On April 21, 2017, I received a call from Kris Shampney, US Ski Team Women’s Development & Europa Cup head coach. He informed me that I had met the US Ski Team C Team criteria and have been nominated to the team. Even a month later, it is incredible to think that an important milestone in my skiing journey has been achieved.
Most people do not realize how challenging it is to make criteria. For me, I had to be top 10 for my age in the world for either SL or GS.
This means that next year I will be skiing with the National Development team. I will be completing predominately on the NorAm circuit and learning on the Europa Cup circuit. I’m thrilled to be on the team and already working hard with my new team to get ready for the 2017-18 season.
The first thing I did after celebrate with my parents was to sit down and write an email to the people who have been instrumental in helping me achieve this step in my skiing journey. Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I know that they will be with me every step I take to become one of the best skiers in the world.
I have copied that letter below. So, read on if you would like to know a bit more about the people who have influenced my journey.
Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today or be as ready as I am to take on the challenges of tomorrow.
I wanted to send a quick note to the people who at some point along this incredible journey of mine have been there to support, educate, and influence me in a profound way. Your passion for what you do and your willingness to support and mentor me in achieving my goals has and will continue to have a lasting impact on me. It means so much to me to know that you have been and will always be there to support me if I need it.
With that in mind, I would like to share some incredible news with you before it becomes publicly known. Earlier this week, I received a call from Kris Shampeny, USSA Women’s Alpine Europa Cup Coach. He congratulated me on a great season and let me know that I have been nominated to the US Ski Team Women’s C-Team. Even as I write this it still really hasn’t sunk in. As you might expect, I’m excited and a bit nervous about the whole thing. I can’t wait to get started!
Here are a few highlights about how each you have been key to my success… Enjoy!
Alan Lauba– You’re the reason I am even on this journey. You took the call from a dad of this girl who loved to ski. You introduced me to this sport, taught me how to go for it, and to stivot. Your tuck drills are second to none. Outside of ripping around Crystal Mtn, one of my favorite memories is skiing with you on the last day of U16 Nationals at Park City. It was a powder day of course. Thank you, Alan and Tamara, for supporting me!!
Kelly McCann and Matt Brewster- My 2nd season as a U14 was an important milestone in my development. Through all the training and qualifying events for Buddy Werners, you believed in me and kept it fun. That’s really why I ski and what life is all about. To this day, you have kept in touch, connected at races, and sent notes/letters of encouragement which mean so much to me.
Nikki Brown– Your passion for fitness is second only to your desire to earn your turns all year long. I can’t think of a better person to whip me into shape for skiing. You are the reason I know my way around a fitness center/weight room. And I can’t think of a better mentor and friend. I’d love to hike and ski Rainier with you this summer. 🙂
Meredith Atkins– When I needed confidence and help with reading, writing, and school you supported me. Thanks to you, I was ready to tackle a challenging college prep school and to actually want to pick up a book and read it for fun.
Kat Sweet– You gave me the gift of mountain biking and being a badass chic. You towed me into some incredible lines and jumps, and I trusted you unconditionally. Remember Crankworxs and A-line? It’s a skill that I use everyday when I am on the hill, reading the line. Your program, Sweetlines was an important part of my younger years. I’d still follow you anywhere.
Libby Ludlow– I remember getting your autograph on my helmet at the Cherrytree charge race, a live and in person US Ski Team member. You spent your days home from the World Cup ripping around with us J6s. When you retired and founded zGirls, I was lucky to be one of the originals. Your program has helped me build confidence in myself. You then encouraged me to try out this new ski camp for girls. It’s great to have you, Jake, and Leo in PC.
Keely Kelleher– That camp Libby recommended I go to was yours. 🙂 And like ZGirls, I am so lucky to be a Keely’s Camp Original. From that first camp as a camper to last year as an intern, I’ve grown and learned so much about myself and this crazy sport from women who are truly inspirational. You and your parents shared your experience at Rowland Hall/Rowmark and inspired my family to make the move from Seattle to Park City.
Ben Ludlow and Spencer Kull– My partners in crime and my “Big Brothers.” I still remember when you snuck me out of training to rip around Crystal Mountain. You taught me how to fly down and catch air on Little Portillo. You are the best race crew a girl could ask for!!
Blake Lewis – The master tuner, you taught me the importance of taking care of my equipment and how to tune a ski. OK – I know it really started with you educating my dad on tuning, but somewhere along the line it rubbed off on me. Thank you for those late night tuning sessions. I definitely have put this knowledge to good use this past year on east coast ice.
To the Rowmark Staff…
Todd Brickson– The day I learned I had been accepted to Rowland Hall/Rowmark was a turning point for me. The past three years as a Rowmarker have been an incredible experience. Rowmark helped me be successful in school and with skiing. I know that I am prepared to take the next step. Your calm at the start of the U16 Nationals SL got me to the bottom and to the top step. That same calm and thoughtful leadership always seems to help me consider and make the best decision for me.
Jim Tschabrun– You are the coach who helped me battle from the back of the pack as a first-year FIS racer and stood up for me when I started 115, made the flip and the TD didn’t believe it. You’re a great coach and friend. Your girls and Ms. T are lucky to have you! I’m so glad you were there for my last race this season, to share in that victory. We really connected this year, and your guidance and support took my skiing to a whole new level. A part of me wishes we had one more year together.
Skip , Ker, Mary, Brian, and Sarah – You are all such incredible people, and have created such an awesome support system for myself and the rest of the team.
As you can see, each of you has played an important role in my life, and I will be forever grateful. I will let you know once things get officially announced, and I hope to get to see or talk to each of you sometime soon.