Congratulations to our December Athlete of the Month, Charles (Charlie) Howe!
Charlie is a second-year U16 alpine athlete in the NYSEF Winter Term Program at Whiteface. Originally from Holland, N.Y., Charlie has been a part of the Winter Term Program for 3 years. His home venue, Woods Valley, is a 15-minute drive from his home and he started his ski career at the age of 2 under the watchful eye of his parents.
Charlie got involved in ski racing through his school’s after-school program, which brought young skiers to Woods Valley every Wednesday. Even though his siblings are not skiers, Charlie was able to stay involved and competitive in the sport through the support of his peers.
Despite COVID-19 cancellations at the end of last season, Charlie was able to train harder than ever and treated each training session like a race. He also forerun several FIS races and compared his times to the FIS men, many of whom skied a busy schedule at Whiteface.
At Gore last season, Charlie placed in the top 3, which gave him confidence moving into the 2021 – 2022 snowsport calendar year. When asked about his favorite discipline, Charlie notes, “I am best at GS but my favorite event is SL – it is more fun, fast-paced and technical.” During the Regional Performance Series (RPS) at Sugarbush earlier this season, Charlie was able to train and compete against the top U16’s in the East. At Sugarbush, he placed in the top 5 which demonstrated his perseverance despite challenging conditions. “I saw everyone falling ahead of me, so I knew I had to prepare myself to attack difficult terrain on the course,” notes Charlie on his RPS experience.
Winter Term has made a major difference in Charlie’s ski racing. “I can dedicate full-time to training, I have the support of the tutors to keep me up to speed with my academics, and I’ve met my closest friends,” he notes. Charlie is looking forward to February which will feature a large training block to prepare for important races later in the season. “The coaching staff at NYSEF is so supportive, and they know when to tell us to pause and re-visit certain skills. I would not be where I am today without the NYSEF coaching staff,” Charlie says.
Head U16 Coach Patrick Purcell has noted considerable progress in Charlie’s skiing over the last 2 years. “Charlie understands the mechanics of skiing and uses his ski as a tool. He is becoming more consistent and has unlimited skill potential – he is one of the most talented skiers in our program.”
Charlie’s long term goal is to ski division 1 for a collegiate team. For now, he hopes to make U16 Nationals. When Charlie is not skiing he is hanging out with friends, mountain biking or playing lacrosse!