Vonn Returns to Northwood as Alpine Technical Director

Thomas Vonn is a new addition to the NYSEF/Northwood coaching staff. He is returning to his high school roots after spending twenty years away from Northwood as an Olympic and World Cup alpine ski racer and, later, a world-class coach, known mostly for coaching the technical aspects of ski racing.   [Read more…]

Nineteen Students Take Home Awards at Banquet



Award-winners posed with their plaques following the 2018 Co-Curricular Awards Banquet.


The Annual Co-Curricular Awards Banquet awarded twenty awards to nineteen student-athletes. This was the last formal dinner before graduation, recognizing individual athletes that are characterized by the concept that there is no “I” in team. Each coach chooses one student that they thought represented each award best and shared attributes of the athlete. [Read more…]

Bennett Sets Sights on National Team

The Northwood ski team has had a great season this year. Over spring break many NWS athletes were competing in CO, landing on the podium multiple times. In particular, Sarah Bennett ’19 has had an exceptional season that gave her the opportunity to be invited to a Quebec Team Evaluation Camp at Mont Edouard, Canada, where she is training with some of the best young Canadian ski racers. Also attending the camp is Erik Guay, a three-time Olympian, and Canada’s most successful male alpine skier. Bennett is currently ranked one of the best in North America for her age. [Read more…]

Two STEM Students Receive National Honor

Recently Northwood students Chelsea Smith ‘19 and Maddie McCarthy ‘18 have won Upstate New York Affiliate Honorable Mention of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing. They have been chosen for their computing-related aspirations and achievements, their leadership ability, academic performance, and future plans. [Read more…]

Humans of Northwood: Sarah Bennett ’19


Sarah Bennett ’19 (Photo: Magnus Sheffiled ’20)

“I’m a Junior. I’ve been at Northwood since freshman year. I’m a ski racer. I am from Montreal, but I currently live in Stoneham. My favorite memory would have to be the powder day we had last year after training was cancelled, and the whole team was free skiing. The biggest piece of advice I can give an incoming freshman would be make friends outside of your athletic group. The first year you’re at Northwood can be the hardest when you are training six times a week; going to classes after can be tiring, but everyone here is pushing you to be your best self. When I’m not skiing, I enjoy mountain and road biking ,walking into town, and trying new things. This spring I want to do more hiking and get more involved in college preparation. In my free time I enjoy running with my dog and eating fajitas.”

– As told to Magnus Sheffield ’20

U16 Racers Dominate Gore Super G

In late January, the skiers traveled to Gore, eager to race Super G after being let down in NH the previous weekend. The athletes had two races on Saturday, and one race on Sunday. The weather was sunny with mild winds, which made for a perfect day for racing. The course was set extraordinary tight for Super G, which challenged the racers ability to carve tight radius turns. By the second race the course had become faster by the number of athletes shaving off the slow top sheet of snow exposing the fast ice, and the rain clouds covering the sun.

Both races on Saturday went smoothly, but made for a long day because the athletes were booted up by 8am, and weren’t off the hill till 4pm. Saturday night it was 40 degrees and began to rain. The foul weather led to the hill freezing much like an ice rink. This excited many athletes, at least those who had tuned the night before. Unfortunately, the slick ice caused for a one-hour delay to let the hill soften; however, many turns on the course remained slick that were hidden from the sun.

The ski team had a very successful weekend, with the U16 boys coming home with two podium sweeps and the girls with three podiums.


Magnus Sheffield ’20, Ben DeGirolamo ’21and Andrew Van Slyke ’20 on the podium at Gore.


Beth Fisher ’19 atop the podium  at Gore.

Northwood Men (Race 1)

Magnus Sheffield ’20 in 1st U16 and Overall

Ben DeGirolamo ’21 in 2nd U16 and 4th Overall

Andrew Van Slyke ’20 in 3rd U19 and 5th Overall

Martin McDonough ’20 in 3rd U16 and 9th Overall

Zack Zientko ’21 in 7th U16 and 13th Overall


Northwood Women (Race 1)

Ava Day ’21 in 3rd U16 and 4th Overall

Chelsea Smith ’19 in 3rd U19 and 6th Overall

Gabrielle Cote ’21 in 5th U16 and in 9th Overall

Imani Hawman ’20 in 10th U16 and 14th Overall

Beth Fisher ’19 in 6th U19 and 19th Overall

Amelia Brady ’21 in 28th U16 and 41st Overall

Ana Spencer ’20 in 32nd U16 and 45th Overall

Audrey Higgins-Lopez ’21 DNF1


Northwood Men (Race 2)

Magnus Sheffield ’20 in 1st U16 and Overall

Andrew Van Slyke ’20 in 1st U19 and 2nd Overall

Ben DeGirolamo ’21 in 2nd U16 and 6th Overall

Zack Zientko ’21 in 4th U16 and 10th Overall

Martin McDonough ’20 in 5th U16 and 9th Overall


Northwood Women (Race 2)

Ava Day ’21 in 2rd U16 and 2nd Overall

Chelsea Smith ’19 in 1st U19 and 2rd Overall

Audrey Higgins-Lopez ’21 in 4th U16 and 7th Overall

Gabrielle Cote ’21 in 9th U16 and in 13th Overall

Imani Hawman ’20 in 10th U16 and 14th Overall

Beth Fisher ’19 in 5th U19 and 15th Overall

Amelia Brady ’21 in 27th U16 and 41st Overall

Ana Spencer ’20 in 31st U16 and 46th Overall


Northwood Men (Sunday)

Magnus Sheffield ’20 in 1st U16 and Overall

Andrew Van Slyke ’20 in 1st U19 and 2nd Overall

Ben DeGirolamo ’21 in 2nd U16 and 3rd Overall

Zack Zientko ’21 in 3rd U16 and 9th Overall

Martin McDonough ’20 in 7th U16 and 21st Overall


Northwood Women (Sunday)

Ava Day ’21 in 6th U16 and 8th Overall

Audrey Higgins-Lopez ’21 in 8th U16 and 10th Overall

Gabrielle Cote ’21 in 12th U16 and in 16th Overall

Imani Hawman ’20 in 15th U16 and 20th Overall

Beth Fisher ’19 in 1st U19 and 2nd Overall

Amelia Brady ’21 in 28th U16 and 40th Overall

Ana Spencer ’20 in 25th U16 and 37th Overall

U16s Dive Five Hours Only to Have Race Canceled

AttitashMembers of the Northwood U16 team traveled five hours to Attitash, NH to compete in two Super G races. There were two scheduled training runs before racing on Monday and Tuesday. Monday, the skiers were able to warm up, stretch and ski the race hill, but when they went up to the start they were unable to race due to a broken chairlift. Tuesday morning the athletes woke to a snowstorm, which later turned into freezing rain and twenty mph winds, which led to the jury cancelling the second race due to dangerous weather and snow conditions. [Read more…]

Race Recaps: Belleayre and Windham Giant Slalom


Gabby Cote ’21 (center) won back-to-back races.

The Northwood U16 team competed in two GS races in the Catskills, one at Belleayre and one at Windham. The conditions at Belleayre were soft, making it more difficult for racers with higher bib numbers. The day started out sunny, but as the skiers prepared for their second run, the light became extremely flat. Both Martin McDonough ’20 and Gabrielle Cote ’21 had exceptional races. Cote skied her way to her first win of the season by over two and half seconds,  finishing first overall and winning for U16s. Martin secured his second podium of the season, finishing second overall and finishing first for U16s. [Read more…]

Race Recap: Ely Leene Holiday Slalom

A few Northwood/NYSEF athletes competed in two slalom races over the holiday break in Western New York. The Ely Leene Holiday Slalom was held on Christmas Eve at Brantling Ski Slopes, which is a very small hill east of Rochester serviced by two J-bars. The course is typically very short and runs last about thirty seconds.

Race 1 Northwood Men
Ben DeGirolamo ’21 in 5th

Race 1 Northwood Women
Jane Baumer ’19 in 3rd
Imani Hawman ’20 in 11th


Race 2 Northwood Men
Ben DeGirolamo ’21 in 5th

Race 2 Northwood Women
Jane Baumer ’19 in 4th
Imani Hawman ’20 in 11th

First Person: Cyclocross at Northwood

Sophomore Magnus Sheffield is the top-ranked American cyclocross athlete in his age group. He’s also an outstanding ski racer. He gets a lot of questions about cyclocross


Cyclocross athlete Magnus Sheffield ’20. (Photo: Todd Prekaski)

I started racing cyclocross as a way to train for skiing in the off season. It started as something I did for fun, and it has now turned into something that I devote a lot of time and energy training for. Cyclocross is a cycling discipline that is extremely popular in Europe, especially in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and it is done in any kind of weather conditions. The season runs from late August until early February.  Unfortunately, cyclocross is not yet an Olympic sport, but it is very popular worldwide.

[Read more…]

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