On March 1, the Spencer F. Eccles Olympic Mountain Center at Utah Olympic Park formally opened for training. This event, the culmination of the second phase of mountain expansion on the park’s west peak, upgraded the park’s training capabilities, which will benefit Rowmark Ski Academy as well as Park City Ski and Snowboard Club and the University of Utah Ski Team, the venue’s three founding clubs.
A 1,200-vertical-foot, full-length super-G, giant slalom, and slalom venue, complete with a high-speed quad chairlift, snowmaking, and lights, West Peak is a state-of-the-art training facility that will long benefit Rowmark Ski Academy and Rowmark Junior athletes.
The Rowmark Junior program has wrapped up another successful season. This year, we welcomed a record number of new families to our community. I’m pleased with the skill development of these new members; however, I’m very proud of the growth in personal character within the athletes as the coaches reinforced our team values every week. I will recognize our athletes later in the article, but first I want to discuss the remarkable community we have in the Rowmark Junior Program.
Our community of athletes, coaches, parents, teachers, and administrators created an incredible environment where we all placed priority in our core values. By keeping the development of the whole athlete as a paramount, we were able to find the balance in academics and athletics. Moreso, we were able to identify the best opportunities for each athlete. The coaching staff and athletes created an environment of high expectations and inclusivity. They practiced positive character traits in trust and perseverance. Meanwhile, there was always a balance between team pride and sportsmanship. Our Rowmark parents were supportive to all competitors and thankful to the volunteers at each race. I’m very pleased with our team culture and look forward to building upon our successes moving forward.
During the season, we celebrated our increasing diversity at our family day at the Utah Olympic Park with a flag ceremony and ski race for all. With the generosity of a donor, we have established the Trailblazer Scholarship to help support our efforts in bringing more diversity into our program.
We enhanced our introduction level, known as Love to Ski, under the leadership of Tiffany Flygare. Tiffany created a lesson plan each week that kept the young athletes engaged and always looking forward to the following week.
I’m so very proud of the hard work that all our student-athletes have applied this season. They were ready to showcase their talents at their given championships across the Western US. Please join me in celebrating the following Rowmark athletes for reaching their championship events.
U14 Regionals, Jackson Hole, WY
Callie Lipson, Andrew Hanrahan, Luke Kanarowski, and Rhys Schillinger
U14 Tri-Divisionals, Grand Targhee, WY
Paulina Ize-Cedillo, Finley Taptich, Darshan Pani, Jake Snyder, Niklas Tognina, and Wyatt Williams
U12 IMD Championships, Snowbird, UT
Asher Williams, Chet Rhodes, Dylan Kinkead, Elle Wucetich, Elle Hanlon, Hadley Rhodes, Mei Mei Morgan, Nate Snyder, Stella Copeland, and Will Hanlon
U12 IMD Finals, Park City, UT
DylanGalen, IrisFisher, WyattDaniels, AaronChen, ChandlerCorcoran, EmmieWalker, EvieChen, OwenDonigan, RohanPani, ZachMazur, AryaMartinez, BeckKing, BergenSneen, CeceQuinn, CeriPihl, EastonWalker, ElizaPhyfe, EmilyMelman, HunterStamps, HunterFiore, JohnsonPhilips, KrishnaSiripurapu, Lasher O’Connell, LillaSneen, Mahadev Siripurapu, Mila Patel, Pedro Huerta Strodthoff, Talia Brylawski, Victoria Hall, Walter Wucetich, and Will Wucetich
It will be a season we all remember for a long time. I’m thankful to everyone for making it successful.
Three Rowmark Ski Academy women swept the podium at a NorAm GS in Stratton, Vermont: Madi Hoffman ’18 (University of Utah/Australian National Team) was first, Mary Bocock ’22 (US Ski Team) was second, and Elisabeth Bocock ’23 (US Ski Team) was third! In the giant slalom (GS), Mary was first, Elisabeth was third, and Madi was fourth.
Mary Bocock won both the NorAm Super-G and Overall NorAm Titles for 2023, and earned World Cup starts for 2023–2024.
Rowmark alum and US Ski Team member Katie Hensien ’18 is 23rd (third American!) at the World Championships GS in Courchevel Méribel, France, in her first World Championships.
Congratulations to Rowmark Ski Academy/Rowland Hall alum and US Ski Team member Breezy Johnson ’13 on her sixth-place finish in the World Cup Finals Downhill in Soldeu, Andorra. This result culminates an impressive return from a season-ending injury last year.
NCAA National Championships
White Face, NY March 8-11
Madi Hoffman continued on her incredible roll by winning both the GS and slalom (SL) at the NCAA Nationals, propelling the University of Utah to its fourth consecutive national championship. Also, Zoe Michael, who attended Rowmark/Rowland Hall from 2016 to 2018, and who skis for the University of New Hampshire, was 19th in SL and 28th in GS, while Sophia Yubero ’17, a senior at Middlebury College, was 15th in SL and 22nd in GS.
Congratulations to all on a strong finish to their competition season!
Below are the competition highlights of Rowmarkers who captured top finishes during the last month of the competition season.
U18 National Championships
Mittersill, NH, March 9–15
Four of our U18s qualified for and competed in the prestigious U18 Nationals at Mittersill, NH: Brooke Brown, Lili Honey, Cam Prichard, and Karsten Schillinger. First-year U18 Brooke Brown was impressive in the downhill (DH), with 11th place, while first-year U18 Karsten Schillinger scored 18th in slalom (SL).
Western Region U16 Championships
Sun Valley, ID, March 21–24
Nine of our U16 team members competed in the Western Region U16 Championships at Sun Valley. For the boys, Jack Hoffman had an outstanding week, with a fifth and seventh in super-G (SG), second in SL, first in giant slalom (GS), and first overall! Freddy Gowski skied well in the GS into sixth place, and first-year U16 Teo Shamah was impressive with an 11th in SL. For the girls, Vivian Turner had two great races, with a seventh in SG and sixth in GS, while Sophia Hijjawi was fast with 14th in GS and 16th in SL. Congratulations to all!
With their performances, Jack Hoffman and Vivian Turner both qualified for the U16 National Championships in Mission Ridge, WA.
IMD Tri-Divisional Championships
Grand Targhee, WY, March 23–26
Nine of our Rowmark U16 and U14 team members traveled to Grand Targhee for the Tri-Divisional Championships (Intermountain, Northern, and Alaska Divisions), where four feet of snow fell during the series. Due to all the snow, the GS race was canceled, but they were able to pull off the SG and SL (and a lot of epic powder skiing). Jax Salinas broke through with a second place in SG, and Kendall Kanarowski matched him with second place in SL.
FIS Spring Series
Big Sky, MT, and Palisades Tahoe, CA, March 30–April 11
Our FIS Team had their final races of the season at the Big Sky, MT, and Palisades Tahoe, CA, Western Region FIS Spring Series races, competing against stacked fields. Rowmark alum and US Ski Team member Mary Bocock ’22 won the first Palisades GS. Brooke Brown had several strong races, including an 11th, 13th, and 15th in GS (on the podium for U18s in third), 13th in SL, and 18th in SG over the two series. Lili Honey skied to a 10th (fourth for U18s) and 15th in GS, and a 20th in SL at Big Sky. Grace Venverloh was 19th in SL at Palisades. Also at Big Sky, for the boys, Cam Prichard was 15th in GS, while Jack Zipp was 18th in SL and Jamison Oleksy was 20th in SL. At Palisades, Karsten Schillinger impressed with a 14th in SL (fifth for U18s), and Ian Hanrahan was 19th in SG and 20th in GS.
U16 National Championships
Mission Ridge, WA, April 2–6
Two of our U16s competed in the prestigious U16 Nationals at Mission Ridge, WA. Jack Hoffman was eighth in the SG and in second place after the first run of GS before slipping to 15th after the second run. Then in the SL, he was in fifth after the first run before a mistake took him out of contention. Nevertheless, it was clear that Jack had podium pace in both races. Vivian Turner was 18th in the GS (ninth in the second run) and an impressive fourth in the parallel team event.
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.