Three years ago we started our SMS T2 program with two goals in mind. We wanted to help the skiers achieve International excellence and help grow the sport by giving back to the community. We hoped that if we got a strong group of skiers working together in a supportive environment that good things would happen.
Clearly it is working, not only are our SMS T2 athletes doing well, the SMS high school program is flourishing. By working closely together, each group improves more. The high school skiers get to train with some of the top skiers in the world and hear stories from the World Cup, Olympics and Europa Cups. The T2 athletes gain by being an integral part of the ski community. They help with clinics, camps and organizations promoting sport as a healthy life choice. The community has adopted the T2 team and made them feel valued.
Skiing is a funny sport because, unless your name is Marit B., no matter how well you do, you always want more. This is why the concept of team is so important. Instead of sweating a sub par race, you can be happy knowing that you are an integral part of a team that is doing some great stuff.
So, here is what our team can be psyched about. We have a small club with 8 senior athletes, 21 high school students and 4 junior high students. Here are some collective statistics:
For the second year in a row our skiers had the top results for any US skier the biggest Championship events (World Championships, U23 World Championships and Junior World Championships). Our club goal is to get a top 10 at each of these events every year. We figure that if we get enough top 10’s, we’ll get some podiums. This year Jessie got a SILVER, Sophie got a 10th and in the sprint relay Andy and Simi were 7th while Sophie and Jessie were 8th at World Championships. Ben got a sixth at U23’s and Katharine got a 6th at World Jrs.
All eight of our SMS T2 skiers qualified for USST trips to Europe. Five raced at World Championships. Three (plus 2 alums) at U23 World Championships and four at the Europa Cup races.
Four of our SMS T2 athletes ended the year ranked in the top 30 in the world thus getting in the “red” group and earning automatic nominations to the USST A team.
14 of our 21 high school students qualified for Junior Nationals.
8 of these 14 earned All American status (top 10 individual or top 3 relay).
We extended our streak of at least one Junior National gold medal and at least one SMS skier qualifying for World Juniors to 19 straight years.
The 4 U16 skiers who did not qualify for Junior Nationals all qualified for the NE U16 Championships.
Our 4 BKL skiers (7th-8th grade) skied brilliantly all year and won both individual races as well as both relays at the Festival.
Thanks to everyone for working hard, pushing each other and being supportive of each other. Hard work can be fun!