NYSEF is proud to recognize exemplary athletes for their achievements on and off the hill through the new Athlete of the Month program.
Athletes throughout the club will be highlighted for their accomplishments including community service, sportsmanship, academic & extracurricular achievement and athletic performance.
January Athlete of the Month: Robbie Sinclair
January Athlete of the Month is Robbie Sinclair, a 14-year old, snowboarder from Saranac Lake, N.Y.
Robbie’s favorite events are boarder cross and slopestyle and competes with the youth men in the 14-15 year age circuit.
Although Robbie was born in South Dakota, as soon as his family moved to the Adirondacks, Robbie started riding in the backyard with his dad. Robbie transitioned to ride at Pisgah Mountain and finally ride and train with NYSEF at Whiteface. Robbie loves to participate in NYSEF because of its mission and the coaches. “My coach (Head Snowboard Coach, Bob Witt) makes daily training fun while also being serious… it helps me develop as an athlete and continue with the sport,” Robbie mentioned. “Bob and all the freeride coaches, manage to be playful while accomplishing our goals for the day.”
Freeride Program Director, Mike Kirchner commented, "Robbie shows great athletic performances and has been the most improved this season…he is a great role model for his peers and other youth athletes." Robbie practices with his younger sister, Alexis, an 11-year old skicross athlete. The innocent sibling rivalry in the cross course makes it enjoyable.
When asked about obstacles, Robbie answered, “the lack of competition and how small the field is in New York State.” In an effort, to compete with the best, Robbie has the opportunity to compete in Vermont and at USASA Nationals in Copper Mountain in April. In the off season, Robbie loves to swim and wake board on the lake.
CONGRATS, ROBBIE AND GOOD LUCK WITH THE REST OF THE SEASON!
December Athlete of the Month: Rowen Norfolk
December Athlete of the Month, Rowen Norfolk is a 14-year-old, U16 alpine athlete from Lake Placid, N.Y. and a freshman at Northwood School. Rowen started skiing for NYSEF at age 8 and enjoys going to training because of the friendships he has made in the sport. Since beginning with NYSEF, Rowen has pushed himself to compete at the highest level. Head U16 Coach, Patrick Purcell added, “Rowen’s love for competition sets the bar high for our U16 team.” Even after a season ending injury last year, Rowen was eager to put in the work for a comeback to ski racing.
Rowen suffered an injury in February of 2018, soon before the NY State Championships. Despite the obstacle, Rowen has showed “outstanding results in the toughest conditions…something someone would be hesitant about coming back into the sport of ski racing,” U16 Coach, Pieter van Ingen added. Pieter and the other coaches continue to be impressed with Rowen’s comeback.
When asked about struggles this season, Rowen answered, “the logistics like remembering to dry out my clothing or boot liners.” Like most high school athletes in a sport like ski racing, independence is a crucial ingredient for success. As a freshman, Rowen looks to refine the process of planning and learn from other seasoned athletes. Rowen’s goals this season is to “make it to U16 Nationals and race against ski with the best in the country.”
Although Rowen is modest about his accomplishments, he boasts about his brother, Lincoln, age 12 and sister, Cecila, age 8. Both are going to be Lake Placid’s next skiing superstars.
CONGRATS, ROWEN AND GOOD LUCK WITH THE REST OF THE SEASON!
March Athlete of the Month: Norah Dempsey
March Athlete of the Month is Norah Dempsey, a 14 year old, U16 alpine athlete from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Norah raced at Gore Mountain (in North Creek) and since become a part of NYSEF’s Winter Term Program. Winter Term allowed Norah to train throughout the winter while getting one-on-one tutoring to keep up with her curriculum from Saratoga Springs High School. In Winter Term, “we got so much time on snow, with excellent coaching. I loved being in an environment where I could focus on my skiing while keeping up and having plenty of support in school,” Norah mentioned.
When asked about goals for this season, Norah said, “to ski consistently fast throughout the whole year, without losing steam at the end.” Although competitive snowsports typically last four months, it is important to continue momentum into the spring especially for athletes like Norah who qualify for special competitions.
Hear what Norah’s coaches are saying:
- Head U16 Coach, Patrick Purcell commented, “Norah works hard, seriously hard and has an absolute love for what she does in the sport.”
Assistant U16 Coach, Pieter van Ingen added, “Norah is willing to change her skiing and try new drills in order to become a better racer…something not many competitive athletes are willing to do.”
- Coach Patrick Purcell said, “Norah is one of the most coach-able athletes and 100% behind her teammates.”
Since ski racing is an individual support, athletes have to be supportive of their peers in a competitive environment. Norah added, “we choose to support each other instead of being on a team and told to support each other…I am grateful to have a group of such amazing friends for teammates.”
Norah ended the season racing against the top athletes in the country at U16 Junior Nationals in Washington. Norah goals for next season are to improve her slalom skiing to the level of her Giant Slalom (GS) and Super G. As for now, Norah is excited to start biking and running. CONGRATS ON A GREAT SEASON, NORAH!
February Athlete of the Month: Tate Frantz
NYSEF February Athlete of the Month is Tate Frantz of Lake Placid. Tate is a 12 year old ski jumper and Nordic combined athlete who attends Lake Placid Central School. Tate started jumping “at 8 years old with NYSEF and was motivated to get involved after my older brother, Kai, began jumping.” Tate recently won the U16 Ski Jumping National Championships in Anchorage, Alaska (at age 12)! Also in Alaska, Tate competed in the team jumping competition which was “a cool event to work together with other Eastern athletes.” Tate and his team won the U16 Team Jumping Competition.
Tate’s coach, Colin Delaney said, “Tate is extremely coachable and always thinking of ways of going outside the box in training.” Colin added, “the fear of jumping can be an obstacle…Tate got over this fear earlier than his peers and continues to build confidence while making positive improvements.”
Some of Tate’s rituals before major competitions are “wearing the same under suit and socks and trying to have peanut butter.” Tate is eager to “finish off the season strong and have fun.”
In the off season, Tate mountain bikes, bakes cookies, runs and plays soccer. Way to go, Tate!
January Athlete of the Month: Joseph Wilson
Joseph Wilson is a U18 Cross-Country (XC) ski athlete from Keene, N.Y. Unlike many of the XC Junior athletes, Joseph began skiing with NYSEF two years ago in the summer of 2016. “I started skiing one a day a week working with the Saranac Lake modified team and joined NYSEF for more in depth training,” Joseph said.
Since Joseph’s time skiing competitively, he has made Junior Nationals and had a few podiums in several race events. When asked why the urge to join a XC ski program in high school, Joseph answered, “I appreciate how cardiovascular demanding the sport is, enjoy the community and most importantly, the camaraderie of having everyday training partners, my teammates.”
Head Coach, Shane MacDowell, said “Joseph takes a skill and applies it during training and in the race.” Shane has seen Joseph’s progress and his attention to focus on technique to strengthen himself as a racer. “Joseph has a great engine and is getting faster because he works hard,” Shane concluded.
Some of Joseph’s goals are to make Top 30 in Classic race at Junior Nationals and to eventually ski in college. When asked if Joseph has any pre-routine or ritual before a race, he mentioned, “I always have a peanut butter and banana sandwich and get to the race early for warm up.” As long as there is peanut butter and banana available for Junior Nationals, we expect to see success for Joseph. Way to go, Joseph, and good luck this season!
December Athlete of the Month: Brady Mason
Brady Mason is a first year U16 alpine skiing athlete from Silver Spring, Maryland. Although Brady’s home ski area is Roundtop Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, he had the opportunity to train with NYSEF in the December Winter Term program. December term trained in Copper, Colorado and at Whiteface Mountain. “Coming from a small mountain to being able to train two weeks in Copper Mountain to being surrounded by Olympic athletes made me feel like I was living the lifestyle of a true athlete…I had to make sure my hard work on and off the snow showed that,” Brady commented. Winter Term Program Director, Beatty Schlueter said, “Brady gave 100% on the hill and in the classroom, his attention to detail in the sport and in his studies made him a great role model for other student-athletes…we would be excited to have him a part of our Winter Term next season.”
While Brady was training with NYSEF he worked with Head U16 Alpine Coach, Patrick Purcell. “Brady was eager to understand the skills and fundamentals of skiing which translated well once he got into training gates,” Coach Purcell said. Brady knows he still has skills to work on and was able to develop consistency with his training throughout the month of December and into the season. “I am a very technical skier and like to know exactly what I need to do in order to be better and to be faster,” Brady said.
Brady’s goals for the season are to be a top first year U16, be a top competitor as Eastern Finals in Stowe, Vermont and continue to work on his Giant Slalom. When Brady is not on snow, he trades his poles and skis in for a Lacrosse stick and travels competitively.
March Athlete of the Month: Emma Lauria
Emma is currently enjoying what she feels is one of her strongest seasons to date. She has placed top-10 in singles and top-8 in dual mogul events on the regional circuit all winter. For the second year in a row, she has qualified to take part in both the Junior National Championships and US National Championships.
“What makes Emma a great athlete is her competitive drive,” writes NYSEF Mogul Coach Nick Arnold. “When she does well, she looks to do even better. When she doesn’t perform her best, she looks for ways to improve. Emma has also been set back by several injuries this season, the latest being a broken bone in her hand. Despite these hurdles, Emma has demonstrated time and again her dedication towards achieving her goals.”
Lauria’s proudest accomplishment this season was qualifying for two FIS North American Cups, at Killington, VT and Val St. Come, Quebec, Canada. “This was really special for me because these events feature skiers from around the world,” reports Lauria.
A third-year student in the NYSEF Winter Term program, Emma has become adept at balancing a busy travel schedule with her one-on-one tutorials with Winter Term tutors. While she acknowledges that challenging courses combined with weeks away from school at a time isn’t always the easiest way to learn, she’s picked up some valuable study skills along the way. “Emma is highly proactive about her schoolwork,” reports Winter Term Program Director Dave McCahill. “She’s organized, methodical, and seeks out assistance when she needs it. She’s learning skills that will serve her well through college and beyond.”
Coach Arnold also notes Emma’s positivity and contribution to the team atmosphere. “Emma is a really supportive teammate. When one of her teammates is in the gate, Emma is always there to support them and cheer them on.”
When there’s no snow on the ground, Emma competes for two softball teams. She also helps her dad with the local Booster Club to help raise money for their school and local sports teams.
Looking forward, Emma departs on Tuesday for the US National Championships, held in Steamboat Springs, CO. She’s hoping for a top-25 finish there, and aims to qualify for all four North American Cup events next year.
Congratulations Emma, and best of luck this season!