UPDATE FROM NYSEF SNOWSPORTS
Freeride athletes competing in a USASA Adirondack Series Competition at Whiteface on February 21.
Youth Nordic Teams raise funds for the next generation
The Youth Jump Team and the Devo XC Team collectively raised over $5,000 for the next generation of nordic athletes! The Youth Jump Team secured donor(s) to pledge a dollar per meter for longest jump. Similarly, The XC Devo Team secured donor(s) to pledge a dollar per kilometer skied on Porter Loop at Van Ho. THANK YOU to everyone for supporting these challenges!
Moguls Skiers Compete In Western NY
Moguls athlete, Wyatt S. scored a personal best at Holiday Valley with a score of 67.83 to start off the competition season. Wyatt went off to compete with the 'A' athletes in the Toyota Freestyle Fest at Bristol Mountain. The week began with a training day followed by 3 days of moguls competitions. Results and the season schedule can be found on easternfreestyle.org.
Emphasis on FUN this season
This year, more than ever, athletes are taking competition around the entire mountain, rather than focusing on a traditional downhill race course. We’ve put the emphasis on FUN and SKILL DEVELOPMENT, surrounding athletes with the supportive team environment that NYSEF creates, made up of our crew of amazing teammates, our coaching staff and our terrific families! Pictured above are athletes posing after skiing in the Team Valentine's Competition at Whiteface.
The above photo is from the start of a skill progression with the Gore U10s and U12s. They started with a GS pole-hopper drill and transitioned into directed free ski and skate relay races later in the day! Although there are some local race opportunities, this age group focus is about keeping the athletes engaged, learning and becoming overall skiers. Belleayre U12 athletes had the opportunity to race at Windham on February 6. Results can be found at nyssra.org.
The NYSSRA Mud, Sweat and Gears U14 Panel SL started off the U14 race season at West Mountain where many Whiteface and Gore U14s spent their Sunday, January 24. Downstate, Windham hosted a similar event where our Belleayre U14s raced. With the lack of races this season, there has been an emphasis on the supportive team environment – camaraderie through cheering and just being out together enjoying the season – and of course, with a little competition. The full U14 race calendar and results can be found on nyssra.org.
Alpine U16 +
LilyAnn F. and Ariana H-R. fist bump after their runs at Whiteface.
U16+ athletes have been having a strong training season with race events at their home venues (Whiteface and Gore), West and Windham. Belleayre will be hosting its first US Ski and Snowboard event of the season in late February. Even with the unique year, athletes are skiing fast! The U16+ race calendar and results can be found on nyssra.org.
Alpine FIS Men & Women
NYSEF PG athlete, Andres Figueroa began his season with our Men's FIS team in Copper, Colorado this fall. "I came to NYSEF because of the world class program, the amazing venue at Whiteface and because of Coach Thomas Vonn. The NYSEF and Lake Placid communities have been so supportive of my goals," said Andres. We are thrilled to be supporting Andres and his journey to Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina! More on the Cortina Championships can be found at cortina2021.com.
Junior XC Team
The Junior XC Team has been racing locally at Mt Van Hoevenberg and the Gore Mountain Nordic Center (with one trip to Rochester in late January). Similar to our alpine programs, this group has been able to take full advantage of all the outdoor Adirondack landscape has to offer. This winter, new “training venues” have included Avalanche Lake, the Whiteface Toll Road, adventures on the trails at the Paul Smith's College campus and many more! Check out their Facebook page - @NYSEFNordic to take a peek at some of their adventures this season.
Jumping in Salisbury, CT
The Youth, Development and Elite Jumpers were in Salisbury, CT this month for the annual Jumpfest (February 12 - 14). Most of the jumpers are competing today with the final US Eastern Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday where NYSEF athlete, Tate F. placed first. More on the annual Jumpfest competition can be found at www.jumpfest.org.
Competing during COVID - 19
NO in-person registration, NO spectators, NO parent tickets, NO award ceremonies. Two-layer masks must be worn at all times by all involved. All participants - staff, athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers must complete the COVID-19 Pre-Screen and a Daily Symptom Health Screen the day-of event. The above is only the beginning of event protocol established by NYS/NYSEF and ORDA. With 6 weeks left in programming, we will continue to follow strict guidelines for the remainder of the season.
USASA Adirondack & Catskill Series
Freeride athletes have been able to compete in cross, slopestyle and rail jam competitions through their respective USASA series (Adirondack and Catskill mountain divisions). The USASA Adirondack series began with a cross event at the Gore Ski Bowl on January 18. Belleayre will be hosting their first Catskills series event this weekend. More information on the series can be found at usasa.org.
We thank our dedicated volunteers like Barb (photo above), who continue to support NYSEF and our athletes! Remember to show your appreciation for our volunteers at all race events and venues! Whether you are volunteering at a race, helping athletes and guests get on and off the chairlift or rolling b-net, NYSEF is grateful for YOU. Your efforts have made the season such a success.
December Athlete of the Month: Andrew Scanio
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!
January Athlete of the Month: Amanda Quiles
January athlete of the month is seventeen-year-old Amanda Quiles – an alpine athlete competing with the NYSEF Gore program. Amanda is a junior at Mahwah High School in NJ and learned how to ski at Jiminy Peak (Hancock, MA) when she was four-years-old. Not long after her first turns, she joined the local race program at Campgaw Mountain (Mahwah, NJ).
Amanda had early success this season, placing first in the U16+ West Mountain Giant Slalom event. When discussing her success and the race season, she said, “I was so excited to race because I did not think we had a lot of events due to COVID-19.”
Even with the lack of races, Amanda was still as excited than ever to train for the season. NYSEF provides a supportive team environment where athletes are brought together to do what they are passionate about: Amanda agrees, NYSEF has allowed her “… to take a break from school and get out and ski.” Although COVID-19 made some obstacles for student-athletes, she feels more focused in school, having her best year academically.
When asked about her coaches and support from NYSEF, Amanda mentioned, “since I started skiing at Gore, I have learned to challenge myself daily… some skills develop quickly and there are others you need to work on for months… I am so thankful for all the coaches at NYSEF because they are so supportive and will always treat you like family.”
Amanda is no stranger to competitive sports. In addition to ski racing, she is also on her school’s varsity volleyball team and the captain of her mountain biking team. “Her participation and success with other sports has provided her focus and success with her alpine skiing…it has been a great pleasure watching her grow up and mature within our NYSEF programs (in the weekend program, in Winter Term and our summer camps),” said Gore Head Alpine Coach, John Morgan.
Amanda’s short term goals are to push herself “…in training, be more aggressive in the course and to be the best I can be academically”. Her long term goal is to ski in college.
Amanda is an advocate for diversity in the sport. “I am Hispanic and rarely do I see other athletes of various ethnicities,” she said. Amanda supports a local NJ nonprofit, the Winter 4 Kids, a program providing snowsport opportunities to low-income kids from urban areas. “I love to teach others to ski and never miss an opportunity to teach a friend, family member or neighbor how to ski,” she added.
Maddie Phaneuf podiums personal bests this season
Phaneuf wins 1st international biathlon medal! Article taken from the Adirondack Enterprise.
NYSEF athlete, Maddie Phaneuf, joins Germans Vanessa Voigt, center, and Hanna Kebinger on the podium Wednesday following her bronze-medal performance in IBU Cup racing in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia.
Phaneuf claimed the first medal of her career in this international biathlon competition winning a bronze medal in the IBU Cup’s women’s 12.5-kilometer short individual race in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia.
The previous career-best performance for the New York Ski Education Foundation biathlete from Old Forge was a fourth-place finish in a 7.5k sprint in Arber, Germany in IBU Cup action last month.
Phaneuf had been knocking on the podium door before finally breaking through in Slovakia. In the 13 races she competed in since heading to Europe in January, the 25-year-old had a pair of top-10s and two more top-15 results prior to the third-place performance that saw her finish 26.2 seconds behind the winner, Germany’s Vanessa Voigt, who shot clean and completed the course in 38 minutes, 52.3 seconds.
“I’ve dreamed of landing on the podium for many years now, and can say the wait was worth it!” Phaneuf posted on her website. “SO happy with today’s race!! Feeling strong on the skis with the 19th fastest ski time, and shooting was nearly perfect with only 1 mistake out of 20 shots.”
We hope to see you soon, Maddie!
The NYSEF Winter Term & Post-Graduate Program
From Winter Term Program Director, Beatty Schlueter
With all of the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Winter Term and Post-Graduate program has been able to sleep, eat, train, and compete with very little distraction. The bubble we have created with our athletes and staff has worked well. We have been able to protect athletes, staff and our community while having athletic and academic success.
We truly believe that what makes our program work is the respect and focus from the group of athletes. They want nothing more than to be ski racing and training - willing to give up a lot to be able to keep doing those things.
Even with all the obstacles that COVID-19 presented this season, the essence of Winter Term has remained the same - small, closely-knit training groups, individualized academic instruction, world class venues and training environments, all under the supervision of a highly qualified staff of tutors and coaches.
THANK YOU to the families that have entrusted your children with us and THANK YOU to the staff and community that have embraced us. Finally, THANK YOU to the athletes that continue to stay motivated and make this season one for the record books.
Race and Competition results
In accordance with U.S. Ski and Snowboard guidance to limit congregations at awards ceremonies, we've been able to showcase top-performing athletes virtually on our social media accounts (@NYSEFSnowsports). NYSEF is recognizing the top 5 in all NYSEF hosted events with signature podium photos provided by their coach.
Check out the NYSEF facebook pages at @NYSEFSnowsports
NYSEF Winter raffle
NYSEF is asking each athlete to sell 10 raffle tickets to their family, friends and within their community. This is a great opportunity to talk about your love for skiing/riding and much more! This year the raffle purchases and tracking will be done ONLINE – please ask anyone purchasing a ticket to include the “ATHLETE NAME” in the field when purchasing their tickets ONLINE.
Mid – Week Coaching (5 Private Training Sessions) With A NYSEF Coach
Westkill Brewery Beverage Package
Dinner And 1 – Night Stay: At The Shandaken Inn
Whiteface / Lake Placid Raffle
Avalanche Lake Metal Edge Ski Package: Backcountry Skis, Boots, Bindings And Touring Poles From High Peaks Cyclery
2 Signature Massages And 1 – Night Stay: At The Mirror Lake Inn
$500 Gift Card To Placid Planet