By Todd Brickson, Rowmark Program Director
Despite the fact that our competition season was cut short due to the pandemic, Rowmark Ski Academy had a great season and many successful races regionally and nationally. Most importantly, our teams exhibited tremendous work ethic, camaraderie, and teamwork throughout the season for which the coaches are very proud.
New Value Statement
We are very proud of our team for creating and living up to our new Rowmark value statement—Teamwork, Balance, and Determination—throughout the season. This statement was created over a series of team workshops this fall.
Teamwork = Kindness and Sportsmanship
Balance = Academic and Athletic Excellence
Determination = Effort and Resilience
Utah Olympic Park
The addition of the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) Alpine Expansion Project as another training venue for our program has been the single most important development in my many years at Rowmark Ski Academy. I want to again extend a huge thank you to our generous donors who helped make this project a reality. We now have a dedicated training arena to extend our season—one that provides quality snow surface and a variance of terrain, while at the same time increasing our training volume. When combined with our longtime venues at Park City Mountain Resort, we now have all the spaces to train at the highest level. It is a game changer for the enjoyment, progression, and security of all of our Rowmark teams, as well as for the growth and prosperity of ski racing in our community for years to come. Rowmark has been very excited to partner with Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF), Park City Ski and Snowboard, and the University of Utah on this critical project, and we want to thank Colin Hilton and his UOLF staff for their vision, leadership, and commitment to this initiative.
Here is a wrap-up of our competition highlights from each of the winter months.
Our Rowmark teams completed their first competitions of the year in December with outstanding performances, including several top-10 results and a few very impressive victories. We are equally as proud of the Rowmarkers who are in the first years of their age groups, thereby starting at the back of the pack in these early races and battling their way up the start list as the season progresses.
At the World Cup level, US Ski Team member and Rowmark alum Alice McKennis ’08 completed another successful comeback from major injury to take her ninth top-10 finish in the downhill at Lake Louise, Canada. Recent graduate Katie Hensien ’18, now skiing for the US Ski Team and University of Denver, captured her third NorAm victory and two more top-fives at Nakiska, Canada, in the slalom (SL). At the same races, Madison Hoffman ’18 scored two top-six finishes and two U21 podiums as well.
At the regional FIS level, senior Eliza Hodgkins had her finest FIS race to date, with an eighth at the Western Region FIS races in the first SL at Snow King, Wyoming, while sophomore Mary Bocock was 10th in the second SL and ninth in the third SL. Then Mary topped those results with a sixth place in SL at the Steamboat FIS races the following week.
Mary’s younger sister and freshman Elisabeth Bocock was not to be outdone, with several great races, including a victory and two second-place finishes at the USSA Intermountain Division races at Snow King just before Christmas. Elisabeth also took the Series Overall Award. Eighth grader Molly Friedman had an outstanding series of her own, with a 10th, ninth, fifth, and fourth, while freshman Arden Louchheim skied her way into 9th place in the final SL race. For the boys, sophomore Jack AbuHaidar led the way with a sixth and ninth in giant slalom (GS), while eighth grader Alan Dugan popped into 10th in the final SL race.
In the Western Region U16 Performance Series at Mission Ridge, the highest level of U16 regional racing, sophomore Ford Hodgkins skied onto the GS podium in third, while freshman Harry Hoffman took the victory in GS.
Rowmark had a great weekend of racing (and powder skiing!) at the Jackson Hole IMD Open Wes Barron Memorial 3 Super-Gs January 10–12. The boys and girls raced to several top-15 finishes, including a rare podium sweep in the last boys race—with Harry Hoffman first, Jack AbuHaidar second, and Ford Hodgkins third! Harry also won the second race and was second in the first race, taking the Overall Series Title for the weekend. Ford was third in all three races. Preston Bolus was fifth in the first race, while Jack added a ninth and 10th, Ian Hanrahan had a 10th and 11th, and U19 Mason Schlopy continued his steady progress with a 14th. For the girls, first-year U16s Elizabeth Bocock skied to a ninth and Molly Friedman earned an impressive 14th.
Our Rowmark U19 team earned many impressive top-15 results against the region’s top SL and GS skiers at the Western Region FIS Elite 2SL/2GS races at Big Sky January 9–14. For the boys, Alessandro Gandini had a fifth, seventh, 10th, and 15th, while Carter Louchheim also clawed his way onto the first page with a seventh and 14th. For the girls, Mary Bocock earned a sixth, eighth, and 13th, while Ellie Nichols skied to an impressive sixth in the final GS and had two other top-20 finishes. Eliza Hodgkins and Bridget Lennon each had a top 20 of their own as well.
The Rowmark U16 Team had their first of three IMD Qualifier races of the season January 24–26, where they went head to head with 150 racers from across the Intermountain Division, all vying to qualify for the Western Region Championships in March.
For the boys, Harry Hoffman dominated the weekend by winning all three races. Also finding the podium was Ford Hodgkins, with a third place in GS. Ian Hanrahan had a great weekend as well, with a seventh in GS and fifth in SL, while Frank Stearns cracked into the top-10 with a ninth in SL, along with Preston Bolus, who was 10th in GS. Skiing with a broken thumb, Jack AbuHaidar clawed his way to 11th in GS, while eighth grader Matt Siegal had a breakthrough race with a 15th in SL.
For the girls, Elisabeth Bocock continued her impressive season with a third place in GS and a victory in the first SL. Molly Friedman had two strong races with an 11th in GS and 12th in SL.
Our teams exhibited tremendous work ethic, camaraderie, and teamwork throughout the season for which the coaches are very proud.
Our Rowmark FIS Team divided and conquered, with two different race trips in late January. Coaches Ker and Graham and seven U19s made the trek to Schweitzer, Idaho, for the Western Region FIS Elite 2DH/2SG series, with several top-10 finishes in challenging snowy conditions. For the girls, Ellie Nichols raced to a fourth and 10th; Eliza Hodgkins earned a fifth, seventh, and eighth; first-year U19 Dagny Brickson had a breakout series with a sixth, eighth, and ninth; and Bridget Lennon skied to a sixth and ninth of her own. For the boys, Carter Louchheim charged to a sixth and eighth in super-G (SG), and Ale Gandini finished the series strong with a ninth in the last SG race. Dagny and Eliza also each won the Hard Charger Award—Dagny in downhill (DH) #1 and Eliza in DH #2—which goes to the competitor with the biggest move up the results sheet compared to their start position each day.
Meanwhile, Coach Lauren and three U19 girls cruised over to the Colorado Ski Cup FIS 2GS in Steamboat, Colorado. Mary Bocock led the way with an eighth and ninth against steep competition, including a handful of the best NCAA college skiers in the country.
Our Rowmark Team competed in the IMD U16 Super-G Qualifier/U19 Open Races February 7–9 at Snowbasin with determination, teamwork, and several personal bests. Elizabeth Bocock had a great weekend, with a first, second, and fourth. Arden Louchheim had an excellent race on Saturday with a 10th, and Molly Friedman finished the series strong, coming in 13th in the final race. For the boys, Harry Hoffman continued to show his excellent form with two seconds and a third; Ford Hodgkins also made his way to the podium with a third; Ian Hanrahan was impressive with a fifth, 14th, and 14th; Jack AbuHaidar was very fast and consistent with a seventh, eighth, and 10th; Preston Bolus had a fine weekend with a seventh, 11th, and 14th; while Mason Schlopy cracked onto the first page with a 12th.
Mary Bocock, in her first year of FIS racing, had her first opportunity to compete at the NorAm level in SL and GS February 4–12 in Collingwood, Ontario, and Whiteface, New York, against the top FIS racers in the US and Canada. Mary started near the back of the pack in the 70s–80s and consistently finished in the 30s–40s. Even more impressive is that Mary finished in the top-two twice, top-three twice, and top-four once, for all first-year FIS athletes competing in the races.
At the same time, the rest of our FIS Team raced in the Bryce Astle Memorial WR FIS Elite 2GS/2SL Series at Park City and Snowbird, competing against a deep field from the entire Western Region. Breaking into the top 30 were Ellie Nichols with a 22nd, Mary Clancy with a 24th and 29th, and Eliza Hodgkins with a 25th.
The Rowmark U16s competed in their final qualifier races of the season in Sun Valley, Idaho, February 21–23. Harry Hoffman again led the way with a 1st and 2nd in GS and 1st also in SL, which earned him the Laura Flood Memorial overall series trophy. Jack AbuHaidar skied to a career-best podium finish with a third as well as an eighth in GS. Ian Hanaran was close behind, with a sixth in GS and a sixth in SL. For the girls, Molly Friedman cracked into the top 10 with a ninth in SL.
Qualifying for the U16 Western Region Championships to be held in Schweitzer, Idaho, March 11–14 were Harry Hoffman, Ian Hanrahan, Jack AbuHaidar, Ford Hodgkins, Frank Stearns, Preston Bolus, Matt Siegal, Elisabeth Bocock, Molly Friedman, and Arden Louchheim.
Five of our Rowmark U19s competed in the prestigious US National Junior Alpine Championships February 24–28 at Snowbasin: Ale Gandini, Carter Louchheim, Mary Bocock, Bridget Lennon, and Ellie Nichols. In the super-G, Mary rocketed from the 41st start position onto the podium into third place! After a DNF in GS, Mary also had a great SL race, with a 10th place finish. Bridget and Ale both cracked into the top 30, with Bridget 28th in the super-G and Ale 29th in SL. Carter had two solid races with a 37th in super-G and 42nd in GS.
The Women’s Open FIS 2SL at Snowbird and Men’s FIS GS/SL National Performance Series races at Snowbasin were contested directly after the National Junior Championships. For the women, Eliza Hodgkins had two breakout SL races, with fourth and fifth place finishes! Mary Bocock continued her solid string of races with a sixth and 15th. Ellie Nichols (with a 23rd), Mary Clancy (with a 26th), Dagny Brickson (with a 34th and 38th), and Charlotte Altman (with a 37th) all significantly improved from their start positions in the deep field. At the Men’s NPS GS races, Ale Gandini and Carter Louchheim also moved way up from their start positions, with Ale finishing 24th and Carter in 36th against the best U19–21s from across the US.
Due to the pandemic, racing came to a grinding halt in mid-March with the cancellation of the remainder of the ski season nationwide, including many of the championships and all of the spring series races. However, the first half of March was action-packed, with many impressive Rowmark performances.
The U19s raced March 7–11 at Sun Valley FIS Open Series. Eliza Hodgkins kept her momentum going from her previous races, roaring onto the podium into second place in the first slalom race as well as an eighth in GS. Also cracking into the top 20 were Bridget Lennon with a 16th and Dagny Brickson with a 14th, 20th, and 20th. For the boys, Carter Louchheim had a great SL race in fifth, while Ale Gandini stepped up with an eighth and 11th.
It turned out that the last races of the season were the Western Region U16 Championships at Schweitzer, Idaho. Rowmark was proud to qualify 10 athletes to represent the Intermountain Division Team: Elisabeth Bocock, Arden Louchheim, Molly Friedman, Jack AbuHaidar, Harry Hoffman, Ford Hodgkins, Ian Hanrahan, Preston Bolus, Frank Stearns, and Matt Siegal.
For the girls, Elisabeth Bocock led once again, with fourth and sixth in the super-G, and onto the podium with a third place in GS. Arden Louchheim also had standout performances, with a 12th in SG and 21st in GS.
For the boys, Jack AbuHaidar broke through and surprised many by taking the victory in the first super-G! Harry Hoffman skied to sixth and seventh in super-G, and 10th in GS, while Ford Hodgkins was 13th and 14th in super-G and seventh in GS, and Ian Hanrahan was 11th in GS. Unfortunately, as Rowmark has a very strong U16 SL team poised to land on the podium, the SL race was canceled.
Qualifying out of the Regionals to the prestigious U16 National Championship, which was to be held April 1–5 in Sugarloaf, Maine, before being canceled, were Elisabeth Bocock, Arden Louchheim, Harry Hoffman, and Ford Hodgkins.
The Rowmark Spring Awards Banquet, originally slated for April 30, is postponed (TBA). We are looking forward to honoring deserving Rowmarkers with our annual awards when the time comes.