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Rowmark Junior Athlete of the Month
To be a Rowmarker means to strive for your personal best and provide respect to others. Every Rowmark athlete holds the responsibility to maintain excellence in the classroom and on the snow. We are honored to recognize an athlete each month who has gone the extra mile.
Since the age of six, Rowland Hall junior—and passionate ski racer—Mary Bocock has had a big goal: to join the US Ski Team. That dream just came true.
I’ve wanted to be on the team ever since I started racing, so getting the call felt like I was achieving a goal I’d had for over 10 years.—Mary Bocock, class of 2022
On May 3, US Ski & Snowboard announced that 44 top national athletes, including Mary, have been nominated to the US Alpine Ski Team for the 2021–2022 competition season (athletes qualify based on published selection criteria in the prior season). Mary is one of only three new members of the women’s Development Team, also known as the D-Team; she’s also the youngest addition to that team and the only new member hailing from the state of Utah.
“When I got the call from [US Ski Team Coach] Chip Knight congratulating me on my nomination to the D-Team, I was overwhelmed with excitement,” said Mary. “I’ve wanted to be on the team ever since I started racing, so getting the call felt like I was achieving a goal I’d had for over 10 years. I am looking forward to skiing with a group of girls who push me and who know what it takes to be the best.”
Mary had a sensational 2020–2021 race season, which included a November 2020 US Nationals performance with Rowmark Ski Academy that earned her an invitation to compete with the US Ski Team in Europe. After placing in several races in Cortina, Italy, and Garmisch, Germany, in early 2021, Mary returned to the United States to finish the season: at the FIS Elite Races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, she took 10th place overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom, and 11th place overall (fourth for U19s) in slalom. At the FIS Spring Series in Breckenridge, Colorado, she won the giant slalom race—a win that currently ranks her 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. Finally, she ended the season with a 12th-place finish in super-G at the US National Championships in Aspen, Colorado.
Mary's fierce competitive nature is among the best in the world and I'm confident that she will take advantage of this opportunity.—Graham Flinn, head FIS coach
“Mary has worked incredibly hard day in, day out, not only this season but for many years in order to put herself in a position to accomplish the goal of being named to the US Ski Team,” said Graham Flinn, head FIS coach for Rowmark Ski Academy. “I'm very proud of the way she carried herself throughout this past year's successes and challenges. She continues to impress with her drive and ability to be a student of the sport. Her fierce competitive nature is among the best in the world and I'm confident that she will take advantage of this opportunity.”
The US Ski Team’s alpine athletes have already kicked off pre-season camps, and the official team will be announced this fall once nominees complete required physical fitness testing and US Ski & Snowboard medical department clearance. We will continue to update the Rowland Hall community on Mary’s progress in this exciting new chapter in her ski-racing career—which she’ll balance alongside her senior year at Rowland Hall—through the fall and winter.
The below video, first shared with the Rowland Hall community in April 2021, features Mary's reflections on competing in Europe earlier this year.
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.
This summer, Rowland Hall welcomed former competitive ski racer Foreste Peterson to the Rowmark Ski Academy team.
We could not be more excited to have Foreste on board to work with our Academy athletes on and off the hill to share her knowledge, work ethic, and grit.—Todd Brickson, Rowmark program director
Foreste joins Rowmark as U19 International Ski Federation coach and academic liaison. A former racer for the Squaw Valley Ski Team, US Ski Team, Dartmouth College Ski Team, and Team X Alpine private women’s team, Foreste brings to Rowmark valuable elite athlete knowledge and experience that will benefit our student-athletes.
“We are thrilled that Foreste has joined our Rowmark Ski Academy staff,” said Todd Brickson, program director. “Her international experience and skill as an elite ski racer; her determination to scratch and claw her way to the top of collegiate skiing, all the way to the World Cup; and her humble yet confident demeanor all combine to bring an incredible person and personality to our coaching team. We could not be more excited to have Foreste on board to work with our Academy athletes on and off the hill to share her knowledge, work ethic, and grit.”
To help introduce Foreste to the Rowland Hall community, we asked her to play a round of 20 questions. (Be sure to also check out 20 questions with Colette Smith, Upper School girls soccer coach, published earlier this fall.) Foreste's answers have been lightly edited for style and context.
1. We’re so excited that you’re one of our Rowmark Ski Academy coaches. What made you decide to join the Rowmark team?
Thank you, I’m excited too! It was a pretty easy decision to join Rowmark. I had just retired from my own racing career and knew that I wanted to stay in the sport and give back to the next generation of ski racers. I also knew I wasn’t ready to leave Utah, so it was a no-brainer to not pass up this opportunity.
2. What initially got you interested in ski racing as a kid?
Both my parents were ski racers and avid skiers, so they put my older sister and me on skis at the age of two. At four I joined the Squaw Valley Ski Team junior program, which transitioned into the race program. Skiing has always been a huge part of my family’s lifestyle, so I didn’t really have a choice in the beginning. Luckily, I fell in love with it early on and knew that I wanted to take it as far as I could.
3. You have impressive credentials: you were a member of the US Ski Team for four years, then competed for Dartmouth College, where—among your many achievements—you raced in World Cup competitions and earned the Class of 1976 Award as one of the college’s most outstanding female athletes of 2017. You also skied for Team X Alpine, the elite private women’s team, for two years. How did these opportunities as an athlete prepare you for this new chapter of coaching?
While I’ll certainly take all that I’ve learned from my experiences as an athlete into my coaching career, I think what prepared me most were certain pieces of feedback and advice I got from my former coaches over the years. How I thought about skiing and how I carried myself as an athlete were largely influenced by how I was coached. Now that I’m the one in the coaching role, I’m still benefiting from the pearls of wisdom that struck me back when I was an athlete. This wisdom has not just prepared me, but has compelled me to stay in the sport so that I can pass it on to the next generation, and hopefully make a difference in their athletic careers.
4. You are coaching Rowmark’s U19 athletes (students aged 16–18). As someone who began competing with the US Ski Team at age 16, you understand what it’s like to juggle athletics and academics at a young age. How do you see yourself helping your student-athletes balance those areas?
I do know what it’s like to juggle athletics and academics, and I know how challenging it can be. It wasn’t until I got to Dartmouth that I realized what time management really meant. More than that, I learned how incredibly important it is to make the most of the limited time you have, whether in the library, in the gym, or on the ski hill. I found that staying present, focusing on the task at hand, and being deliberate about what I was trying to accomplish helped keep me grounded, especially in times of stress.
I’m already so impressed by how much the student-athletes I’m working with have on their plates and how well they manage the loads. That said, I realize there will inevitably be bumps in the road for each of them, so as their coach I fully intend to serve as a resource, provide guidance, and do whatever I can to help them figure out how to best strike a healthy life balance so they can focus on what’s important in the moment.
5. As a competitor, you skied all over the world. If you could only ski at one resort for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
That is a really tough one, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be Jackson Hole.
6. If the powder fairy granted you the chance to pick your perfect ski weather, what would it be?
Twenty-five degrees, bluebird skies, little to no humidity, and no wind!
7. Necessary equipment aside, what’s the one item you can’t be on the mountain without?
A neckie, a.k.a. neck warmer, neck gaiter, or buff. No matter the temperature, I feel naked if I’m not wearing one.
8. What’s your favorite aprѐs ski meal?
Nothing beats Wiener schnitzel in Europe.
9. Who’s your favorite professional skier to watch?
When I was younger it was always Bode Miller. Nowadays, it’s probably Wendy Holdener for the women and Alexis Pinturault for the men.
10. Let’s step away from skiing for a moment and chat about other areas of your life. What is one of your favorite things you did this summer?
I went home to California to see each of my parents, which I hadn’t done in a long time. Part of my time I spent visiting my dad in Squaw Valley and Berkeley (where I split my time growing up), and the rest of my time I spent visiting my mom in Santa Barbara. Squaw Valley and Santa Barbara are two of my favorite places, so getting some quality time in each place made me really happy in and of itself.
11. What book do you read over and over?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
12. What’s the last show you binge-watched?
I’m not much of a binge-watcher, let alone TV watcher, but I’m currently making my way through Ozark.
13. What’s your dream vacation?
Anywhere that has white sand and clear blue water. It would also include eating freshly caught seafood for most meals, hiking to waterfalls, no snakes, and daily massages.
14. What’s one fun fact about you that you don’t often get to share?
I have two: (1) I am a fifth-generation Californian, and (2) I strangely enjoy the hiccups.
15. What one phone app could you not live without?
Probably Spotify. Music and podcasts add a lot of enjoyment to my days.
16. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would you pick?
This one is really hard for me, so I picked three from our lifetime: [musician] Taylor Swift, [tennis player] Naomi Osaka, and [basketball coach] Steve Kerr.
17. You grew up in Berkeley, California, but moved to Park City when you joined Team X Alpine. What do you most enjoy about living in Utah?
I love being able to walk out my front door and be on a hiking or mountain biking trail within five minutes, or to be within a 30-minute drive to some of the best skiing in the US. The access here is truly incredible. I also love the community feel of living in a mountain town. There’s always something going on, and it’s so fun to live in a place where the options are endless everyday.
18. Who has been one of the biggest influences in your life?
Each of my parents has been very influential in my life. They have always been my biggest supporters, no matter what the outcome looks like. They’ve taught me how to put my best foot forward and give 100% in whatever it is I’m pursuing. They’ve shown me what it means to set your mind to something, and what it takes to get there. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had them as my role models.
I’d love to be able to instill a resilient mindset in my student-athletes...if they can learn to be resilient in this sport, they will be resilient in all other areas of life.
19. What is the top life skill that you want to help build in your student-athletes this season?
I’d love to be able to instill a resilient mindset in my student-athletes. 2020 is certainly showing all of us that life can throw some major curve balls, so whether it’s on the scale of a global pandemic or a DNF [Did Not Finish] in a ski race, I want my athletes to be able to pick themselves up when the going gets tough and “keep on keeping on.” That’s not to say I want them to be heartless, emotionless robots—absolutely not. I just think that ski racing can teach them so much about not giving up when things aren’t going well or as planned, and if they can learn to be resilient in this sport, they will be resilient in all other areas of life.
20. If you had to give your athletes one piece of advice or one affirmation to keep in mind before they race, what would it be?
Trust in your abilities and take the reins. Once you get into the starting gate, you are the boss, so make the most of it!
After a four-month delay caused by the global pandemic, the US Ski & Snowboard Intermountain Division (IMD) announced on September 22 their 2019–2020 season awards. We are thrilled to share that Rowmark Junior Program Director Troy Price was named IMD Official of the Year.
An already well-recognized coach (Troy was most recently named US Ski and Snowboard’s Development Coach of the Year in 2018), Troy’s career is marked by an exceptional commitment to his student-athletes and colleagues, as well as to the larger division—he is actively involved with IMD, running yearly officials’ clinics and, this month, completing studies to become a International Ski Federation (FIS) technical delegate, the senior alpine official at internationally scored events. With the completion of this certification, Troy has become the division’s first new FIS technical delegate in 25 years—a necessity for this area of the country.
“There is a desperate need for this certification in our division and region,” said Rowmark Program Director Todd Brickson, who also noted that Troy takes on both his IMD and Rowmark tasks “with tremendous passion and knowledge of our great sport.”
As someone who is enthusiastic about helping to improve the ski-racing experience for athletes not only in Utah, but throughout the West, Troy is honored to be recognized by his peers for his work—although he is quick to point out that he is one of many working toward this goal.
“All alpine officials play a critical role to ensure our athletes have a safe environment and to enforce the rules of our sport. Our division is full of great individuals willing to donate their time and expertise,” Troy said. “I have had the pleasure to follow the lead of many great officials that have guided me throughout my career. I now have the pleasure to share my experience with the next generation and some outstanding folks who volunteer their time throughout our division. I look forward to continuing my education and giving back to the sport for many years to come.”
In addition to Troy’s recognition, five Rowmark student-athletes were recognized by IMD:
The breadth of the awards, both academic and athletic, across all ski racing disciplines is a reflection of our Rowmark values of teamwork, balance, and determination.
Carter Louchheim ’20 was named the 2019–2020 season’s Alan Hayes Intermountain Scholar for his athletic and academic achievements.
Harry Hoffman ’23 earned the Bryce Astle Intermountain Cup Award for men’s overall, as well as Intermountain Cup Awards for men’s slalom (first place), men’s giant slalom (first place), and men’s super-G (second place).
Elisabeth Bocock ’23 earned the Bryce Astle Intermountain Cup Award for women’s overall, as well as Intermountain Cup Awards for women’s slalom (third place), women’s giant slalom (first place), and women’s super-G (second place).
Jack AbuHaidar ’22 earned an Intermountain Cup Award in men’s giant slalom (third place).
Dagny Brickson ’21 earned an Intermountain Cup Award in women’s downhill (second place).
“I'm so pleased to have so many Rowmark athletes receiving awards from our Intermountain Division,” said Troy. “Carter, Harry, Elisabeth, Jack, and Dagny all came through the Rowmark Junior Program. It is extremely rewarding to see them continue their love for the sport and their pursuit of excellence.”
Todd echoed Troy and said Rowmark is proud of its award winners. “The breadth of the awards, both academic and athletic, across all ski racing disciplines is a reflection of our Rowmark values of teamwork, balance, and determination.”
Banner photo: Troy Price, left, with coaches Megan Hanrahan and Jay Sawyer and some of the members of the Rowmark Junior 2019–2020 All-Mountain Rippers team.