It’s time again to announce our NYSEF Athlete of the Month!  

Our December Athlete of the Month is Andrew Scanio. Andrew is a 15 year – old biathlon and cross country athlete from Lake Placid, and currently attends Lake Placid High School. Andrew learned to ski at 4 years old and started with NYSEF at age 8. Like many local outdoor enthusiasts, Andrew had the opportunity to enjoy both alpine and nordic skiing. “While I enjoyed both sports, I developed a stronger connection with cross country, so I decided to switch to that full-time,” says Andrew. 

Andrew recently took top U16 in the first events of the season, the Harry Eldridge classic and freestyle races held  on January 9 and 10 at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Andrew acknowledges there was plenty of excitement surrounding the first races held at the brand new venue, which was built to meet World Cup standards over the past year. He felt well prepared for the challenging course as the NYSEF team has been able to train consistently on the new trails since mid-November. 

“Having the new venue and its new snowmaking capabilities have been a complete game changer for our program,” said Biathlon and Cross Country Head Coach, Shane MacDowell. “Andrew has taken full advantage of everything the program and venue have to offer by showing up every day ready to work hard and achieve his goals.”

When asked about Andrew’s short and long term goals, he noted, “my short term goal is to finish the season strong and stay healthy. In the future, I would love to ski in college.” Although the current pandemic has introduced many challenges for competitive athletes like Andrew, he continues to stay focused on his academics and athletics. “It can be challenging balancing school and sport, but I usually try to do as much work as I can during the study halls scattered throughout my school day and then head over to Mt. Van Hoevenberg for ski practice. NYSEF keeps me busy and these days I appreciate the social aspect of the program even more,” he said.

“It has been such a pleasure to watch Andrew mature as an athlete,” writes Cross Country Assistant Coach, Julianne Stemp.  “Andrew has taken real ownership of his skiing– he has recognized that much of an athletes success in nordic skiing is determined through their summer training, and his hard efforts throughout the summer have produced results which he is excited about this year.”

Andrew’s role models in the sport are Scott Schulz and Van Ledger. “They’re both excellent skiers who graduated from Lake Placid High School,” he says. 

In his free time, Andrew enjoys performing in theater, playing the trombone, and spending time outdoors with family. Congratulations, Andrew!