Sugar Bowl Academy News
Larusson Receives Ted Beauchamp Scholarship
Senior Katrin Larusson was recently awarded the Ted Beauchamp Scholarship for 2013. This scholarships is awarded annually by the Far West Nordic Ski Association to a Far West junior Nordic skier who exhibits a great passion for Nordic ski racing, is a dedicated athlete with the desire and ability to compete at the National level, and demonstrates character that is a credit to the Far West Nordic community. Katrin has been at the top of her age group in ski racing for the past 5 years and has been a medalist at the US Junior National Championships in each of the last four years. Katrin was also the California/Nevada High School State Champion the last two seasons.
The scholarship is one of the highest honors that a junior Nordic ski racer can achieve in the Far West Division. The Ted Beauchamp Scholarship was set up in 1995 to honor the memory of long time Far West Nordic Board member Ted Beauchamp. Ted gave tirelessly to help kids excel in the sport he loved and Katrin is a perfect young person to honor Ted’s name.
Katrin loves ski racing and training and one of her greatest gifts is her ability to mentor other athletes. She has taken numerous younger skiers under her wing and helped propel them to become the best they can be. Katrin plans to continue her ski racing career as an NCAA racer next year.
Says Head Nordic Coach, Jeff Schloss, "Whichever college is lucky enough to get her will be acquiring a dedicated ski racer who will give her all everyday, and will most likely be near the top of the pack in every race. She is someone Far West can be very proud of as she makes her way out into the larger ski racing world."
SBA Breaks Ground on New Campus
On Sunday, September 30th Sugar Bowl Academy held an official groundbreaking ceremony for their new campus at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.
Scheduled for completion in January 2014, Sugar Bowl Academy’s new campus project includes a new academic building housing eight classrooms (two of which will be science labs), administrative offices, and faculty workspace; and a new, co-ed, dormitory which will house 33 residential students and two faculty apartments. Additional features of the SBA’s new campus project will include a state of the art athletic facility in the heart of the Sugar Bowl Village - being developed in conjunction with Sugar Bowl Corporation - and the repurposing of SBA’s current classrooms into coaches offices and additional locker room space.
In a ceremony at the new site, SBSTF Executive Director, Bill Hudson, SBA Head of School, Tracy Keller, and SBSTF Board Chair, John Hommeyer, reflected upon the growth of Sugar Bowl Academy over the past 14 years and thanked long term supporters whose generosity has made the new campus possible.
Keller opened the ceremony with remarks about SBA’s founder, Tricia Hellman Gibbs, and her tireless work to get the school off the ground. In 1998, Gibbs did for west coast skiers what her father, Warren Hellman did for easterners when he opened Stratton Mountain School – provided an opportunity for passionate skiers to receive world-class athletic training while simultaneously getting an outstanding education.
Keller began by quoting Warren Hellman, who provided much of the early financial support for the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation and Sugar Bowl Academy.
She said, "Warren considered our original site, now our Old 40 site, simply perfect for a fledgling ski academy. He once said, ‘This is perfect – humble and rustic. If the school is good, the facilities won’t matter. If the school is great, you’ll build a new campus someday.’ That someday is today."
Hudson and Hommeyer both reflected upon the success of current student-athletes and how the new campus will allow the school to continue to grow and provide the very best opportunities for graduates to succeed both academically and athletically at the highest levels. They also made a heartfelt thanks to the Hellman, Harleen, DiMarco, Hammarskjold, and Patterson families, whose leadership has made the project possible. As long time Sugar Bowl community members these families and are deeply committed to helping SBA develop outstanding individuals in the spirit of both Sugar Bowl and Donner Summit.
In closing, SBA senior, Charlie Klein thanked long time supporters and lead donors for giving him and his peers a one of a kind opportunity that allows them to succeed in every possible way. He concluded, "Although I will never be a student lucky enough to attend school on our new campus, I will always be lucky enough to say I went to Sugar Bowl Academy – and that is all the luck I’ll ever need."
SBA Graduates Class of 2012
On Saturday, June 18th Sugar Bowl Academy held its graduation ceremony at the Mount Judah Lodge at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. In keeping with Sugar Bowl Academy tradition, underclassmen introduced each graduating senior before awarding them with their diplomas. The speeches by the underclassmen, designed to demonstrate the important leadership role that seniors play in the SBA community, highlighted aspects of each graduate’s personality and character. Cassidy Cichowicz, Kelly Habibi, Grace Hutton, Dylan Murtha, Joseph Piercy, and Joelle Romo all received diplomas.
Held on the deck of the Judah Lodge overlooking Mt. Disney, the ceremony’s speakers highlighted the accomplishments of Sugar Bowl Academy’s unique student body. Head Nordic Coach, Jeff Schloss, gave the address to the senior class, in which he encouraged them to live in the moment, enjoying every opportunity they’re provided. With thoughtful and humorous reflection, valedictorian and Truckee resident, Dylan Murtha, spoke about the unique and special nature of a Sugar Bowl Academy education.
Shannon Beets, the Executive Vice President and Provost of Sierra Nevada College, gave the formal commencement address. Drawing on her experience as a history professor, Beets told a story about the 1911 race to the South Pole between John Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen. She encouraged the Class of 2012 and their audience to model the efforts of Amundsen who beat all odds by reaching the South Pole and work smart not hard for their goals.
Although the Class of 2012 was center stage during the event, the ceremony also included the presentation of awards to other members of the student body for academic achievement, athletic success, and campus leadership.
Cassidy Cichowicz of South Lake Tahoe took top honors in the awards ceremony earning the Student-Athlete of the Year Award for all around excellence. Riley Plant of Auburn earned the Williams College Book Award for his leadership in the classroom. The Harleen Family Citizenship Award went to Truckee resident Jack "Augie" DeRyk. This award honors a student who exemplifies positive spirit putting the Sugar Bowl Academy community at the forefront of their minds, and is named after one of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation’s most supportive families.
Addressing the graduating seniors, students, staff, and parents assembled at the ceremony, Head of School Tracy Keller urged graduating seniors and underclassmen alike to always be a part of positive growth and change as they venture into the world beyond high school.
"Don’t fear change, but embrace its value in building stronger schools, communities and workplaces; remembering that all changes, even those for the better are always accompanied by discomfort."
SBA Shines as Far West's Best; 3 Athletes Attend USST U16 Assessment Project
Sugar Bowl Academy's J3 team didn't let new race venues and funky weather stop them at the J3 Western Region Championships at Big Sky and Bridger Bowl, Montana. Racing began on Friday, March 16th with the Super G at Big Sky where SBA 10th grader Pieter Weemaes claimed the silver medal and set the tone for a very successful series for both himself and his teammates.
SBA's brightest moment came in the men’s giant slalom on Saturday, March 17th when SBA athletes took four of the top ten spots overall (the only Far West athletes in the top 10), including a gold medal performance from Pieter Weemaes and a bronze medal performance from Michael Cooper. Luke Rodarte finished eighth, the top first-year J3 in the field and Sam Ferguson was ninth after fourth after crashing in the second run.
Having placed three different athletes on the podium for a total of four medals, Sugar Bowl Academy had two times more podiums than the next best team in the Far West Division (Lake Tahoe Racing had two, Squaw Valley and Mammoth each had one).
Find complete results for all J3 Western Champs events at www.westj3champs.com.
Most importantly, as a result of their performances at the J3 Western Championships, SBA's Michael Cooper, Pieter Weemaes and Luke Rodarte (3rd in Slalom) each qualified for the U.S Ski Team’s U16 Assessment Project in Park City, Utah (April 1-6), where they’ll work with the U.S. Ski Team’s World and Europa Cup coaches in a week-long camp alongside the very best J3 athletes in the United States. SBA’s three nominations tie the Park City Ski Team for the most in the entire Western U.S., and it’s three times as many as any other team in the Far West Division (Squaw Valley, LTR, and Heavenly Valley each had one athlete nominated).
Additionally, SBA's Head J3 Coach, Bryce Hubner, was one of two coaches in the Western Region -- and one of just six nationwide -- nominated as a fully funded guest coach for the U.S Ski Team’s U16 Assessment Project in Park City, Utah (April 1-6).
Sprock Claims J2 National GS Title
Ty Sprock didn't let Sunday's blustry conditions affect his approach to the Junior National Giant Slalom at Mammoth Mountain. Ty's blazing 2nd run propelled him past first run leader Nicolas Veth to claim victory. Sprock's win came on the heals of Julia Bjorkman's double victory in the SG and GS and demonstrated Sugar Bowl Academy's dominance. Read more.
Bjorkman Wins Again
For the second day in a row, Sugar Bowl Academy's Julia Bjorkman is a National Champion. Today she had an ultra-fast second run to become the 2012 Junior National Giant Slalom Champion. See complete results from Junior Nationals here.
Bjorkman, Francis, and Sprock Podium at J2 Nationals
Sugar Bowl Academy sophomore Julia Bjorkman skied her way to victory in the J2 National Sugar G at Mammoth Mountain on Friday, March 9. Earlier in the day, Junior Brian Francis put an outstanding run together to finish 2nd in the men's race. Also on the podium for Sugar Bowl Academy was Ty Sprock in 5th. Also representing Sugar Bowl Academy among the best 16 and 17 year olds in the nation in Mammoth this week are: Marc Talbott, Riley Plant, Owen Wattenmaker, and Charlie Klein. Read more.
Hartley and Freeland 1st and 2nd at TJFS 1st Stop
The first stop of the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series took place at Sugar Bowl this weekend. The Academy boys were on fire with Drew and Issac battling it out for first place. At the end of the day on Saturday, Issac was in the lead with a score of 42.5. Drew was running in a close second with a score of 42.25., while the third place competitor was a good two points back. On day two, Issac pulled off an amazing run and it looked like he was going to be taking home the gold. Under blackening skies and increasing winds, Drew managed to stay calm and pulled off the highest scoring run of the weekend, claiming top honors with Issac a very close second. It was a great weekend of competing and super fun to watch our Academy boys go head to head all weekend long. The Freeride team had three other older boys finish in the top ten with Emmett Seely in 7th, Conner Fournier in 9th and Kyle Fowler in 10th.
Sugar Bowl’s Xander Guldman dominated the younger boys age group by taking first place in a very competitive field with a winning score of 40.125, a good 4 points above his next competitor.
Congratulations also goes out to Ali Lawton for taking third place in the girls 15-17 age group and to Carly Gradeff for her 5th place win in the girls 11-14 year age group.
To see a video recap of Drew’s winning run go to vimeo.com.
To learn more about the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series go to www.tahoejuniorfreesrideseries.com. The next stop of the series will be at Squaw Valley on February 25th and 26th. Come out and watch a great event, the stakes will be high as the Squaw Valley athletes are going to be working hard to keep Sugar Bowl off the podium.
Hartley Publishes Poetry
Congratulations to SBA Student-Athlete Camille Hartley, whose poetry has just been published on CrashTest.
CrashTest is a biannual online magazine "by and for high school students" which strives to publish poetry "that tests limits, asks questions, rejects the easy answers, risks obliteration, believes in failure, is suspicious of scripted success."
Camille's poem is entitled Seattle Moon and is inspired by her grandfather, "one of the best people I have ever known." Check it out.
SBA J3s Post Solid Results at Diamond Peak
This past weekend, SBA J3 athletes competed in the Wild West Junior Championship Qualifying Series hosted by Diamond Peak. Three days of Giant Slalom racing on a tactically challenging, technically demanding, and bulletproof arena brought out the best in our J3 athletes. The course was long—over a minute—down a narrow, icy slope packed with turns and terrain.
With sweeping Lake Tahoe views under bluebird skies, SBA/SBST J3 set their sights on painting the deep field of Far West competitors blue. On the first day of racing, Sugar Bowl boys took four out of the five podium spots. Leading the charge was Michael Cooper, with Pieter Weemaes, Luke Rodarte, and Griffin Knorpp close on his tails.
With six boys in the top fifteen, Sugar Bowl boys started the series off with a bang. But on day two, it was time for the girls to shine. Kathleen Smith finished second overall, with strong front-page performances from Daphne James, Becka Padgett, Lily Longton, and Pilar Alvarez. On the boy’s side, Pieter Weemaes doubled up with another second place performance, and Michael Cooper finished fourth.
Day three was juiced with excitement and some new faces on the podium, as both sides of the field were gunning for a win. Matt Hourigan took fifth place, with Sam Ferguson close behind in sixth. Graham Patterson had a breakthrough performance, moving up 70 spots into seventh place. And another strong day for the girls, led by Kathleen Smith and Daphne James, Sugar Bowl girls captured five of the top fifteen spots.
The SBA J3s are off to the coast for a change of scenery before entering the final block of their qualifying season. At the end of the month, SBA/SBST J3 athletes will head to Mammoth Mountain for the speed portion of the Wild West Series, which will determine final selections to the J3 Junior Championship event hosted by Big Sky and Bridger Bowl March 15 – 18.
Evans to Represent United States In Cambodia
Sugar Bowl Academy has had a lot to celebrate in athletics lately, with podiums coming regularly from both the Alpine and Nordic skiing communities.
This week, Sugar Bowl Academy celebrates the academic accomplishments of junior Conner Evans, who learned late last week that he is one of only 30 students nationwide to be awarded a U.S. Department of State-sponsored scholarship to represent the United States this summer in Cambodia.
"It is such incredible news that I got selected to be included in this great program and it is truly surreal," said Evans. "I look forward to my travels to Asia and to sharing my experiences with the community!"
According to Evans, the American Youth Leadership Program with Cambodia is sponsored by the United States Department of State and managed by not-for-profit Global Explorers. Fewer than 20% of the program's applicants were awarded scholarships, which covers all airfare and program fees.
The mission of Global Explorers, said Evans, "is to inspire responsible global citizenship by sharing life-changing, immersing travel opportunities with students of all abilities and backgrounds."
"The application process was very rigorous and included an interview round where I talked one-on-one with the program director."
"This program is meant to immerse students in a completely different culture and to learn about global issues. One of the main themes that we will be focusing on this trip is the environment, climate change, conservation, and sustainable development." Throughout the trip, I will be traveling to multiple regions in Cambodia, from the capital of Phnom Penh to the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Some of the activities that I will be involved in will be leadership and service activities, community site visits, and visits to high schools and local cultural activities."
"There are also pre and post-travel activities involved in the trip. Before I leave in June, I will participate in five video teleconferencing meetings learning about the country of Cambodia and responsible tourism."
"After the trip, I will be involved in a service project in my community (Truckee) to share what I have learned about Cambodia and the environment."