Skiers Share Background with Olympians
By Julie Colatrella ’12
you’ve been watching the Vancouver Winter
Olympic Games, Bode Miller and Seth Wescott might be names
you’ve heard. Both American athletes have scored gold medals
this year. Wescott is a gold medalist in snowboardcross (he
won gold as well at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino,
Italy). Miller is one of the most decorated American skiers
of all time, having finally won a gold medal this year in
the Grand Slalom, as well as a silver and bronze medal, and
two silvers at the 2002 Olympics.
Relaxing away from the
slopes (left to right): Carrabassett cohorts Katharine
von Herrmann, Emma Peck Coffin, and Hope Wilson.
Three skiers on Smith’s
ski team are well familiar with Miller and Wescott. Emma
Peck Coffin ’12, Katharine von Herrman ’11 and Hope Wilson ’13
attended Carrabassett Valley (Maine) Academy and Snowboard
School, the same school from which Miller and Wescott graduated.
Carrabassett (CVA) is the premier
ski academy in the country. It combines college preparatory
courses with rigorous athletic training, consistently graduating
Having three CVA graduates on
the Smith team has had tremendous impact, according to Steve
Samolewicz, Smith ski coach.
“Whether it’s training on the hill or weight lifting, they’re pushing themselves
and the rest of the team to succeed,” he said.
Though there is no one recognizable
Carrabassett skiing style, Samolewicz says students from
the academy know what it means to work hard—the routines
required for balancing academics with athletics, and the
skills and charisma to be natural leaders.
Emma Coffin on the Grand
“They’re high-level athletes
that set the stage for future team members and athletes looking
to come to Smith,” said Samolewicz. “Coming from Carrabassett
guarantee success, but the routine they bring is helpful
to everyone on the team.”
Over all, the ski team had a
very successful season, said the coach. Von Hermann is one
of the top 30 skiers in the league. Coffin, who won the All
Academic American Race last year, skied to fourth place
over all in regional championships last week. Coffin will
race in the United States Collegiate Ski Association National
Championships in Sunday River, Maine, March 2 through 6.
ski team members have sustained injuries this season, said
Samolewicz. “If it
wasn’t for our injuries, we’d be doing great,” he joked.
Having high-level skiers
from Carrabassett not only builds the Smith program but gives
the skiers themselves a balanced student-athlete experience.
“The ski team is a group of
very hard-working girls,” commented Hope Wilson. “We
push ourselves to the limits and the time I spent at Carrabassett
Valley Academy prepared me for that.”