UPDATE FROM NYSEF SNOWSPORTS
Athletes excited to cheer on alum and Olympian, Kevin Drury.
Winter Term Conditioning
Winter Term athletes got to workout and connect with members of the US Ski Team this month at the Lake Placid Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. The Lake Placid OPTC has since helped benefit thousands of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, numerous community groups and countless visitors from around the globe. Our athletes get to be around their role models daily. Interested in our Winter Term program? Visit www.nysef.org/winter-term.
Whiteface U10/U12s in the Holiface Team Event
On Sunday February 20, Whiteface U10/U12s participated in a virtual event with our friends from Holimont. Athletes competed in a modified paneled slalom and partnered with racers from across the state in a team event, as well as a Skills Quest evaluation. Ski racing fosters friendships for life and we like to start early! We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!
U14 “Speed Week” at Belleayre
Despite challenging weather conditions, Belleayre Mountain hosted a Super-G training and race series in early February for U14 alpine athletes. NYSEF athletes from Belleayre, Gore, and Whiteface participated. Top performances were Paul F in 3rd, Lucas S. in 4th, and Mikey M in 5th. A big thanks to the volunteers and course crew for their hard work in pulling off this event!
NYSEF at Belleayre Freeride athletes competed in the USASA cross event on President’s Day at Gore.
11-12 Freeski Girls
13-14 Freeski Girls
9-10 Snowboard Boys
13-14 Snowboard Girls
17-18 Freeski Junior Men
King of the Mountain - fastest time
Ski tuning on Northwood’s new Jupiter Machine
Ski tech Neil Lande has Northwood’s new Wintersteiger Jupiter up and running! This machine is the most advanced, accurate, and feature-rich of its kind on the market, and will offer athletes the competitive edge needed to take their skiing to the next level. Pricing starts at $60 for NYSEF athletes. Connect with your coach to see if your athlete could benefit from this service! Then contact Neil at email@example.com.
U16's at Empire State Games
U16 Alpine athletes from Belleayre, Gore, and Whiteface participated in the Annual Empire State Winter Games at Whiteface, competing against other racers from all over the state. Athletes got to walk in the opening ceremony on Mirror Lake before kicking off a weekend of competition in Super-G, GS, and Slalom. Top NYSEF performers were Matthew M, (2nd SL), Cole P. (3rd SL, 3rd SG), Cara D (1st SG, 2nd GS), Gavin E (1st GS, 2nd SG) Charlie H (1st SG, 2nd GS), and Kirsten I (3rd SG).
Flying to the podium in the US Ski Jumping Cup
NYSEF athletes were on fire on the first day of competition on the K65 in Salisbury! Kai M. took first on the women's side and Jack K took third for the men, while Eli L, Duncan V, and Henry L swept the U16 boys podium.
Ski Jumping at the ESWG
Ski Jumpers of all ages were flying at the new and improved Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid for this year’s annual Empire State Winter Games! NYSEF athletes Max F and Will C took 1st and 2nd respectively in the U12 K20 competition.
Devo XC on the Jackrabbit trail
The devo xc team adventured “off piste” and onto the Jackrabbit Trail, a historic backcountry ski trail that stretches from Paul Smith’s to Keene, skiing the scenic “Old Mountain Road” section. The trail is named in honor of Herman “Jack Rabbit” Johannsen, who was a legendary skiing pioneer both in the Adirondacks and, later, in Canada.
Congrats to Gore Coach Lily!
Congrats to Gore coach, Lily Gaechter for receiving her level 200 certification. The level 2 course prepares you to effectively develop Phase 3 to Phase 4 athletes in your program. This was a dynamic course with several types of learning opportunities including remote group conferencing (webinars), online modules, and an in-person coaching assessment.
Robbie S. podiums at Gore!
In collaboration with US Ski & Snowboard, the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), and Gore Mountain, Canada’s Arena Snowparks was brought in to build an elite level course for the Hole Shot (Nor-Am) and Futures Tour. The course had a technical separation feature at the top leading into an eight-turn course with two mid-course jumps and a money booter at the bottom. The Futures Tour event also acted as a test event for next January’s FISU World University Games, where 600 universities and 50 countries will be represented. Congrats to NYSEF athlete, Robbie S. who placed 2nd in the USASA event.
Sharp Shooting at the ESWG
Early February saw great racing by NYSEF biathletes at the Empire State Winter Games, with over half the team competing in their first ever biathlon races! NYSEF boys swept the U16 podium with Forrest S winning, Filippos K. in 2nd, and Henry C in 3rd! On the girls side, Jenna S placed 3rd for U15s and shot 9/10.
January Athlete of the Month: Kai Mckinnon
Meet Kai McKinnon, a 13 year-old nordic combined athlete from Lake Placid, NY. Kai currently attends Lake Placid Middle School and has been a part of the NYSEF Winter Term program for one year.
Kai began cross country skiing at age 3 and started ski jumping at age 7. Her parents, Jodi and Neil, were the first people to teach her how to ski in their driveway and. Like countless other local jumpers, Kai was first taught the tricks of the trade by renowned jumping coach Larry Stone. “My parents encouraged me to keep skiing but it was my desire to fly (ski jump) that kept me in it – skiing has always been a big part of my life. Everyone around me skis,” says Kai.
When asked about her favorite competitions, Kai quickly cites the Springer Tournee in Park City, Utah and Winter Start in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Both competitions kick off the winter seasons for Nordic combined and ski jumping. When asked about her coaches here at NYSEF, Kai noted, “like most competitive athletes, it can be very frustrating to learn and refine certain skills and my coaches have supported me throughout my entire athletic career – their support has allowed me to become the athlete I am today.”
Colin Delaney, Head Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Coach at NYSEF, shared insight on Kai and her recent performances. “Kai brings a great attitude and energy to every training session. She has a professional approach, but you can tell she is always having a good time. A stand out moment for me this season was after her performance at the Lake Placid Supertour in the 5k mass start race. Nordic combined athletes don’t generally participate in races with traditional cross country ski athletes from New York and New England. After her top 10 result in the Supertour, Kai was exhausted, but all smiles. After the race she just said ‘That was a lot of fun.’”
Despite the lack of competitions due to COVID-19 last season, Kai stayed motivated thanks to her strive for the perfect jump. “If the competition season ended prematurely this year, I would still stay motivated because I am always trying my hardest at every practice to do my best and be the best,” says Kai. This season, Kai reports that she is working on not becoming discouraged after a bad training or competition day and, instead, to look past these days, learn from them and improve. Her short term goal is to win nordic combined Junior Nationals in Salisbury, CT. Her long term goal is to reach the World Cup level and to eventually compete in the Olympics.
Like most athletes, many have common habits or rituals before competitions and Kai is no different. Before her jump, for instance, Kai checks her bindings exactly three times before getting on the bar to take her jump. Kai’s role models in the sport are her teammates who are always pushing her to be the best. “They give me a new perspective on the sport,” she adds.
When she is not skiing or jumping, Kai is mountain biking, rock climbing, and running.
Kevin Drury competes in Beijing!
NYSEF/Northwood alumni Kevin Drury traveled to Beijing earlier this month to represent Team Canada in his second Winter Olympic Games. Drury placed fourth four years ago in the skier cross event at the 2018 games in PyeongChang, South Korea, and was looking to better that performance this time around. Drury laid down some fast qualifying runs on the shorter, winding course, qualifying for ⅛ finals, where he edged out Germany’s Florian Wilmsmann for the last spot in the quarter final round. Quarter finals saw an extremely tight race where Drury jostled between 1st and 3rd positions throughout. As the field crested the final jump, Austria’s Johannes Rohrweck pulled just ahead of Drury to take the second qualifying slot in the semi-finals, ending Kevin’s second Olympic run. Drury reflected on the close races and the nature of the sport, in which consistency is hard to find. "It's part of the sport, right? You can be over and above the rest of the world and you get taken out in the first round, right?" said Drury. "It's part of our sport." We are so proud of Kevin, and can't wait to see what's next for him!
FIS Men and Women at Whiteface NorAms
NYSEF/Northwood student athletes had the opportunity to compete against some of the best racers in the world, as both the men’s and women’s NorAm cups stopped in Lake Placid this February.
Racers saw some of the fastest snow conditions of the year, racing Super-G, Alpine Combined, GS, and slalom at Whiteface. NYSEF/Northwood alumna Sarah Bennet was in town, and snagged a few podiums, leaving with some extra hardware. Thanks to our volunteers and course crew for another great race series!
Belleayre Fun Development
SAVE THE DATE: THE NYSEF GOLF OPEN
We hope you can join us for a special event to celebrate this winter season and enjoy some sunshine on the green in Lake Placid! Similar to years past, we are excited to host a fun event to raise funds that keep snowsports affordable for our local and regional youth. Funds raised from this event provide opportunities for athletes of all ages to reach their potential in snowsports.
Registration is $100 for an Individual and $400 for a Foursome. Registration includes: Breakfast/Lunch, Cart, Greens Fees, Range Balls, A Commemorative Gift AND The Option To Play 18 Holes The Saturday Before Or Monday After The Tournament (Cart Not Included And Must Play After 2:00PM). Register today!
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.
- $250 Gift Card to The Belleayre Ski Shop (formerly Jimmy's)
- Westkill Brewery Beverage Package
- Dinner and 1 - Night Stay at The Shandaken Inn
- Gore 22/23 Season Pass
- Gore 22/23 Seasonal Locker
- $200 Gift Card to Sports Page & Patio
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 a $300 spa credit: At The Mirror Lake Inn
- $500 Gift Card To Placid Planet