April SAS Newsletter

In March, JHSC honors the Value of Competition. We focus not just on the act of competing but on the growth that results from the entire process of preparation—as an athlete and a person—to be equipped to perform at whatever one chooses. Competition helps us in our goal-setting processes, setting target dates for readiness and motivating us to train so we can perform at our best. It gives us opportunities to venture out of our comfort zones and try new things. It serves as a motivator for learning, driving us to acquire new skills and techniques. Competition also helps us understand our mental states, forcing us to face our fears and nerves and learn to manage and overcome them, tactics that prove beneficial in many other learning, professional, and personal contexts. It builds our self-esteem: it feels good to work hard toward a goal and know that we gave it our all, or better yet, to see it accomplished! When we compete, we build new friendships out of respect for our opponents and gain opportunities to honor our teammates’ achievements. Competition enables us to build resilience and grit as we celebrate our successes and identify areas for continued growth. In all of these ways, Competition brings opportunities to live out our other core values: Fun, Commitment, Teamwork, and Sportsmanship.

Our athletes have had a stellar season, and many are still competing at US Nationals in their sport. Follow these links for recent race and competition results and photos from our programs:





Taylor Moe, 3rd Overall at U14 Western Region Championships

Congratulations to our Value of the Month Award Winners for March: their hard work has paid off in Competition during championship season!

Ace Emery, Freeride Progression Plus team: “Ace has been working so hard all season during training, and has performed outstanding in all competitions.  He is the series champion his age group in slopestyle in the USASA, he was overall champion in our Wednesday Night Lights 3-event series, and he did well at the Jackson and Snow King IFSAs.”—Program Director Andy Lex

Ellis Swain, Freeride Progression Plus team: “Ellis has competed in every USASA he could. He went out and competed in halfpipe and won 1st place in two different halfpipe events, even though the Freeride Program wasn't there. He also competed in two IFSA regional events and one IFSA National and found himself on the podium multiple times.”—Program Director, Andy Lex

Ivy Lu Swain, Freeride Progression team: “Ivy Lu is the one of the only female snowboard athletes in our program. She has consistently competed even when she is the only athlete in her division/gender. She did the whole USASA series and was series winner of the WNL rail-jam series.” —Program Director, Andy Lex

Callum Kuszak, Nordic Junior team: “Callum has consistently competed across the Intermountain West this winter. He has a positive, competitive mentality and is always looking for an opportunity to put his toes on the start line! This is only Callum's second year as a Nordic skier, and he has already had several starts at JNQ's as well as other local races.”—Junior Nordic Head Coach, George Cartwright

Taryn Moe, Alpine U12 team: “Taryn is a true all-around athlete besides being the most accomplished racer in the U12 program. She doesn't make things easy for herself, as somebody might think; she is constantly trying to best herself. She has the true heart of a champion!”—U12 Head Coach, Neiko Razinger

Mattias Wilson, Alpine U16 team: “Mattias worked really hard all season long. He was on the podium several times; at Western Region U16 Championships, he was 4th in the GS race and he qualified for U16 National Championships at Sugarloaf. Well done!”—U16 Head Coach, Ned Lazarevic

Grant Hagen, Alpine U19/FIS team: “Grant has been an example of the competition value this whole season. He has approached race day with a calm and collected demeanor and has been able to perform to his capabilities at almost every race this year. This is no small feat in the ever-changing sport of ski racing! This demeanor has helped him achieve the results to qualify for his first Nor-Am event, and his first US Nationals!”—FIS Head Coach, Mark Engel


End-of-Season Celebrations:

The winter season wrapped in March for several JHSC teams, and their end-of-season celebrations honored athletes for sportsmanship, improvement, and dedication to sport. Here are a few scenes from those fun afternoons:

Nordic Lollipoppers, with Coach Kathy Neiley (in red) announcing awards

Teewinots getting some kudos from Nordic Program Director, Will Wicherski

Coach Rob Murphy announces the Devo team Skiers of the Year, Callie Cavallaro and Olin Hugo

Junior Team members await award announcements

Junior Team coaches (from L, standing) George Cartwright, Ben Morley, Johnny Springer, and Prep/Comp Coach Luna Wasson, listen as their current and former athletes on the Comp Team receive awards.

Head Prep/Comp Coach Will Wicherski congratulates his team on an outstanding season. They finished as the 5th best in Club standings at US at Junior Nationals!

The Alpine 2-Day Race Team settles in for awards announcements by Head Coach Rick Lawler after a team bbq at Snow King 

Student-athlete Spotlight: Mason Wheeler, Nordic Comp team

Looking back, reflect on your final season with JHSC: what were some highlights of the year?

This year I really enjoyed spending a week in the blue house during senior nationals and cooking with the team.

It was also awesome to see some of our younger guys get to go to JNs for the first time.

What, in your opinion, has been your biggest accomplishment this season?

I had a race in Sun Valley (15k classic mass start) in which I won the U18 category and beat a number of college skiers.

in Sun Valley: 1st place 15k Classic Mass Start

You were awarded the Gatorade Player of the Year Award (for cross country running and Nordic skiing, if I'm not mistaken): what does this award mean to you?

It was an amazing honor to be awarded the GPY award. It was definitely a bit of validation for all the hours of training over the summer and fall.

Atop the podium at the Johnny Curtis Memorial Race 

What have you learned about Competition through your time with JHSC?

So much. It would take an entire page to describe everything I have learned. Some of the big ones though … I think the biggest thing I have learned is that when you are having fun, you compete better. There is of course a time for being serious, but when you do a sport that is so painful, it is important to keep it fun.


Alumni Spotlight: Finn Johnson

Age: 27 

Discipline with JHSC: Alpine

How old were you when you joined JHSC? 8(?)

How long were you a part of JHSC? 12+ yrs

In three sentences or less, explain your entire experience with the club.

I raced from a little kid till I went off to college. Racing was the sport that I focused on. JHSC was an incredibly large piece of my childhood.

If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would have put more work in throughout my skiing career so I could have continued skiing in college. 

What was the most fun part of being with the club?

Ski racing let me not only ski but experience an incredible area of the country and meet tons of people all over the region.

What do you do now?

I work as a high-yield analyst doing fundamental analysis on medium to large public and private companies. 

How does your experience with JHSC affect you today, if at all?

I went to the University of New Hampshire in the hope of skiing in college. Without going to UNH and joining the investment club, I wouldn’t have got referred to intern at my current job. I also find that many of the attributes of hard work and focused learning can be applied throughout my life.

What skills did you learn while competing that apply to life outside of the club?

Skiing is a skill sport and requires repetitive practice and dedication to really improve. These skills are invaluable and applicable to so many things throughout life.

What is your all-time favorite memory of JHSC?

I don’t know if I have a specific memory but the whole experience was incredible. I look back on my childhood ski racing and fondly remember all the parts, from racing at Snow King to free skiing at the village. The trips, the summer camps, and all of it. 

If you knew a kid that was thinking about becoming a part of the club, why do you think should they join?

The Ski Club teaches any kid how to really excel at something. If you ever want to be great at something, skiing is a blueprint for the rest of your life even if skiing isn’t the ultimate skill to perfect. 

Anything to add?

Skiing is a very unique sport that brings with it a very differentiated experience. I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world.