Ski Team Has Productive January Break

The Northwood Ski team was active over the break with many different events. The FISU World University games provided an excellent opportunity for student-athletes to see the highest level of college ski racing at an International level. The Ski Team comprises many types of skiing, like Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Freestyle, and Alpine ski racing. The Northwood team of 32 student-athletes had the chance to train, forerun, and watch these top-level athletes prepare and compete.

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“The goal of integrating our program within the FISU games proves to be a catalyst to dream big because each of the FISU competitors was previously in the shoes of our student-athletes, and if our athletes stay focused on their goals, they will be able to compete on this International stage,” Director of Skiing Tommy Biesemeyer said when asked what the goal of this program was during the FISU games.

Northwood’s athletes participated in many events and further developed their skiing over this long break. The FIS men and women traveled to Sun Valley, ID, from January 5th – January 16th to have proper training when the training space was limited at Whiteface. The team had full-length GS and SL training sessions along with four FIS races at the end of their camp, where they had Olivia Levesque ’24 score her best FIS result to date, 60 pts. When they returned from Sun Valley, our team foreran the FISU Giant Slalom and Slalom races and had the chance to hand out medals during the medal ceremony.

The U16 group is Northwood’s largest group of snowsports athletes, and these student-athletes were located in Lake Placid during the FISU games, where they stayed with Carrie Wardlaw and NYSEF’s Winter Term. Their training consisted of six weekly training days, where they trained alongside FISU athletes. In addition, some athletes foreran and got additional training runs on the FISU Super G track, where they witnessed some of the iciest conditions we have ever seen at Whiteface. The whole experience provided a large volume of training, challenging situations, and exposure to World Cup conditions, which will pay off for their long-term development.

Northwood’s five cross-country and ski jumping athletes put in long days at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the ski jumps, where they also foreran each day and trained alongside the world’s best collegiate athletes. The course preparation was immaculate and allowed these student-athletes to benefit from top-level conditions. These opportunities helped Northwood’s nordic athletes develop their fitness and skills.

We had one freestyle athlete travel to Gore Mountain each day with his NYSEF coach, and he also had the chance to forerun each competition, hitting the biggest jumps of his life. This opened his eyes to the next level and inspired him to focus on what he needed to learn to compete at this level. “Seeing him come back each day with a smile on his face inspired our staff to push our kids to set big goals,” Biesemeyer said.

So we are all wondering now what is next for the Alpine ski team. The U18 teams are currently participating in the U18 National qualifiers in Vermont. The U16 Team is training at home and preparing for U16 New York State Championships on March 3-5. The Nordic team is getting ready for Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, AK, and the Freestyle team is training at Whiteface and competing each weekend at Titus Mountain.


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