The Rowmark Junior Program is enjoying the early snowfall. We recently returned from a ski camp in Loveland, Colorado, with our Academy Prep group. Since our last article, we have enjoyed a camp at Mt. Hood in June with both the All-Star and Academy Prep groups, then an additional Mt. Hood camp in August for the Academy Prep group. Mt. Hood continues to provide excellent training opportunities to advance athletes’ skills during the off-season.
Returning to school in August, we shifted our focus to our physical conditioning and getting everyone set up with their new ski equipment. September and October provided more time for conditioning, as well as our annual parent meetings for each program. We have recently completed our dryland training sessions, along with our annual fitness testing. We had so many athletes set personal records in several test areas. This is a great reflection of the growth mindset used throughout our program. We are very proud of our team environment, which allows every student to pursue their personal best as they are encouraged by their teammates.
It was great to host our annual fall BBQ to welcome our new members and to share highlights from the summer and fall. We had to take a couple years off due to the pandemic, so it was so fun to unite as a team.
As mentioned above, we have now moved into our fall on-snow prep period. These early season camps and local training sessions will prepare our athletes for the upcoming competition phase. We have a full roster, with a record number of 22 athletes in our All-Mountain Rippers program, along with 16 All-Stars and 14 Academy Prep athletes. Our Love to Ski program for first and second graders is filling up fast too.
Our Academy Prep program has already returned from their first ski camp in Colorado (please see the summary of their camp below from Coach Matt Brown). They are now getting ready for our next camp in Sun Valley. The All-Star program will join them in Sun Valley as well, followed by our All-Mountain Rippers and Love to Ski programs starting up in December.
From Coach Matt Brown:
We had three days of beautiful Colorado sunny skies at Loveland Ski Area.
The hospitality from our hotel was perfect, with spacious rooms and space for meetings, studying, and ski tuning; hot breakfast; a short one-minute walk to restaurants for dinner; and a close distance to our afternoon dryland activities.
We want to congratulate the athletes and coaches for coming in with a huge growth mindset to learn and support each other as a team over the entire camp. The daily schedule was super busy, with a 6 am wake-up for movement prep and breakfast, followed by loading, a ski session, conditioning, and study hall. We ended our day at 9 pm, with lights out.
We skied for about four hours each day, with the kids split up randomly into different groups each day with different coaches, allowing athletes and coaches to find what works best for each individual and to get to know each other on a deeper level.
By Todd Brickson, Rowmark Ski Academy Program Director
We are excited to be celebrating Rowmark Ski Academy’s 40th anniversary this school year! We are looking forward to our March 11–12 celebration weekend, and invite our current Rowmark families and alumni to join us for a weekend of activities, including free skiing with friends, a dual ski race, BBQ tailgating, hors d’oeuvres, and remarks and a slideshow at the Utah Olympic Park on March 11. More details to come!
We welcomed three new staff to our Academy team this summer. Peter Girardi is our new men’s FIS head coach and conditioning coach; Rowmark and Rowland Hall alum Tristan McInnis ’14 returns to our staff, this time as our women’s FIS head coach and equipment manager; and Ben Throm joins us to assist both Peter and Tristan with our FIS teams. All three have hit the ground running and we are thrilled to have them on board.
The Academy’s 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 a June ski camp at Copper Mountain, Colorado, and an August camp at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Despite the ongoing drought-related challenges, both camps presented excellent summer skiing conditions and our team made excellent headway with their technical, tactical, and conditioning goals.
In early September, our team headed down to Southern Utah for our annual Academy Fall Orientation Weekend. For this year’s trip, we spent two days rafting, paddleboarding, swimming, and camping at the Nefertiti Recreation Area on the Green River. We also challenged the Rowmarkers’ teamwork and leadership skills with a series of water relays and beach games.
On October 1, our FIS team traveled to Stelvio, Italy, for two weeks for their third ski camp of the prep period, where they were greeted with excellent weather, snow, and training conditions on a glacier deep in the Italian Alps. The camp also provided a dynamic cultural experience and challenged athletes’ academic and organizational abilities, as they missed seven days of school for it.
In late October, both our FIS and U16s drove over to Copper Mountain, Colorado, for an excellent four-day camp, where an early cold snap and aggressive snowmaking provided excellent mid-winter snow conditions on their training arena at the top of the mountain at 12,000 feet of elevation.
As this goes to publication, our Rowmark team will be back in Colorado just prior to Thanksgiving break for an eight-day slalom and giant slalom camp at Aspen Highlands. This will wrap up our preparation period camp slate, as we get on snow full-time here in Utah upon our return.
With that said, we could not be more excited about the opening of the phase-two mountain expansion on the west peak of the Utah Olympic Park this winter. Phase one opened in 2019 and, in combination with the Eagle Race Arena at Park City Mountain Resort, has already provided us with a huge upgrade to our training quality and volume. Phase two/west peak is a 1,200-vertical-foot, full-length super-G, giant slalom, and slalom venue, complete with a high-speed quad chairlift, snowmaking, and lights. This will clearly be a state-of-the-art game changer for our Academy and Junior Program teams, and we couldn’t be more grateful to our incredibly generous donors who helped make this a reality. We can’t wait!
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, GabrielleHanlon, Harper Jensen, Callie Lipson, Mei Mei Morgan, Zoe Rankin, Finley Taptich, Elle Wuetich, WillHanlon, 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, AndrewWentz, 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, EmiSalmon 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 BeckKing.
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; TeoShamah, Chase Dennis, and Tallulah Proulx all had top-three finishes for the U14 age class
Below are competition highlights of current Rowmarkers who captured top finishes during the last month of the season.
U18 National Championships, Colorado, March 1–7
Six Rowmarkers qualified for the prestigious U18 National Championships at Vail, Colorado, last week with great performances: Jack AbuHaidar, Preston Bolus, Ian Hanrahan, Ford Hodgkins, Elisabeth Bocock, and Maddie Welling. For the boys, Ford was impressive with 15th in downhill and 15th in super-G, while Jack was 17th and 25th in downhill and second in giant slalom. For the girls, Elisabeth rocketed to third in giant slalom and sixth in slalom, while Maddie found the podium in giant slalom in fifth, was ninth in super-G, and was 14th in slalom.
FIS Western Region Junior Championships, Washington, March 12–17
Twelve members of our FIS Team took part in the Western Region Junior Championships at Mission Ridge, Washington, with challenging weather and snow conditions that wreaked havoc on the schedule and resulted in a few postponements and a race cancellation during the week. Despite this, many Rowmarkers turned in great performances, including Anna Davis with a victory in slalom and a third in giant slalom. Audrey Higgins-Lopez was also impressive with a fourth and fifth in super-G, and Lili Honey skied to two ninths in super-G and 15th in giant slalom. Hayden Mengason broke through with a 15th in slalom, while Charlotte Morris and Grace Venverloh both cracked the top 30, Charlotte with a 27th in slalom and Grace with a 28th in super-G. For the boys, Cam Prichard had a great start to the series before injuring his hand, with a 16th in the first slalom (from the 81st start position, winning him the Hard Charger Award!) and 26th in giant slalom. And not to be outdone, Frank Stearns also turned in a 16th in the second slalom as well as a 30th in giant slalom.
Western Region U16 Championships, Montana, March 14–17
Five members of our U16 Team raced in the Western Region U16 Championships at Big Sky. Leading the way was Karsten Schillinger, who had a spectacular series with a victory in slalom, second in giant slalom, and fourth and sixth in super-G, thereby also winning the overall series title. First-year U16 Jack Hoffman had three excellent races, with a ninth in giant slalom, and 15th and 20th in the two super-G races. Both qualified for the U16 Nationals in Sugarloaf, Maine. Jack Zipp had his two best races of the season, with a 19th in slalom and 20th in giant slalom. For the girls, Kaia Brickson was 15th in slalom—all the way from the 50th start position.
IMD Tri-Divisional Championships, Wyoming, March 24–27
The USSA Tri-Divisionals Championships at Jackson Hole concluded with several strong Rowmark finishes. Declan Morasch was fast in super-G with an impressive fourth place. In the giant slalom, Milan Mickelson had a great race in 15th, while Andrew Hanrahan was 18th overall and fifth for U14s. For the girls, Kendall Kanarowski had her best race of the year with an 18th in slalom.
IMD SnowCup Spring Series, Utah, March 31–April 5
Many of the Rowmark girls competed at the IMD Snow Cup Spring Series at Snowbird the past few days. Sophia Hijjawi had a great series with a third in slalom (first for U14s) and second in giant slalom (first for U14s) and fifth in giant slalom (second for U14s). Charlotte Morris was sixth in the first slalom. Kaia Brickson was ninth and ninth in slalom (fourth and third for U16s) and 11th in giant slalom (eighth for U16s), while Tallulah Proulx was 20th and 27th in giant slalom (seventh and eighth for U14s).
Meanwhile, at the IMD Snow Cup Spring Series at Snowbird, Cam Prichard grabbed two podiums with a victory and third place in giant slalom. Preston Bolus was third in giant slalom and fourth in slalom; Ford Hodgkins was fourth and seventh in giant slalom, and second in slalom; Jack AbuHaidar was fifth in giant slalom and third in slalom; Frank Stearns was ninth and 14th in giant slalom, and eighth in slalom; Mason Schlopy was 11th in giant slalom and 16th in slalom; Leo Martin was 14th in slalom; and Matt Siegal was 17th in slalom. For the U16s, Jack Zipp was 13th in giant slalom (fifth for U16s) and 11th in slalom (fifth for U16s), and Freddy Gowski was 12th in slalom (sixth for U16s). For the U14s, Teo Shamah was second, third, and third (41st, 37th, and 31st overall).
U16 National Championships, Maine, April 2–6
At the prestigious U16 Nationals in Sugarloaf, Maine, Karsten Schillinger was 13th in the super-G and 12th in the giant slalom, while Jack Hoffman was 22nd in the slalom.
FIS Elite Spring Series, California, April 5–10
The Rowmark FIS Team finished their season at the FIS Elite Spring Series in Tahoe, California, where we saw Rowmarkers in the top 15 every day of racing against the best 100 boys and 100 girls in the Western US. For the girls, Elisabeth Bocock knocked it out of the park with a victory in slalom and a fifth and second in giant slalom, while Maddie Welling raced to an impressive fifth in slalom and fifth, sixth, and 10th in giant slalom. Chloe Lathrop had a great series with an eighth, 10th, 13th, and 14th. Audrey Higgins-Lopez was impressive with an eighth, 10th, and 16th. Anna Davis was also fast with a 16th and 19th.
For boys, Ford Hodgkins grabbed a podium of his own with a third in slalom, as well as a 13th in slalom, and 14th in giant slalom. Jack Abuhaidar took eighth in giant slalom and 17th in slalom; Cam Prichard raced to eighth, 11th, and 16th; Frank Stearns finished 14th in slalom; and Preston Bolus and Ian Hanrahan both took home 15th-place finishes.
We think it’s appropriate to give another shout-out to our four Olympian alums and to congratulate our newest NCAA Champion!
Four Rowmark Ski Academy Athletes Qualify for the 2022 Olympic Games, Bringing the Academy’s All-Time Olympian Total to 20
We are proud of our four Olympians who qualified for February’s 2022 Olympic Games: Katie Hensien ’18 and Breezy Johnson ’13 (USA), Katie Vesterstein ’17 (Estonia), and Madi Hoffman ’18 (Australia). Since their earliest days on the mountain, these Olympians have been on a journey toward athletic excellence. Being named to their countries' Alpine ski teams is one of the highest honors of their careers and represents endless hours of sacrifice and a steady commitment to intense training and competition.
While four of Rowmark's former student-athletes qualified for the Games, only two were able to compete in Beijing. Except for an unfortunate injury two weeks prior to the Olympics in a World Cup training run in Cortina, Italy, Breezy was on that charted path, and heavily favored for a medal in the women's Olympic downhill, scheduled for February 15. Just a few days later, Madi injured her knee, knocking her out of the Games as well. While both Breezy and Madi sustained season-ending knee injuries while training for the Games, they nevertheless qualified for the Olympics, and we could not be prouder of them. Injury is a common reality in our sport, and the timing is devastating, but they will be back stronger than ever.
Katie Hensien and Katie Vesterstein went on to carry the Rowmark Ski Academy and Rowland Hall torch, and represented incredibly well. Congratulations to Katie Hensien, who charged to 26th in the Olympic slalom (starting 40th), and to Katie Vesterstein, who was 35th in the Olympic giant slalom (starting 62nd). Katie Vesterstein was impressive in her giant slalom race from a late-start position. She did not finish her first slalom run but was skiing great before she crashed out of the course. Katie Hensien had two excellent slalom runs to move into the top 30.
NCAA National Championships, Park City, Utah, March 9–12
Congratulations to Rowmark alum and current University of Denver student-athlete Katie Hensien ’18, who is the NCAA National Slalom Champion and the silver medalist in giant slalom! It has been quite a month for Katie, also a US Ski Team World Cup Team member who competed in her first Olympic Games in February.
Zoe Michael, who attended Rowmark/Rowland Hall from 2016 to 2018 and skis for the University of New Hampshire, was also an NCAA All-American, with a 10th in slalom, while Sophia Yubero ’17, a senior at Middlebury College, was 28th in slalom and 30th in giant slalom.
The Rowmark Junior Program is now in full swing. We started the year off with an overnight camping trip in Ogden Valley, where we enjoyed some team bonding and paddleboarding with the Middle School students. September was all about physical conditioning and getting everyone set up with their ski equipment. October provided more time for conditioning, as well as our annual parent meetings for each program. We recently completed our dryland training sessions with our annual fitness testing. We had so many athletes set personal records in several test areas. This is a great reflection of the growth mindset used throughout our program. We are very proud of our team environment, which allows every student to pursue their personal best as they are encouraged by their teammates.
We have now moved into our fall on-snow prep period. These early season camps and local training sessions will prepare our athletes for the upcoming competition phase. We have a full roster, with a record number of 22 athletes in our Academy Prep program, along with 15 All-Stars and 12 All-Mountain Rippers. Our Love to Ski program for first and second graders is filling up fast too.
Our Academy Prep program has already returned from their first ski camp in Colorado (please see the summary of their camp below from Coach Matt Brown). We look forward to starting up our local training for all Rowmark students in December.
From Coach Matt Brown:
We had three days of beautiful Colorado sunny skies at both Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Areas. We spent one day at A-Basin and two days at Loveland, and the snow was fantastic in both areas.
The hospitality from our hotel was perfect, with spacious rooms and space for meetings, studying, ski tuning, and hot breakfast. It was also a short, one-minute walk to restaurants for dinner, as well as close to our afternoon dryland activities.
We want to congratulate the athletes and coaches for coming in with a huge growth mindset to learn and support each other as a team over the entire camp. The daily schedule was super busy, with a 6 am wake-up for warm-up, breakfast, and loading, and lights out at 9 pm. We skied for about four hours daily, with the kids split randomly into different groups each day with different coaches, allowing the athletes and coaches to find what works best for each individual and to get to know each other on a deeper level. Most kids had new equipment, so it was also time to work out the kinks and break in the boots. Despite a few sore shins, we had a huge amount of success working on finding our stance and balance after not skiing for several months.
Our Rowmark team, which consists of many of the top junior alpine ski racers and student-athletes nationally and internationally, has been working very hard on a daily basis this past spring, summer, and fall in our rigorous on-snow and conditioning program. This program prepares our athletes to be in optimal physical condition as they prepare for the fast-approaching race season. Our coaches are seeing solid technical/tactical improvements and strong bonding across our team.
One of the special attributes of Rowmark is the way in which the athletes work together and support one another through all aspects of their experience. This was exemplified during our 11th Rowmark Ski Academy Bear Lake Challenge in early September. The orientation weekend is designed to test the Rowmarkers physically, mentally, and socially; to identify and develop leadership, spirit, and cooperation skills; and for team bonding. The event also helped identify our team captains for the year, as elected by their peers. This year’s captains are Mary Bocock, Layla Hijjawi, Ford Hodgkins, and Mason Schlopy, and we are looking forward to their leadership.
A commitment to year-round physical conditioning is a critical component to optimal performance on snow. Foreste Peterson, our new head women’s FIS coach and head conditioning coach, directs a dynamic, periodized daily physical training program that includes facets such as strength and power, cardio, plyometrics, quickness and coordination, flexibility, and cross-training and games.
We also are thrilled to have Brian Morgan move into our head men’s FIS coach role and, at the same time, Lyndsay Strange move up to work with our FIS team. We also welcome Jeremy Jakob to round out our FIS staff and the return of Skip Puckett to our U16 staff.
The theme of Rowmark Ski Academy’s summer and fall training period has been an ongoing exercise in flexibility and creativity as we piece together plans that have been constantly changing due to warm temperatures and lack of snow. We have been able to pull it off with a lot of patience and willingness to change plans, and we appreciate everyone’s ability to adapt on the fly.
Rowmark had an interesting start to our summer ski camp plans when, back in April, it became clear we needed to cancel our annual June trip to Mammoth Mountain, California. Normally a location with ample winter snowpack and excellent race-training conditions into late June, Mammoth had a low snow season (as did most of the western US) and had to close in late May. Instead, we skied eight days, over two Fridays and three weekends, at Snowbird in May, which turned out to be a productive alternative. We are thankful to Snowbird for providing terrain on the upper mountain, the Road to Provo bowl, where we were able to free-ski, kick off our drill progression, and train gates over the eight days.
We experienced a similar challenge for our next ski camp, scheduled in August at Mt. Hood, a dormant volcano and the highest peak in Oregon that normally has good snow for race training throughout the entire summer. The already low and quickly melting snowpack was devastated even further by a record heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, where temps reached into the 110s for several days in early July. We were fortunate to be able to reschedule our dates in mid-July before the snow completely disappeared, and we had an excellent camp for the Rowmarkers who were able to change their summer plans in order to attend.
Thankfully, our third ski camp, in Schnalstal, Italy, located in the heart of the South Tyrol Alps, went off as scheduled in early October, with excellent snow conditions. Our FIS team had a great camp and also enjoyed the two-week immersion in Italian mountain culture, with its stunning beauty and delicious cuisine.
Our most recent ski camp in Copper Mountain, Colorado, in late October also went off very successfully despite the continuing unusually warm fall weather. The 12,000-foot elevation of Copper’s training venue, located at the very top of the mountain, was well prepared with man-made snow, and both our FIS and U16 teams had a very productive giant slalom camp.
Our final on-snow camp is after Thanksgiving in Aspen, Colorado, before we begin our local training after Thanksgiving at the Utah Olympic Park and Park City Mountain. Aspen’s training venue is much lower in elevation, at 9,000 to 10,000 feet, and they are having challenges with the warm temperatures to make enough snow. So we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to pull off the Aspen camp. Stay tuned!
As the winter season approaches, the Rowmarkers are looking forward to putting their summer and fall on-snow training conditioning to the test. Their days will soon be filled beginning to end. Morning academic classes are followed by afternoon ski training, video review, ski tuning, and evenings of homework. Their race schedule takes them all over the country and, for a few, to Canada and Europe as well. The extensive travel causes Rowmarkers to miss several weeks of school throughout the winter, which tests their organizational, communication, and time-management skills. Their success hinges on the support of the Rowland Hall faculty and their extra efforts of frequent communication and consultation sessions, which allow the Rowmarkers to not only survive the academic load but often to excel. A big thank you goes out to these teachers for their commitment to making this happen.
In any case, the double whammy of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have made the past year and a half particularly challenging for the sport of ski racing. It has certainly been an exercise in flexibility, as well as a true character-building period of time. We are proud of our Rowmark student-athletes for their ability to adapt and flourish in the strangest of times, and we can’t wait for the fast-approaching winter competition season.
As I take time to reflect on the past season, I see so many areas where the Rowmark Junior Program has been successful. I’m very proud of our program. As part of our team values, we focus on the skills of perseverance and determination. This past season has presented its challenges, yet in every case the Rowmark community has persevered. We had to adapt to a new race schedule splitting genders or teams. Parents stepped up to provide transportation and lodging as needed to meet protocols. Coaches have picked up extra hours and created training sessions to meet the needs of every athlete. The athletes continue to thrive as they find balance in pursuing their sport at the highest level and also stay committed to their academic workload.
Our training sessions at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) and Park City Mountain Resort continue to provide the ideal mix of terrain and course setting, 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: Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, and Brighton.
The return 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.
The month of March was full of championship events. We had Rowmarkers invited to all levels, and several podium finishes. A Rowmarker won the overall award in all three levels of championship events. Congrats to Paxton Cichos, Luke Kanarowski, and Jack Hoffman for winning the overall for their respective championship events.
YSL Finals, UOP, March 13–14
Harper Jensen: 2nd (U10)
Zoe Rankin: 3rd (U10)
Dylan Galen: 8th (U12)
Girls Giant Slalom
Harper Jensen: 4th (U10)
Zoe Rankin: 6th (U10)
Addison August: 9th (U12)
Dylan Galen: 10th (U12)
Asher Williams: WINNER (U10)
Will Hanlon: 9th (U10)
Paxton Cichos: WINNER (U12)
Niklas Tognina: 7th (U12)
Andrew Wentz: 9th (U12)
Boys Giant Slalom
Will Hanlon: WINNER (U10)
Asher Williams: 2nd (U10)
Andrew Wentz: 7th (U12)
Niklas Tognina: 10th (U12)
OVERALL WINNER: Paxton Cichos
IMD SS Champs, Snowbasin, March 17–19
Lukas Postnieks: 5th (slalom)
Niklas Tognina: 6th (giant slalom)
Zoe Rankin: 7th (giant slalom); 8th (slalom)
Harper Jensen: 5th (slalom)
Luke Kanarowski: 4th (giant slalom); WINNER (slalom)
Andrew Hanrahan: 5th (giant slalom); 3rd (slalom)
Rhys Schillinger: 9th (slalom)
Brynn Copinga: 4th (giant slalom)
Callie Lipson: 10th (slalom)
OVERALL WINNER: Luke Kanarowski
U14 IMD Champs, Jackson Hole, March 24–28
Sophia Hijjawi: 7th (super-G); 2nd (giant slalom)
Jack Hoffman: WINNER (super-G); 2nd (giant slalom); WINNER (slalom)
As I write this article, I’m in Squaw Valley, California. Jack Hoffman and Sophia Hijjawi both qualified to represent the Intermountain Division, as they were selected to attend a special development project hosted by the Western Region as an introduction to the National Development system. Jack and Sophia are joined with the best U14s in the Western US.
This has been a successful season and a true reflection of our core values, where everyone has preserved against the challenges of ski racing during a global pandemic.
Special thanks to our new staff members, Matt Brown, Parker Acosta, Jules Parke, Lucy Doyle, and Tiffany Flygare, for making a positive impact on our program during their first year.
Note regarding banner photo: Due to COVID-19 delays, 2020–2021 Rowmark Junior Programs photos have not yet been released. We will update the above banner image when we receive those photos.
Below are competition highlights of current Rowmarkers who captured top finishes during the last month of the season.
FIS Elite Races, California
Many of our U19s raced in FIS Elite races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, in mid-March against the best 100 boys and 100 girls in the Western US.
Maddie Welling: Seventh overall (fifth for U19s) in slalom #1; eighth overall (and second for U19s) in slalom #2
Mary Bocock: 10th overall (and second for U19s) in giant slalom; 11th overall (and fourth for U19s) in slalom
Harry Hoffman: 10th overall (second for U19s) in slalom; 13th overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom
Divisional FIS Race, Wyoming
At the same time as the California races, Snow King Mountain Resort in Wyoming hosted a Divisional FIS race where the other half of our U19s competed.
Charlotte Altman: Eighth in slalom; 14th in giant slalom
Dagny Brickson: 15th in slalom
Preston Bolus: 19th in slalom; 19th in giant slalom
Tri-Divisional Championships, Montana
Many of our U16s raced in the Tri-Divisional Championships at Big Sky Resort in Montana from March 18–21.
Matt Siegal: First in super-G; eighth in giant slalom; seventh in slalom
Henry Cunningham: Second and third in super-G
Leo Martin: Ninth in giant slalom
Jack Zipp: 11th in slalom; 13th in giant slalom
Arden Louchheim: Second in super-G; third in giant slalom
Kaia Brickson: Fourth in slalom
Charlotte Morris: Fifth in slalom
Hayden Kaufman Schiller: Seventh in super-G
South Series Finals, Utah
U16 freshman Declan Morasch competed in the South Series Finals at Snowbasin, Utah, in late March, where he placed first in giant slalom.
77th Annual Snowcup, Utah
The 77th Annual Snowcup at Snowbird, Utah, held March 30 to April 2, was an excellent race for Rowmark, with outstanding finishes from across the team. Notably, Ian Hanrahan and Elisabeth Bocock won the prestigious Snowcup overall titles! Below are some standout finishes from this series.
Ian Hanrahan: Second in slalom; first and second in giant slalom; first overall
Jack Abuhaidar: Second in slalom; first and second in giant slalom
Ford Hodgkins: Third and third in slalom
Preston Bolus: 10th in slalom; fourth and seventh in giant slalom
Frank Stearns: Fifth and 11th in slalom
Karsten Schillinger: Sixth in slalom; 14th in giant slalom
Henry Cunningham: 10th in slalom; 13th in giant slalom
Elisabeth Bocock: First and first in giant slalom; first and second in slalom; first overall
Madi Dean: First and fifth in slalom; fifth and sixth in giant slalom
Mary Clancy: 12th in giant slalom; second and fifth in slalom
Charlotte Morris: 15th in slalom
Western Region U16 Championships, California
Three Rowmark athletes—Elisabeth Bocock, Lili Honey, and Karsten Shillinger—qualified to compete in the exclusive Western Region U16 Championships in Mammoth, California, which consists of the best U16 athletes in the entire Western Region of the United States. Elisabeth Bocock finished first in super-G, first in giant slalom, and second in slalom, securing her the Western Region Overall Championship and a spot in the U16 Nationals, which, unfortunately, was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. Lili Honey and Karsten Shillinger both also had some strong top-25 finishes.
FIS Spring Series, California
Some of the FIS Rowmarkers managed to get a spot in the Squaw Spring Series races at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Post-graduate Madi Dean charged to a fifth and sixth in slalom, and junior Maddie Welling had some standout performances and secured 10th in giant slalom.
FIS Spring Series, Colorado
Mary Bocock won the giant slalom race in Breckenridge, Colorado. With this finish, Mary is now 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!
US National Championships, Colorado
Three of our FIS athletes had the outstanding achievement of qualifying to the prestigious US National Championships in Aspen from April 5–16. Harry Hoffman competed in the men’s US Nationals this past week with strong results, while Mary Bocock had an outstanding 12th in super-G and Maddie Welling had two top-30 finishes, with a 24th in the alpine combined and a 29th in super-G.
Western Region FIS Downhills, California
Finally, five Rowmarkers finished the season with downhill races at Mammoth Mountain, California. For the men, Ford Hodgkins led the way with a 13th and 26th, while, for the women, Dagny Brickson was 11th on the first downhill and an impressive eighth place in the final race.
Congratulations to our entire team for a great season despite all the craziness!
Rowmark alum and US Ski Team star Breezy Johnson ’13 had a nearly unprecedented series of podium results on the World Cup, with four consecutive third place downhill podium finishes, followed by a fifth! With this streak, Breezy placed fourth in the Overall World Cup downhill standings for the 2021 season. Incredible!
Rowmark alum and emerging US Ski Team member Katie Hensien ’18 scored her first World Cup points, with an 18th in a World Cup slalom in Croatia in March. Katie also won the 2020 National Championship giant slalom and was third in the slalom back in November.
Congratulations to Rowmark alum Alice McKennis Duran ’08 on her retirement from ski racing after an impressive career of 13 years on the US Ski Team, including a World Cup victory, three podiums, 10 top-10 finishes, two Olympic Games (fifth in downhill in 2018), and two National Championships. Rowmark Ski Academy is very proud of your accomplishments, and even more proud of your incredible determination and resilience to return to the top of the sport after several serious injuries. (Read more in this US Ski Team post highlighting Alice's stellar career.)