By Todd Brickson, Rowmark Ski Academy Program Director
Rowmark Summer and Fall Highlights
Our Academy and Junior Program summer and fall activities have been very busy and productive with ski camps and daily dryland conditioning. Our on-snow preparation period started off with an excellent June ski camp at Mammoth Mountain, CA, where the snow conditions were still fantastic due to a season of record snowfall in the Sierras.
Then in August, our FIS Team had plans to travel to New Zealand for their second ski camp, but poor snow conditions there forced a sudden pivot to Saas Fee, Switzerland, instead. This turned out to be a good decision as they had an excellent camp where they were greeted with excellent weather, snow, and training conditions on a glacier deep in the Swiss Alps. The camp also provided a dynamic experience of Swiss culture.
At the same time in August, our U16s and U14s had a productive camp at Mt. Hood, OR. Many people are surprised to learn that there is year-round skiing at Mt. Hood, but there is! With that said, we did have to endure a couple of days of record heat during the camp. Despite this, the snow held up well for our training as the coaches prepared the snow each day by spreading a thin layer of salt on the snow surface. (This works because the salt melts the first inch of snow, which then causes it to refreeze into ice above the next snow layer, thereby creating a hard, durable surface for each training session.)
In early September, our academy team headed north to Bear Lake, UT, for our annual Academy Fall Orientation Weekend. Here we challenged the Rowmarkers’ teamwork and leadership skills with a series of social and physical challenges, including a mountain bike/road bike/hike triathlon, speedball and volleyball tournaments, beach and water relays, slacklining, and tug-of-war.
As I write this, our Rowmark Academy team is now in Colorado for an eight-day SL (slalom) and GS (giant slalom) camp at Aspen Highlands, while our U14s and U12s are headed to Big Sky, MT, for five days on snow there prior to Thanksgiving break. These camps also challenge the Rowmarkers’ academic and organizational abilities as they miss several days of school for these fall camps and work to keep up with school during nightly study halls proctored by the coaches.
In between all these camps, our teams have been busy with daily after-school dryland conditioning, which includes strength training, core, cardio, agility, coordination, and games, as well as periodic mental training sessions as we finally get on snow full time here in Utah to prepare for the fast-approaching competition season!
Rowmark Staff Updates
This summer we welcomed Andy Hare to Rowmark as our new Junior Program director. Andy brings with him a combined 40 years of ski racing, ski industry, coaching, and program directing experience. Andy started his ski racing career at Ski Butternut in Massachusetts, and then attended Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, where he won several Junior Olympic titles.
After graduating from Stratton Mountain School, Andy qualified for the US Development Ski Team and spent a year training and racing around the world. He then attended the University of Utah, where won the 1996 NCAA GS National Championship title, was a three-time NCAA All-American, and was the recipient of the Alf Engen Sportsmanship Award. While at the U, Andy also coached FIS level athletes at Snowbird and worked as an intern with Rowmark.
After college, Andy began working at Nordica as the western race service manager. During his 23-year tenure at Nordica, he filled many roles ranging from race service, athlete (he competed in the 2000 X-Games in skier cross), product manager, marketing manager, and director of marketing. During this time Andy worked with a local ski area, Whaleback Mountain, restructuring the race program and as a member of the Board of Directors. Andy and his family then moved back to where he grew up and he was hired as the Ski Butternut program director where he worked for three years redeveloping the program, which grew to 230 athletes and 20 coaches.
Four years ago, Andy and his family had an opportunity to move to Utah, which had been a goal of his since the day he graduated from the U of U. Here, Andy has continued to consult for Nordica and has worked closely with US Ski and Snowboard, Professional Ski Instructors of America, and National Ski Patrol. Andy and his wife, Wendy, our Rowmark team manager, have two children, Parker and Emma, who both attend Rowland Hall. In his free time, Andy likes to ski, ride motorcycles, mountain bike, and spend time with his family.
We would also like to welcome the following new coaches to our programs:
- Jimena Carlin, FIS (U18 and older) assistant Academy coach
- Tyler Utendorfer, U14 Academy Prep assistant coach
- Sydney Weaver, U14 Academy Prep assistant coach
- Andrea Fiore, U12 All-Star assistant coach
- TJ Weaver, U10 All-Mountain Ripper assistant coach
- Hayley Trockman, U8 Love to Ski head coach
We are thrilled to announce that US Ski Team members and sisters Mary Bocock ’22 and Elisabeth Bocock ’23 each earned their first World Cup starts on October 28 in the giant slalom at Sölden, Austria.
At the same time, congratulations to Madi Hoffman ’18, Australian National Team and University of Utah two-time NCAA champion. On November 11, skiing with bib 36, the 23-year-old scored her first career World Cup points in her third World Cup start, finishing 25th in Levi, Finland!
These are huge milestones in these athletes’ young careers, and we are very proud of their impressive accomplishments on the world stage at the highest level of our sport.