Summer Training firing on all cylinders!
Although it hasn't felt like Summer here in Jackson Hole, we are fully underway with summer training across all age groups. The Comp Team has been training since mid May, the collegiate PG team has been training since early June, and the Junior middle school athletes just started this week. On days where all the teams have training, we have seen 25-35 athletes at practice! It is truly inspiring to see so many athletes training hard and trying to improve at Nordic skiing! So far, athletes have been hard at work bounding, running, building strength, rollerskiing, and biking.
Our Prep/Comp team is large this year, with only two athletes graduating and moving on to college. With seven athletes moving from Juniors to the Prep team, we are seeing a big expansion at our oldest age group. This last week we had our first Test Week of the summer, where the athletes set benchmarks in our running, strength, and rollerskiing time trials. We had amazing attendance for all of the time trials, and we saw lots of amazing performances, including many PRs and good efforts. We created a new tradition last summer where we give out "Team Champ" bibs to one female and one male athlete who have the best personal performances and show the most effort at all four tests throughout the week. This week, we awarded Abby Murphy and Sam Sinclair the Team Champ test week awards after they both set multiple personal bests in time trials and tests across the week. CONGRATS! After the full summer of training and building aerobic capacity, strength, and rollerski technique, we will reassess in August.
We have also seen a large group of alumni who ski at collegiate Division 1 programs across the country return to Jackson to train with JHSC! Alums who ski for Colby, Bates, Middlebury, and Denver are all back for the summer, and many of them have brought friends with them! We have 10 post-graduate athletes here this Summer, and things have been going well! It is great to expand the training group and give all the athletes more to push for and a bigger group to expand the energy. It has been great to have so many talented athletes and nice people here this summer. If you see them around, make sure to say hello!
The middle school Junior summer training group is also getting larger year-over-year. We have almost 10 athletes signed up for middle school summer training this year, which happens two days a week the whole time school is out. So far, the Juniors have run a mile TT on the track, worked on skate rollerski skills, and ran with poles all the way up Snow King! We are looking forward to having a big training group this summer and getting kids stoked on Nordic even in the summer!
Bend Camp Recap
Wayyy back in mid-May, the Nordic program headed to Bend, OR, for our annual on-snow start of the season training camp. We had a gigantic crew in Bend, bringing 25 athletes all the way to Oregon to kick off the season! Conditions at Mt. Bachelor were amazing, with over 35km of trails open and fantastic corn skiing conditions the entire time! We overlapped with the US Ski Team and witnessed all the American superstars, including Jessie Diggins, Gus Schumacher, Julia Kern, and JC Schoonmaker, on the same trails. We also got to collaborate with GMVS and Sugar Bowl Academy for some joint workouts, so the spirit of collaboration is strong! We did tons of fun activities including classic and skate skiing, trail running, adventurous capture the flag, classic rollerskiing, surfing at the beach, crust cruising, and more! The athletes love going to the beach more than anything, and we lucked out on an amazing sunny day in Pacific City for surfing and hanging out. This camp is important for touching base and seeing how every athlete is feeling heading into the summer and also great for getting athletes stoked on Nordic skiing! We had six new Prep Team athletes attend Bend Camp, which was a great introduction to the Prep Team and the world of competitive ski training. All in all, it was an amazing trip!
National Training Group & Elite Camps
After every ski season, athletes' results from the winter qualify them to participate on various national teams and participate in elite training projects depending on their age and level of results achieved in the Winter. With the huge amount of amazing performances by JHSC Nordic athletes this winter, we have had more athletes qualify for elite teams and camps at an unprecedented level for the Club! Good winter results have led to lots of summer training opportunities for athletes in all age groups. For the U16 age group, the highest possible training project athletes can qualify for is the National U16 Camp, where 20 athletes of each gender qualify. After a few years as a regional camp because of COVID, the national-level training camp is back! Four athletes from JHSC qualified for National U16 camp, which is tied for the most of any club in the country! Nate Streubel, Sam Hutchinson, Abby Murphy, and Lena Poduska all qualified for this camp, which will be held in Lake Placid in July.
At the U18 age group, the next level up the development ladder is the Western Regional Elite Group. This group is more selective, with only 15 athletes of each gender selected from across the western US to train at a camp run by US Ski Team personnel. Four athletes from JHSC have qualified for this camp: Peter Warner, Lena Poduska, Lucas Wilmot, and Aurora Stiles. Again, this is tied for the most skiers qualified by any club in the region! This camp will be held in Bozeman in early July, where the athletes will do sprint simulations, uphill time trials, learn about nutrition and performance, and train with other fast skiers from around the region.
The highest level on the US Ski Team junior development ladder is the National Training Group. This is the pool of the best skiers under 20 years old from all across the country, based on results from the Winter. Lena Poduska and Lucas Wilmot have both qualified to be a part of this team, which is a direct development project with the US Ski Team—more athletes than we have ever qualified at once. Athletes who are part of the National Training Group (NTG) are invited to two training camps run by USST personnel at US Ski Team headquarters in Park City, Utah, and receive access to USST coaching, training gear, and educational resources from USST professionals. Lucas attended the first camp was held in mid-June in Park City, where he got to do a large amount of distance training, technique work, and speed training on the rollerski trails at Soldier Hollow and on the rollerski treadmill at the Center of Excellence, the USST strength and conditioning facility. Lucas got to meet skiers from across the country who attended the camp and made new friends while also receiving informative presentations on nutrition, technique, and sports science from professionals who work for the US Ski Team. The next NTG camp will be held in Park City in October in conjunction with the US Ski Team camp and Schutzenski Festival rollerski races at Soldier Hollow.
JHSC skiers are clearly among the best in the country, and these summer training opportunities are great rewards for amazing winter ski performances! These camps are great chances to meet new friends, learn from new coaches, and raise the level of their skiing throughout the summer! Congratulations skiers!