary, who long considered the Ivy League school not only because it offered a top ski program, but also because of its academic excellence.

“This is a great fit for Mary on all levels,” said Todd Brickson, Rowmark Ski Academy program director. “Dartmouth has a long history of developing world-class ski racers within their storied NCAA Division 1 ski team, in conjunction with their flexible academic structure and top-notch education.”

To celebrate Mary’s plan to attend Dartmouth, we asked her a few questions about her decision and her journey as a skier. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.


When did you find out that you have a spot on Dartmouth's ski team? How did it feel to receive that news?

I started talking to the coach about a year and a half before I committed to skiing for him. I knew the coach was interested in me, but I knew that I shouldn’t get my hopes up because there could be other girls out there. So when he told me he wanted to offer me a spot in the fall of 2023, I felt relieved and excited that I didn’t have to worry about my college experience.

You'll be taking a gap year before heading to Dartmouth. Why did you make that choice?

I will be taking a gap year after I graduate in the spring so that I can focus on my commitment to the US Ski Team and take advantage of all the resources they provide. Throughout my whole racing career, I have always had to balance traveling and school, so I want to experience the sport without having to balance the stresses of high school alongside the pressure of performing well in races and traveling. The Dartmouth coach actually offered me a spot to start in the fall of 2022, but I decided that I want to take a year to mature as an athlete and really focus on racing to make the most of my opportunity with the US Ski Team.

You've been offered a spot on the Dartmouth team and you're on the US Ski Team—basically, you've achieved two of your dreams. While you can't know what lies ahead, how are you approaching these two amazing opportunities?

I feel very lucky to have these two incredible opportunities ahead of me. I am trying to stay present and not worry about how I will balance the two programs. I am just trying to take advantage of the places and lessons I am experiencing. I always try to not take anything for granted—especially after COVID—and make the most of my time traveling and exploring new mountains and countries.

Rowmarker and US Ski Team member Mary Bocock with Rowmark teammates.

Mary, left, with fellow Rowmarkers Carter Louchheim and Mary Clancy in January 2020.


Focusing on your time at Rowland Hall, what moment as a member of Rowmark are you most proud of?

I’ve had a lot of great experiences on Rowmark, so it’s hard for me to pick my favorite moment. But if I had to, I would say one of my favorite memories is when I won a GS [giant slalom] race in Breckenridge, Colorado, at the end of my junior year. It was that race that helped me lower my points enough to make criteria for the US Ski Team. When I came down and everyone was cheering for me, I was so excited that I couldn’t stop smiling. Then, a few minutes later, my coach came down and gave me a hug (which is rare because he’s not one for hugs), and I started to experience an overwhelming amount of emotions because it all felt real.

On the other side, some of the most memorable experiences from Rowmark have been off the snow. The conditioning/team bonding week is always a highlight of the year because the whole team comes together to compete with each other in a very cohesive way. Competition is one of my favorite aspects of ski racing, so I always have a lot of fun on the camping weekend when the whole trip is just filled with competition.

Tell us about the skills you built at Rowland Hall and on Rowmark that you'll be taking with you after graduation.

One of the most notable skills I’ve learned from being on Rowmark while attending a challenging high school is time management and communication. In order for me to keep up with my work while I’m gone, I have to be very diligent with letting my teachers know when I will be gone and updating them on my progress throughout my trips. My first few training camps with the US Ski Team have been very different compared to those with Rowmark because nobody else in my group is in school. I am the only one trying to keep up with classes while skiing at a high level. I have to find time to separate myself and sit down and do school work while my teammates do their other activities. However, I have actually started to really enjoy Zooming into my classes while I'm away on ski trips because it is an opportunity for me to take time off from thinking about skiing and still feel connected with my life at home.

Congratulations, Mary!

Athletics

Rowmark ski racer Elisabeth Bocock is one of the newest members of the US Ski Team.

Congratulations to junior Elisabeth Bocock, who this week was nominated to the US Ski Team.

Rowmark and US Ski Team ski racer Elisabeth Bocock

Elisabeth is one of 42 athletes nominated to the US Alpine Ski Team and one of three athletes who will be joining the women’s Development Team (D-Team) for the first time for the 2022–2023 competition season. (Athletes qualify for the team in the spring based on selection criteria, and the official team is announced in the fall once nominees complete physical fitness testing and medical department clearance.) She is the youngest addition to the D-Team and the only new member from the state of Utah.

“It was unreal,” said Elisabeth of the moment she received the call from US Ski Team Coach Chip Knight congratulating her on her season and confirming her place on the team. “It was what I’ve been hoping for basically my whole life.”

She’s not kidding. Thanks to her family’s love of skiing, Elisabeth has been involved with the sport for as long as she can remember: she clipped into her first pair of skis at age two, and some of her earliest memories include traveling with her family to Colorado to watch the World Cup—an experience that inspired her first dreams of joining the US Ski Team. “Seeing people on the team there was super exciting,” she remembered. “It made me want to be a part of that.”

It was unreal. It was what I’ve been hoping for basically my whole life.—Elisabeth Bocock, class of 2023, on being nominated to the US Ski Team

It also didn’t hurt that Elisabeth has three older siblings—brothers Scottie ’18 and Jimmy, and sister Mary—who were early naturals on the slopes and whose ski racing journeys inspired her own competitive drive. Elisabeth began racing for the Snowbird Ski Team at age six, and she joined Rowmark Ski Academy at age 13—a move she credits for preparing her to excel in both racing and academics, and where she’s had an exceptional career. In the 2021–2022 season alone, Elisabeth had five podium finishes in elite-level FIS races and is currently ranked first for her age in the US in slalom, giant slalom, and super-G, and second in the world in giant slalom.

“What is so impressive about Elisabeth objectively earning a spot on the US Ski Team is that her season was filled with setbacks,” said Foreste Peterson, Rowmark Ski Academy’s head women's FIS coach. “Whether it was having to quarantine from COVID exposures, or the many hard crashes she took that left her concussed, bloody, bruised, and banged up, she was knocked down time and time again. Yet, she bounced back every time, better than before, and always with a smile on her face. It was truly a pleasure to work with Elisabeth this year, and I so look forward to seeing what her future holds.”

And while Elisabeth’s riding the high of simply making the US Ski Team, she’s also enjoying an additional perk not available to every athlete in her position: the knowledge that this new experience will include her older sister (and role model), Mary, who was nominated to the US Ski Team last spring. “I’m super excited to work together in a different atmosphere,” said Elisabeth. “Mary’s been a real inspiration to me and has shown me what it takes to get to where I need to go.”

We can’t wait to see where she goes next. Congratulations, Elisabeth—we’ll be cheering you on!

Rowmark

Rowland Hall senior Briggs Ballard '22 playing lacrosse for the prestigious IMG Academy.

Ever since Briggs Ballard learned he could play lacrosse while also studying finance and business development in college, he focused on turning that goal into a reality.

“From the day I realized I could play college lacrosse, it has been my biggest dream,” he said.

That dream came true on March 4, when Briggs committed to play for Texas Christian University (TCU), a Division 1 school with a lacrosse team that competes in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association. It’s an impressive step for the talented young athlete, who has been passionate about lacrosse since the age of three, when a Rowland Hall parent who moved to Utah from the East Coast created a mini lacrosse team for the community as a way to introduce students to the sport.

“I was a little too young to suit up,” Briggs said about the experience. “However, my brother [Boston Ballard ’20] played and I was always there watching and waiting for my turn. As I watched the older kids, I knew I wanted to play, and from that day on lacrosse was my sport. When I got my chance, I hit the ground running.”

And he’s excelled: by third grade, Briggs was playing competitive club lacrosse, and by sixth grade, club box lacrosse, and he was a member of youth teams at both Brighton High School and Corner Canyon High School, where his eighth-grade team won the state championship. In ninth grade, after a family move, Briggs began playing for Highland High School, where, as the only freshman on the varsity team, he led in goals, assists, and total points, earning him Freshman of the Year and Most Valuable Player accolades. When COVID-19 canceled his sophomore season, Briggs decided to use the time to think about how to take the skills he’d been building to the next level. “During quarantine, I decided I needed to push myself and play at the highest level of high school lacrosse,” he said. After making the team at IMG Academy, a prestigious sports training facility and boarding school in Florida, Briggs chose to spend his junior year there, where he practiced seven days a week and traveled the country playing top teams.

“It was a difficult decision to move away from my family and to leave Rowland Hall, but I decided to go for it and spent my junior year at IMG,” said Briggs. “The experience was one I will never forget; I learned so much about lacrosse and myself.”

He also learned just how much he appreciates his family and the Rowland Hall community: Briggs returned to Utah for his senior year, where he’s been enjoying time with friends, wrapping up his studies in the Upper School, playing lacrosse (of course!), and preparing for the next chapter of his story.

To celebrate Briggs’ decision to play lacrosse for TCU, we asked him to share more about his athletic journey. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.


You're a Rowland Hall student who has pursued the sport you love (but one that's not offered by the school) alongside your studies. How have you juggled both responsibilities?

Juggling the rigor of Rowland Hall and the intensity of my lacrosse schedule has been challenging. I've had to learn to manage my time and plan ahead. I've done a lot of homework and studied on planes while flying home from tournaments. Even though Rowland Hall does not have a lacrosse program, the school and teachers have been very supportive and have always worked with me. Along with the challenges, playing for other schools has also been a blessing in many ways. It has enabled me to meet and socialize with kids outside of Rowland Hall and it's really expanded my social circle.

Can you briefly describe how you connected with the TCU team and how you made your decision to join them?

The lacrosse recruiting experience has been both awesome and stressful. I've had to really consider what level of lacrosse I want to play and balance that with the kind of college experience I want. My options were all over the board, from D1 schools to some smaller D3 schools, and several club options. Ultimately, I was heavily recruited by TCU, which happens to be where my brother goes to school. My brother has several friends currently on the TCU lacrosse team and because he knew I would love TCU, he had them reach out to me and from there the coach reached out. I fell in love with everything TCU has to offer, including their D1 lacrosse program. In addition to the lacrosse program, TCU checks all of the academic boxes for me and I can't wait to be a Horned Frog!

Rowland Hall student Briggs Ballard to study at and play lacrosse for Texas Christian University (TCU).

How did you feel when you officially committed to play for TCU?

I felt proud of myself and like all of my hard work paid off. I felt like I had finally done it and was relieved to have made a decision. The feeling of finally committing is a feeling I will never experience again and I am so grateful for how everything worked out.

What are your top memories from your lacrosse career (so far)?

My top memories of my lacrosse career so far are traveling all over the country with my parents and my best friends/teammates. I have played with several of the same kids since we were in the first grade and they have truly become some of my best friends. The summer tournaments are always memories; staying together as a team and playing the sport we love are memories I will never forget. Finally, last year, my IMG team traveled to Indiana, where we played Culver Academy, one of the best teams in the country. While we did not come away with the win, playing in front of so many people, and in a nationally televised game, is a very cool experience and a major memory for me. 

Tell us about the skills you built at Rowland Hall that you'll be taking with you to TCU.

I strongly believe Rowland Hall has set me up to succeed at TCU both academically and socially. Rowland Hall has taught me how to learn, how to be a critical thinker, and how to manage my time. Rowland Hall is a one-of-a-kind school and I cherish my time here and the education I’ve received. I know I will be a strong writer and contribute to the TCU community because of my Rowland Hall experience.

Is there anything else you want our community to know about your athletic and academic journey?

Just that I am beyond grateful for everyone who has supported me and helped me on my journey. My Rowland Hall friends have always been so supportive and encouraged me to keep on with lacrosse. From the teachers and staff to my friends, family, and coaches, I will forever be thankful for all of you. 

Lastly, GO FROGS!

Athletics

Two-time Utah state wrestling champion Drew Lang competing against Westlake's Jacob Finlinson.

When you realize that Rowland Hall senior Drew Lang grew up in a family filled with passionate and successful wrestlers—including two adored older brothers—it’s not surprising that he became intrigued by the sport at an early age.

When asked when Drew first showed an interest in wrestling, his mom, Jill Lang, shared an especially sweet memory: at a wrestling tournament for the family’s two oldest boys, Will and Jack, then in elementary school, where she discovered the then-toddler Drew attempting to change out of his training pants and into a wrestling singlet.

“I said, ‘Oh no, honey, it’s a little too soon,’” she said, chuckling at the memory.

Luckily for that determined toddler, the wait didn’t last much longer: Drew stepped on the mat for the first time at age three. And he hasn’t stopped wrestling since.

Though Drew’s initial interest in wrestling can be traced to simply wanting to do what his big brothers were doing, a deep personal connection to the sport has kept him going for more than 15 years. It’s clear when talking to Drew that wrestling—a sport that, though organized by teams, is very individual—speaks to his innate drive for excellence. He said he remembers enjoying the repetition of early training sessions, which allowed him to slowly hone his skills, as well as benefiting from exposure to a variety of styles shared by the array of families that made up the first wrestling club the Lang family joined after moving to Utah, Team Legacy. He believes these early experiences set a foundation for success.

Wrestling is very much a sport where what you put in, you get out. The feeling of putting in so much time and effort and sacrifice, and then at the end of the day receiving the results you want, it’s very satisfying and worth it for me.—Drew Lang, class of 2022

“A lot of wrestling is knowing what to do in certain positions, and the only way you can really know that is by wrestling in all sorts of positions,” explained Drew. “You pick up on different things when you learn to wrestle against different types of kids.”

And even though Drew was one of the youngest kids in Team Legacy when he got started, his mom said he wasn’t scared to challenge himself. “From a very early age, he has never, ever been afraid of anything,” said Jill. “It wasn’t that he always thought he was going to win, necessarily, but he always was confident in his ability and he was always willing to try things.” It was an approach that worked: around age five, Drew began to place in, and even win, national tournaments, and that taste of victory marked a turning point.

“The feeling of winning is really what sparked my passion for this sport,” Drew remembered. “Wrestling is very much a sport where what you put in, you get out. The feeling of putting in so much time and effort and sacrifice, and then at the end of the day receiving the results you want, it’s very satisfying and worth it for me.”

Since those first wins, Drew has continued to amass an impressive list of achievements, both in national competitions as a now-member of the Sanderson Wrestling Academy and on the West High School wrestling team (although Drew attends Rowland Hall, he is one of its students who plays a sport not offered by the school at another local high school). In January alone, the two-time 6A state wrestling champion finished in eighth place at the Doc Buchanan Invitational in California (”arguably the toughest high school tournament in the country attracting the nation’s top high school wrestlers,” said Jill), first place at the Utah All-Star Duals, and first place at the Rockwell Rumble. On January 19, he was ranked the number-one Utah wrestler, pound for pound, by the Beehive Top 25. And to top it all off, he’s inching his way toward becoming the winningest wrestler in West High School history, a title currently held by his brother Jack Lang ’19 (who, by the way, won it from the oldest Lang brother, Will, in 2019); Drew should take the title by the time the 2022 state tournament wraps later this month. As Drew heads into the final phase of his high school wrestling career, his chances of additional victories, including a third state championship, are promising indeed—especially when you factor in the impressive mental fitness, refined alongside his physical strength, that the young athlete will tap into as he faces his last high school opponents. It’s a kind of fitness that, at such an elite level of wrestling, can truly mean the difference between victory and defeat.

“Once you get to a certain point,” Drew explained, “mindset is almost more important than the physical aspect, just because everyone is so good. But the people that are the best are mentally strong.”

6A Utah State Wrestling Champion Drew Lang, Rowland Hall senior.

Nowhere is this more evident for Drew than when he revisits opponents who have previously bested him on the mat: his 2021 6A state championship win, for instance, came against Westlake High School’s Jacob Finlinson, who wrestled the state title away from Drew in 2020, and this year’s win against Juab High School’s Channing Warner at the Utah All-Star Duals was revenge for Channing’s one-point victory over Drew at the same event in 2021.

“I think that’s what’s really helped propel him to do so well in this sport,” Jill said. “He’s never made excuses. He’s accepted what has happened, win or lose, and if he does lose then he immediately goes into the mindset, ‘OK, how do I need to train differently? What would I have done differently in this match if I had a rematch?’”

It’s a mindset that Drew has also applied in the classroom: while the young athlete said he doesn’t often view himself as the top student, his years of wrestling have taught him that he is one of the hardest working. “I think having that work ethic at such a young age really helped me,” he said.

It certainly made a difference in his college search. In middle school, Drew told his parents that he wanted to wrestle for an Ivy League school, and it became a goal that he dedicated himself to with the same energy that he brings to the mat—and with similar results. This fall, he’ll be heading to Princeton University, where he hopes to reach new wrestling heights (he’d like to be a starter by his sophomore year as well as an All-American) and make connections toward a fulfilling career. “The academic growth I’ll have there,” he said, “I think is going to set me up for the rest of my life.”

I think the skills from this sport—learning how to be a good winner, learning how to be a gracious loser, time management, accountability, not being afraid of taking risks—are so beneficial.—Jill Lang, parent

Because when it comes down to it, Drew explained, few people go on to wrestle professionally—but that doesn’t mean the sport doesn’t continue to shape them. “There’s a quote about wrestling: ‘Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy,’” he said. “I think there’s some truth behind that, just because wrestling is the same as everything else: you’re going to fail at times, you’re going to be successful at times.”

Jill agreed. “Drew’s not going to be a wrestler his entire life,” she said, “but I think the skills from this sport—learning how to be a good winner, learning how to be a gracious loser, time management, accountability, not being afraid of taking risks—are so beneficial, whatever he decides to do.”

The sport has also shown him, and those around him, the power of family and community, all of which came together to support Drew’s dreams. While much of this credit goes to Jill and her husband, Dave, as well as to Drew’s favorite role models, Jack and Will, and his coaches, Jill also took time to express gratitude to Rowland Hall for playing an important role in Drew’s journey.

“I’ve been so blown away by how accommodating the school has been; that’s helped Drew be where he is today,” she said. “Middle School Spanish teacher Bill Shann literally has watched more matches of Drew’s than I could ever tell you—away matches, home matches, matches online. He’s just been so supportive. The teachers have been so accommodating, as I’m sure they are with other kids that have interests they want to pursue. That’s been such a blessing for our family, to have such a supportive network.”

And no matter what happens on the mat this month, Drew will end his high school wrestling career surrounded by those who love him most.

“This is Drew’s moment, and I’m so grateful I get to share in it,” said Jill. “I just want him to go out there, and do his best, and enjoy that moment, and just know, whatever place he takes, we’re right up there watching him, as we always are.”

Lang family

The Lang family; from left: Drew, Jill, Jack, Will, and Dave.


Update February 7, 2022: Drew won the 6A Boys Division Tournament, held February 4–5, and will be the #1 seed going into the 6A Boys State Tournament, which begins on February 18.

Update February 19, 2022: Drew has ended his high school wrestling career with a third state championship; read more about his victory in the Deseret News. Congratulations, Drew!

Athletics

You Belong at Rowland Hall