From Executive Director - John Norton

Although our season ended abruptly in mid-March, athletes, families and staff have been reflecting on this season's accomplishments. We are also looking ahead, actively planning for the future in this continuously-changing environment.

Like many organizations, NYSEF has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with canceled races, social events, camps, summer programming, etc. However, even in this challenging time, we will always have our strongest asset - the mass of individuals that make up the greater NYSEF community, all of whom play integral roles by spinning the supportive webbing that holds us up. We are confident that NYSEF will persevere through this unprecedented time because of all of you. THANK YOU for your support of NYSEF and our programming. 

End of Season Highlights

NYSEF Alums at NCAA's

With the sudden end to NCAA’s in Bozeman, Montana, NYSEF alums were still able to compete in the individual skate race! Great job to Karl on a 5th place, Scott on a 16th place and Lucy on a 31st place! Check out results at summittiming.net.

U14 State Championships

U14 Athletes attended State Championships at Holimont Mountain in Ellicottville, NY to compete for spots at Eastern Championships and Region Finals. Although Championships and Finals were canceled, NYSEF had top results at States.

Gore Supports Local Community

The NYSEF @ Gore Community, in partnership with the Gore Ski Club, supported the local central school in Johnsburg by donating ski clothing and other equipment to outfit youngsters learning the sport of skiing and riding. More on this program can be found here.

Virtual Skimeister

The Best Individual Costume was by  athlete, Lincoln Norfolk, who dressed up as Assistant U14 Coach, Kyle Penny*. The Best Group Costume was the Wardlaw Family as the fabulous healthcare employees who supported Wyatt during his injury this winter. *Kyle is headed to Stratton Mountain School to be Assistant Mens FIS Coach. Congrats Kyle!

2020 NYSSRA Awards

NYSEF staff and athletes were recipients of end of season awards for their performance on the hill, dedication to the sport and improvements over the season. Congrats to all the recipients including Coach of the Year and U16 Overall Champions!

Hear from Nordic PG's

Hear from local XC athletes,  Joseph Wilson and Jacob Alberga. Joseph from Keene will be attending Middlebury College and Jacob from Saranac Lake will be attending the University of New Hampshire this fall. We look forward to them joining our nordic summer training group!

Overcoming injury

U16 Alpine athletes, Cilla Nee from Westport, CT and Sonja Toishi from Lake Placid, NY, both had their winter seasons cut short due to injuries. Cilla will be attending Northwood School this fall and Sonja will continue in NYSEF’s Winter Term Program. Hear from the athletes here.

Maddie makes USBA National Team

Congrats to NYSEF athlete, Maddie Phaneuf on being named to the US Biathlon B Team. The full announcement can be found at teamusa.org.

Athlete Spotlights

Kat from Belleayre

This season, Katalin (Kat) made U14 Eastern Championships based on her consistent results from States in Holimont where she placed 7th in SG, 7th in GS and 3rd in SL. Hear more about her season from Kat and her coaches, here.

Elise from Ski Jumping

February Athlete of the Month, Elise Loescher is a 17-year old, ski jumping athlete from Burlington, V.T. and a junior at Northwood School. Since the first time she launched off a ski jump, Elise loved the feeling of flying through the air. Find out what motivates Elise here.

Louis from Gore

Louis John Farone IV also known as the 'Godfather,' “learned that skiing the entire mountain and being a well rounded skier is just as important as the race results." Get to know Louis more through this link.

Andrew from Biathlon/XC

In competitive sport, many athletes are juggling several responsibilities throughout the winter from school work, to their sport to other extracurricular activities. Andrew’s winter was jammed packed with a schedule that looked like this.

Alum, Kevin Drury Is The Ski Cross Crystal Globe Winner Of 2019/20

Excerpt taken from fis-ski.com article 

Ever since his win in Megève (FRA) at the beginning of February, Kevin Drury (CAN) has earned a margin of World Cup points big enough to not be threatened by anyone of his competitiors. Drury has had the most successful season of his career, having landed on the podium either as winner or in second position in seven out of ten competitions this year.

Drury seemed to be unstoppable and always on fire, showing incredible passes, great technical skills and some really fast skiing.

Nobody of his competitors was able to reach the level Drury showed from the beginning of December. Therefore, the Crystal Globe is for sure very well deserved!

The battle for second and third overall ski cross rank on the men’s side, however, was still open. With the cancellation of the finals, the second rank goes to Ryan Regez (SUI) with a total of 454 points (314 points behind Drury), and third rank goes to Olympic Champion Brady Leman (CAN) with 428 points.

Thomas Mayrpeter from Austria and Canada’s Courtney Hoffos have won the Rookie of the year awards of the season and the Nation Cup went to an unbeatable Canadaian team this year.

It is really unfortunate that we cannot witness the final show of the year and that the season had to come to an abrupt end without proper finals, but the health and welfare of the athletes and all other participants, as well as the general public are in the forefront and the priority of all stakeholders of FIS competitions and therefore we wish everyone safe travels home.

Congratulations to everybody on an amazing season, congratulations to the World Cup winners and FIS Freestyle wishes everyone a great summer, see you again next season!

Picture courtesy of Tyler Wallash

Athlete of the Month: Jake Reynolds

NYSEF Athlete of the Month is 19-year-old Post Graduate (PG) Jake Reynolds. Jake, a Northwood School and NYSEF Winter Term alum, has been alpine skiing at Whiteface since he was 2. His father, John and the rest of the Reynolds family have been a part of the ski racing world for generations. “I come from a family enamored with skiing, so I get to see many of the people I look up to every day,” Jake says. Being around Whiteface for most of his life, Jake appreciates the hard work that goes into making the training so successful every season. “I know the whole PG team appreciates the daily effort from NYSEF staff to prep the race hill and supply the best surface for us,” he noted.

Since joining the NYSEF PG Program, “I’ve had the chance to race in series such as Nor-Am Cups…these races have given me the opportunity to compete against top tier athletes,” Reynolds says. On the subject of motivation, Jake notes “I set a goal that was very meaningful for me. My goal is to ski Division I, and I want to be among the best there. Between NYSEF’s venues and their coaching staff, this program was going to give me the best chance of accomplishing that.” Men’s Head FIS Coach Thomas Vonn said, “Jake had a great season and continues to improve at an impressive rate. This past season Jake scored multiple personal best and was a regular on the podium in many of the FIS races he entered, including grabbing a FIS Eastern Cup win and scoring his first NorAm points.”

Coaches like Vonn and Assistant Coach Alex Shearer teach Jake and his teammates how to take care of their bodies through conditioning and proper nutrition, as well as how to maintain their race equipment so each can perform at the highest level. As far as training and improvements this season, Jake commented, “ we regularly have the ability to train Super G. Even for athletes like me who want to ski in college where Super-G is not raced, training speed has shown to improve the tech performance of our whole team.”

Jake’s main goal is to ski Division I at an NCAA college or university in the upcoming seasons. Coach Vonn added, ”In the past year and half Jake has gone from being a motivated kid that no one had heard of– not being on anyone’s national or collegiate radar– to becoming one of the top juniors in the country, and being sought after by D I schools. I have no doubt Jake will continue to improve. He has the ability and drive to reach any goal he sets his mind to.”

In the off-season, Jake plans to “do plyometric, cardio, and resistance training to maintain my physical conditioning.” When not focusing on skiing, he enjoys fishing and playing tennis. Congratulations, Jake!

Looking Ahead

Summer Nordic Programming

NYSEF is excited to open our Summer Nordic Programming and we will have a strict ‘Return To Training Protocol’ to ensure the health and safety of our athletes and coaching staff. Click here for start dates and registration details.

Off Season Conditioning

Making a daily commitment to your conditioning and putting in your best effort in all of your workouts will pay off during ski/ride season. Check out this article from skiracing.com and reach out to your head coach for guidance to make a program that works for you!

NYSEF PG Program

The NYSEF PG Program provides the opportunity for post-graduate athletes to push towards their full potential in ski racing. Sport becomes the primary focus for the athletes in this high-intensity program. Visit nysef.org/pgprogram to learn more.

Winter Term Application is live!

The NYSEF Winter Term Program offers aspiring student-athletes a unique opportunity to pursue their athletics at an advanced level while tailoring their academic experience to their individual needs. Visit nysef.org/winter-term for 20/21 details.

NYSEF Return To Snow (RTS) Program


Dave Wenn serves as a U16 Coach and a Return to Snow (RTS) Specialist. Dave works with athletes recovering from recent injuries and helps them to return to skiing healthy and strong. Since starting with NYSEF in 2017, Dave has worked with 8 athletes who have returned to snow successfully. Dave works one-on-one with each athlete, creating a specialized plan to not only help the athlete return physically strong, but to simultaneously instill a love for skiing and the process of improvement.

When asked about the RTS process, Dave said, “we treat the athlete like they know very little about skiing. It is a deliberately slow teaching progression…we start with how to ski with low volume/low intensity that then transition into the competitive environment over time.” This season, RTS athletes had an average of 85 days on snow beginning in Stubai, Austria at ski camp to their last day racing in March. These days were broken down as follows, 30 days re-introducing the fundamentals, 30 days of training at various levels (beginning with brushes to gates with different terrain) and ending with return to competition with a primary goal: to finish every run. “There is depth in this program, there is patience in this program…although the athletes may be anxious to return to training at a high level, they must trust the process,” Dave added.

Conditioning is also a major focus of the RTS program, both during the season and in the off-season. By building strength and listening to their bodies, athletes can avoid re-injury while simultaneously gaining the confidence to perform at an even higher level on a training or race day.

This season, U16 Head Coach and RTS Conditioning Specialist Patrick Purcell implemented a preventive and rehab-focused conditioning plan for injured athletes. “Through various athlete screening, testing and assessments, we gain vital knowledge relative to a precondition that may put an athlete at risk. It is essential to understand the healing process and what stage an athlete is currently in throughout the recovery journey,” notes Purcell. Coach Purcell follows recommendations set forth by Physical Therapists (PT’s) and Orthopedic doctors by setting standards for each athlete’s individual program.

Read the full media release on the RTS program here.

Gore Mountain 

Get to know the NYSEF Staff *

*More staff highlights will be launched throughout the summer!

Jimbo Johnston

Get to know Head Whiteface U14 Coach, James Samuel Evans Johnston also known as Jimbo. Did you know? Jimbo raced at Plymouth State University and his team won a National Championship in 1985. Learn more about Jimbo.

Colin Delaney

Did you know? Colin, Head Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Coach, competed in Nordic Combined from the youth level and made it to World Junior Championships before taking a break from competing full-time to go to Saint Michael’s College. Learn more about Colin.

Steve Mones

Steve Mones is the Assistant U14 Coach at Belleayre. Steve’s favorite part of NYSEF and the ski community is the way like-minded people can come together over something they love. Learn more about Steve.

Corky Risley

Meet U19 Alpine Gore Coach, Corky Risley! Did you know? Corky skied with the Polar Bear Ski Club in Old Forge (his hometown) then went through the NYSEF program at Whiteface –racing more competitively at Eastern Cups. Learn more about Corky.

Mary Hoyt

Meet U10 Alpine Coach at Whiteface, Mary Hoyt. Did you know? Mary raced as a child in High School, received her PSIA Certification and began coaching with NYSEF in 1994 when her children joined the program. Learn more about Mary.

Shawn Spanhake

Shawn is the Head Freeride Coach at Belleayre. Shawn was motivated to start coaching because he loves to snowboard and the feeling of freedom on the mountain. Learn more about Shawn.

Terence Fogarty

Meet Head Masters Coach at Whiteface, Terence Fogarty! Terence grew up in the NYSEF program and has had 5 kids in the program so “it is a big part of my life,” he said. Learn more about Terence.

Kevin Vanblarcum

Meet Kevin Vanblarcum, Head NYSEF-Belleayre U14 Coach! When asked about the skiing culture he said, "I think the culture is what I love most about snow sports. It’s bonding over a mutual love of waking up early and going outside to play in the snow." Learn more about Kevin.

Staff member feeling left out? Share your story to info@nysef.org!

Supporting NYSEF: Every 'Like" Counts!

Follow and Like @NYSEFSnowsports!

Stay engaged! We want to stay connected to our athletes, families, friends and communities where we serve. LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE posts from @NYSEFSnowsports, @NYSEFatGore, @NYSEFatBelleayre and @NYSEFNordic!

Summer Social Events

As the state of the world continues to change, we envision these annual events will be different than previous years. We are motivated to continue to make these fundraisers special in a creative, healthy and safe way. Please visit nysef.org/events on details and how to get involved!

Making an impact: CARES Act

Congress recently passed the CARES Act which opens up pathways to help make charitable giving easier. Here are the key takeaways from this act that could help support organizations like NYSEF.

Support Local!

Businesses like Placid Planet (Master Alpine athlete, Kenny pictured) support NYSEF with awesome gear for our various scholarship events. As local shops begin to re-open, please treat you and your family to a delicious snack, new piece of clothing, takeout, etc.!

THANK YOU for the support!