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Growing up a Methow Valley Skier and Biathlete

With subtle humor, Yale-bound Liberty Bell High School Senior Lazo Gitchos reflects on growing up in the Methow Valley as part of the Nordic and Biathlon Teams. 

When did you start skiing?  Biathlon?  

I started skiing when I was two but joined the team when I was 6. The minimum age for Biathlon is 9 (something about gun safety and small children) so I skied for 3 years before I started Biathlon.

What’s your favorite trail in the valley?

My favorite trail in the valley is the McCabe system because I can walk out the front doors of the school onto the corduroy. Our program is definitely lucky to have access to that system. I also enjoy racing there, as well as using the Biathlon range.

What’s your favorite part of being a part of these programs?

My favorite aspect of being a part of MVNT is being physically challenged and being able to share the experience with my friends and teammates. Being a part of the team definitely feels special because of the camaraderie, but also because it offers a chance to get outside every day after school when I otherwise wouldn’t, and to see the valley in its most beautiful state. Spending so much time on the trails has definitely influenced my perspective on the valley.

What else have you been involved with in the community and at school?

Other than MVNT, I have been active as a Cross Country (running) captain, Knowledge Bowl captain and part of the State Champion team, an intern and employee for Eqpd in Twisp, and active member of the Loup Loup Ski Patrol, and a recreational climber, cyclist, and backcountry skier. Balancing all of this has been a challenge, but well worth it to do the things I love.

Do you have a favorite memory from your experiences in MVNSEF programs?

By far my favorite MVNT memories are from the Silver Star Thanksgiving camps. Between punishing workouts and very large meals, spending time with the team and bonding proved an irreplaceable experience.

Do you feel like there have been any lessons from your involvement in sports that have transferred over to other parts of your life?  

Many lessons that I have learned inadvertently through skiing have transferred to my life at large. A few of these include how to push myself to accomplish difficult goals, how to manage my time effectively, to not be afraid to commit to something I love, even when it takes a lot of work to make it happen, and to always keep my hips forward.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Being a part of MVNT has been one of the most important and formative experiences of my childhood, and I feel grateful to the team that I was able to take part in it.

Weymuller Competes in Vermont and Norway to Wrap Up Season

As the calendar transition from March to April, Methow Valley Biathlete Eva Weymuller found herself in Vermont and Norway, competing at the Biathlon National Championships and the Liatoppen Festival.

You might think a girl from Washington would have a better chance of travelling to Vermont first, but as far as Eva could recall, it was her first trip to the Green Mountain State, but her second trip to Norway, having visited the Land of the Midnight Sun with the Methow Valley Nordic Team the previous spring.

To raise money for this year’s trip, Eva raised funds by baking artisan bread – a skill she’d learned from a neighbor – selling cards, and even giving bread baking lessons.

In Vermont, the races served as one of three qualifying series for next winter’s Youth Olympics.  Eva raced older girls in the 17-18 category, finishing 1st, 5th and 10th in her 3 events.  There she also caught up with former Methow Valley biathlete Kelsey Dickinson who has recently been nominated to the US Biathlon Senior Development Group after 3rd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes at nationals among other strong results this past season.

From Vermont, Eva flew to Oslo, Norway, enjoying the help of “some awesome, funny, cool airport police at JFK on our way out of the country.”  In Norway, she joined a group of 9 other 14-16 year-old biathletes from across the US, including Methow Valley teammate Alex Tareski.  As one of only two girls on the trip, she noted “that was an interesting experience to have eight brothers.”

In its 32nd year, the Liatoppen Festival is renowned for massive fields of junior biathletes.  Competing in a one-year age category, Eva raced against 60-70 girls.  With several hundred competitors each day, race logistics take on a new scale.  For her weekend races, Eva noted she would zero (sight her rifle) in the morning, but not race until after 3 PM when the winds had picked up, causing her to spend lots of time in the “fish bowl” of skiers completing round after round on the short penalty lap for each missed shot.

The trip highlight was making new friends and future connections for training and racing.  Eva noted, “It is always fun to meet people with completely different realities and lives but also have a common bond (through biathlon).”

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and for Eva, it came a couple of days early as a lack of wifi at the house in Norway meant she had to travel home due to an increasing backlog of homework.

Biathlon Notes from Winter 2019

From Head Coach Betsy Devin-Smith:

The Sun of a Gun Biathlon race was held on January 27, and lots of fun was had by all participants.  The kids did great.  It was the first biathlon race for most our biathletes.  We also had a parent race following the kids event.  Roles were reversed and the kids had to help their parents.  Parents experienced how exciting and challenging biathlon is for their kids.

Feb 17th we put on our last Try Biathlon fundraiser for the season.  Again we had a fantastic group of volunteers and had over 100 people get to experience the sport of biathlon. Way to go volunteers!

This Sat Feb 23rd is our last biathlon practice for the season at the LBHS range.
March 2-3 is the Biathlon BC Championships in Kelowna with some of our biathletes attending that.

14 year-old Bella Fox was selected to represent the USA, along with 1 other boy, at the Biathlon World Championships in Ostersund, Sweden.  There she will join other boys & girls from other nations for a fun biathlon experience. She already received her USA uniform which was really exciting.  Have fun Bella!

In April, Eva Weymuller & Alex Tareski were both selected to attend the Liatoppen Biathlon race in Liatoppen, Norway.  The race is for 14-16year olds and has over 1000 competitors.  They will be continuing to train to be ready for the event. Good luck and have a great time!

(All photos from the Sun of a Gun Biathlon race by Weymuller Photography)

Stephen, Murdoch Fastest Skiers ‘to the Sun,’ Hundreds Revel at Inaugural Event

(Video by Mike and Kathy Tuggy)

In a fitting setting for the the inaugural Ski to the Sun Marathon and Relay, hundreds of skiers emerged from a fog-blanketed morning dreamscape in Mazama, Washington as they cruised down the Methow Valley to brilliant sunshine and the finish at Sun Mountain Lodge.  Kent Murdoch, who splits his time between Mazama and Fall City, Washington, took advantage of his familiarity with the final climb to lead the marathon field over the 41 km course, passing a fading Liz Stephen in the last kilometer, to finish in 2:09:30.7. Stephen, the recently retired three-time Olympian who hails from Park City, UT, lead the women’s field in 2:10:20.4.  

(Murdoch passes Stephen less than a kilometer from the finish.  Photo: Mitchellimage)

Rounding out the podium in the men’s division were Logan Wetzel of Bellingham, Washington in 2:09:56.2 and former NCAA All-American for the University of Denver and National Championship runner-up Mike Hinckley, who also resides in Bellingham, in 2:10:32.7.  For the women, all three steps were filled with past Olympians as Methow locals Laura McCabe and Leslie Hall crossed the line in 2:10:43.3 and 2:25:43.0, respectively.

In the relay division, Chomper Bomper, a group of four junior skiers from the Methow Valley Nordic Team – Garrett Butts, Travis Grialou, Bodhi Kuzyk and Walker Hall – lead from the first kilometer to finish in 2:03:38.3, besting Shasey a duo of former national team biathlete Casey Smith and local mountain guide Michael Hutchins.  

Despite fading at the end of the final climb – a 12 km stretch that stair-stepped its way from the floor of the Methow Valley up 1000 feet (300 meters) to the finish at 2,890 feet above sea level – Stephen glowed about the event, saying “we could not have hoped for a more beautiful day, more beautiful weather or more perfect tracks… I couldn’t be more excited to be here, especially with it being like a winter wonderland….  [The Methow has] been on my shortlist of places to [visit] for a long time. The race went off so smoothly… It was so fun and beautiful to ski through the trees and to end at such a perfect place like the Sun Mountain Lodge.”

(The finish area at Sun Mountain Lodge. Photo: Mitchellimage)

Throughout the entire field, the buzz at the finish line was much the same, as smiling competitor after smiling competitor exalted about the weather, the course and the conditions.  Jim Kelly, a veteran of twenty-two American Birkebeiners – the largest cross country ski race in North America – agreed with Stephen, saying “it was awesome out there… it was like a Birkie!”  

For many, the course, which showcased the variety of natural beauty in the Methow Valley, was a real highlight.  Todd Eastman of Putney, VT and US Race Program Director for Madshus skis commented: “Stunning scenery, beautiful course and track, and an honest challenge.”

“I think it might be the best way to experience the Methow trail system and get to know the valley,” said Jenny Abraham of Boise, Idaho.  “The trails are so beautiful meandering through the trees and along the river, and getting cheers from volunteers all along the course and seeing the relay teams at exchange zones was really fun.”  

Her friend Larissa Swain from Leavenworth, Washington agreed, saying, “I loved how the low sun showed through the middle section, streaming across the snow.  And it was so fun to have the course pop out of the woods near the river with the sun lighting up the whole valley! But,” she added, “my favorite part was skiing it together, enjoying each other’s company on a beautiful winter day.”

Jim Gregg, father of 2014 Olympian Brian Gregg, and a resident and racer in the Methow Valley for decades agreed about the camaraderie on the trail, commenting “that was a true citizen’s race.”  

The event was organized through a partnership of Methow Trails, the nonprofit that grooms and manages 200+ kilometers (120+ miles) of trails in the Methow Valley, and Methow Valley Nordic Ski Educational Foundation, another nonprofit that focuses on delivering skier programs from classes, clinics and camps, to junior learn-to-ski and cross-country and biathlon racing programs.  The vision for the event was a hybrid of ideas from the two organizations: create a marathon event that is a true testament to the level of skiing in the valley with a relay that has opportunities for skiers of all abilities to participate. A true community-based ski event.

(Enjoying the day together.  Photo: Mitchellimage)

For Methow Trails Executive Director, James DeSalvo, the collaboration not just between the two nonprofits, but the entire community was a critical aspect of the event, noting “The most thrilling part for me was seeing our trail community sharing a very high impact and fun experience.  Everyone who makes our trail system possible was represented and enjoying the trails together; landowners, kids, pass holders, visitors, business members, board members, ski instructors and agency partners. The vastness of our 120-mile trail network typically encourages trail users to find their own little piece of trail to enjoy.  While I wouldn’t give this up, there is something very inspiring about seeing hundreds of trail users all moving together, smiling and sharing their joy of the trails.”

The event’s appeal was clear to those on the sidelines as well.  Kathy Dalton, who was filming the start and finish, said it made her want to begin racing, and she jumped into a local training group within days after the event. 

For more experienced racers, the event had the draw of an annual highlight.  Brad Bauer of Edmonds, WA exclaimed, “The Pacific Northwest has found its signature race!”

Runner-up Wetzel agreed, “It feels like something that’s been missing for us.  Every other major ski destination has their big event. This is ours.”

With just shy of 400 competitors and a successful start in its first edition, the second Ski to the Sun Marathon and Relay is slated for late January or early February 2020.  Stay tuned to methowtrails.org and methowvalleynordic.com for more info.

Marathon Results

Relay Results

An Insider’s View of the Biathlon World Cup

By Alex Tareski

In February, Methow Valley Biathlon Team skiers Alex Tareski and Bella Fox attended the Biathlon World Cup in Soldier Hollow, Utah as part of a Camp put on by the US Biathlon Association.

On February 13-17 I got a rare and amazing experience. I was not only able to see but have an inside perspective of the Biathlon World Cup in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Tuesday February 12 my mom and I flew to Salt Lake City where Tim Burke, US Biathlon Development Manager, picked us up from the airport and took us to a house near Soldier Hollow. Tuesday and Wednesday we had 5 more boys and 7 girls arrive along with Danika Frisbie, US Biathlon Sports Program Coordinator.

Once everyone was settled, we headed to Soldier Hollow to watch the U.S biathlon women team and racers from 27 other countries going through their prerace practice. After the IBU training session the range and course was opened up to our group for a test race.  The World Cup camera crew needed to find the right angles to see the athletes and we were their test subjects! This meant we would get to ski the race course and shoot the same targets world class athletes would race on the next day!  We donned world cup bibs and were off!

That night Danika and Tim gave us athletes from the world cup field to learn about: watching their ski technique and recording their mat time for shooting. They also challenged us to get their autograph or photo. I was to follow the Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet.

Thursday was the first race day with the women’s sprint. We listened to the national anthem and watched dancers in the penalty loop while the racers were zeroing. Before the race began, we saw wax technicians for the teams on the course in different bibs testing skis. One approach they used was to ski downhill parallel to each other, crouched inches apart to see which skis glided fastest.  Soon we found our spots 10 meters from the start gate where we watched the world cup athletes start their races. After the race we ran to the exit gate and got signatures from our favorite athletes including the Americans. That night we went to the hotel where all the athletes were staying and got to do a question and answer with US stars Susan Dunklee and Claire Egan.

The following days were similar. Friday, we watched the men’s sprint. Saturday was the men’s and women’s pursuit, an exciting format where skiers start according to their finish in the sprint meaning racers stream out of the start gate in a chaotic frenzy. Fillon Maillet ended up winning the men’s pursuit!  Sunday, the final day, we watched a single mixed relay and a mixed relay. It was amazing to see the speed in which each athlete hands of to the next!

After getting our final signatures and photos we said our goodbyes to the athletes. I hope to see the world come back to Utah for a World Cup or even the 2030 Winter Olympics. Overall, I had an amazing experience and hope to be able to see another world cup race or maybe even be in one someday.

Novie McCabe on her Trip to World Juniors


Novie McCabe on her way to 10th place in the 2019 World Juniors Mass Start in Lahti, Finland

In January I had the opportunity to represent the USA at World Juniors in Lahti, Finland. Team USA arrived a week early in order to spend some time adjusting to the new time zone and to get to know the courses. The skiing conditions were pristine, we had access to great trails right outside of our housing in Vierumaki, and the trails at the Lahti venue were also really fun. Skiing in the Lahti stadium was an unbelievable experience, I had watched so many World Cups on those same trails and actually being able to ski on them was so cool, and also really, really hard.

After a week of training it was time to race. Each of the junior girls had two starts throughout the week, and some of us also raced the relay. The first competition of the week was the classic sprint. I didn’t race this one, but I had lots of fun cheering from my condo as I watched my teammates on TV. There were also U23 races after every junior race, so we had a rest day between each race day to recover and cheer on the U23s. The next race was the 5k skate. This was my first race of the week and I was really excited but also maybe a bit too nervous. It was about 2 degrees F and I definitely had a hard time staying warm out there. Apart from it not being the best race for me, it was a good day for the US as a team and I was happy with my effort and knew that it was a good learning experience.

The week as a whole was a great learning experience. I was super nervous before each race, but it was also easy to relax at times and just soak everything in, hang out with teammates, and enjoy being at World Juniors! Another thing that made the trip so great was sharing the experience with so many amazing teammates. Everyone was so supportive and I definitely think that having such a great team atmosphere played a big role in some of the successes of the week.

My last individual race was the 15k classic mass start. One of my main goals was to stay calm and relaxed in the beginning of the race, get up to the front end, and then hold on as long as I could and just really go for it. I had a lot of fun in this race and it ended up being a really good one for me (ed. note: Novie finished tenth, skiing up from a 71st seed!) The team had some pretty awesome results this day, four top tens for the juniors, so that also made it a super fun day.

The last race of the week was the relay. I was on a team with three other super strong junior girls and we kind of all knew that we might have a chance at a podium. I was selected to race the last leg, so I was able watch my teammates absolutely crush it out there before my turn came along. This was probably the race that I was most nervous for. I really wanted to do well for my teammates. Sydney, who skied the third leg, tagged off to me in third place, right ahead of two other girls who caught me right away. I wasn’t feeling as well as I had hoped, but was able to dig deep and stay with the Swedish girl as she moved into the lead of our little group. When we reached the last hill, I knew that I had to make an attempt at putting in a burst and dropping the Swedish girl. I skied into the hill hard, gaped her by a bit, but then lost momentum at the top where she eventually caught and passed me. We ended up finishing fourth and at first I was definitely a bit bummed that I couldn’t have held onto that third place, but I knew that I gave it my best and was also super proud of our team for the good result and effort we had all put in.


Novie and teammates celebrate their fourth place finish in the relay

Right after our race we ran to the wax room, grabbed the huge American flag and headed to the last hill of the course to cheer on the junior boys in their relay. Watching the boys and being there to cheer them on was definitely a highlight of the trip. Our whole team was out on the course cheering, seeing them win was insane and also a huge deal for US skiing. The day of relays was a pretty awesome way to end the trip and left me inspired and looking forward to more racing this season and hopefully more World Juniors trips to come!

US 2019 World Junior Championships Team

Two Methow Valley Nordic Team Skiers Attend National Elite Group Camp


Novie McCabe, Greta Laesch and Eva Weymuller on a classic rollerski workout earlier this fall.

 

Methow Valley Nordic Team athletes Novie McCabe and Ella Kuzyk have been training in Park City, UT with the US Ski Team National Elite Group Camp.  We caught up with Novie via email to see how things have been going.

What’s been the coolest part so far?
My favorite part so far was our L3 skate interval workout. We started off skiing with the US ski team and then ended up in our own group of junior girls. We decided to switch leads every minute or so and it ended up working super well. It was so fun to have the chance to lead and also to follow some super speedy girls! I also loved having the chance to talk to some of the US Ski Team athletes and learn about their training experiences. 

Where are you staying?
We are staying at the Canyons Resort condos, about a 10 minute drive from the Center of Excellence where we do our strength workouts and eat dinner every night. Doing strength and eating at the Center of Excellence has been such a cool experience, most of the time we are sharing the gym with US ski team athletes. 

Who are you training with?
We are training with a group of National Training Group/ Nation Elite Group juniors. We have also been doing most of our workouts with the US ski team and other club athletes from around the US. One of the super cool things about this camp is that it gives juniors the opportunity to train with some club athletes and US Ski Team athletes.

Any ‘A-ha’ moments or things that have ‘clicked’ during the camp?
One thing that I have learned at this camp is that it’s super important to focus on the workout at hand and not get carried away while on an easy ski. Especially at this time of year, its super important to stay in L1 on easy skis so that you can push really hard during the intense interval workouts. 

What’s the best advice or feedback you’ve received at the camp?
Some of the goals that I set at the beginning of the camp were to get in some super solid L3 work and improve my classic striding technique. So far I have had some really great opportunities to work on both of those things. We have been analyzing our technique through videos almost every workout and its super helpful to have so many coaches here to give great tips!

Any good stories outside of training?
When we’re not training we have been hammering out some school work at our condos, eating lots of really good food and resting as much as possible. We have been getting some pretty chilly weather which has added a bit of excitement to some workouts, a few nights ago we got about two inches of snow in Park City which made for some chilly roller-skiing but we were all super excited to have the snow and a bit bummed that we didn’t bring some skis out with us! 


MVNT National Elite Group athlete Ella Kuzyk takes flight during rollerski agility training this summer.

 

Support access and excellence to Nordic skiing in the Methow Valley!  Donate through Give Methow from October 1-31 by clicking below!

Coaches’ Comments

IMG_6904The coaches have been exclaiming about the progress all the skiers are making throughout the season!  It is great to see the skiers swarming the hills around the McCabe trail and enjoying the ups and the downs with skill!  Chris “Flash” Clark built some rollers and bumps on a gentle hill at the McCabe trail and it is popular with all of the Team.

Coaches’ comments on the kids in their groups:

 

From Coach Mark Roman: Addison Stratman is one of our newer members but plays a true leadership role and is one of the most helpful. Annie Simmons always shows up with a smile looking for fun. Nichola Northey wins the “polkadot jersey “as our best hill climber and most likely to be on podium some day. Lily Colin wins the “Most motivated by M&M’s” award. Kaylee Mitchell:  I give Kaylee the most coachable award.She is a fighter and most noteworthy she NEVER COMPLAINS. Grace Gonzalez: she is our deep thinker and most likely to be on the Supreme Court some day Lillian Overbeck: along with being a talented off-piste powder hound Lillian was our resident storyteller. Hazel Culpsmith: Our true adventurer. She wins the “Most likely to Nordic ski from summit of Mt. Gardner” award.

From Coach Jill Sheley: Pearl Spence!  At the start of the season, Pearl could barely achieve forward motion and was afraid of downhills.  Now, she’s a solid skier, and leads the group in classic!  And she’s a regular alpine racer on the downhills. Mia Libby can ski as fast on her classics as the rest of the group on their skates.  Proof apparent last Tuesday when she brought her classic skis to skate practice.  And she smiled the whole time. Lily Arntsen is all smiles, all the time and LOVES skiing.   She’s got strong technique and has a long future of Nordic skiing ahead of her.  A’lea Colin gets better and better with every practice.  She listens, tries and improves.  She encourages her friends and makes everyone laugh.  Teague Monahan is tough! She powers through every practice and cracks jokes the whole time.   She loves to create ‘accidents’ where all the girls end up in a pile at the bottom of a downhill.  Phoebe Cole is the leader of the pack.  Where she goes, all follow.  Let’s hope she leads all the girls into many years of Nordic skiing!  Gretta Schumaker is the little engine that can.  She’s ½ the size of the girls in her group but skies like a pro.  She’s a joy to watch and a technique role model for the other girls.

From Coach Bob Nielsen: Greetings from the back of the pack.  I have thoroughly enjoyed another season of  herding small MVNT  skiers in the U8 group. Sweep position always provides  the best views of  pure enthusiasm powering arms/legs- skis/poles .  It’s a sight to behold.  Early season is a time to get to know some of the caboose-kids just learning to hook to the engine.  It’s truly great to see when the kids (parents) ignore occasional less than beautiful weather and come to practice  when it’s December, cold and dark. Some of the rear guard include very competent skiers just blowing off a day of school and having fun.  Mira Hirsch, Neve Kelly, Elaine Walker, Adelina Humling, Ingrid Venable, and Isolde O’Driscoll spent as much time pig-piled on the trail, a heap of happiness, as they did up-right and mobile, on some days.  It’s good to know how to fall, laugh, untangle, get up and go. Other days that same bunch would be doing the locomotion up the hills. For positive vibrations, check out little Ally Hovee!  Never saw her not smiling and happy, and from her first couple times of not being  able to lift either ski off the ground, her ability to skid was a pleasure to behold. Being mostly in the back, I never got to hang out much with with the little rockets Wylie Smith  and Maeve Belsby, or Ben the bomber Northey and Sam Polson,  or those powder hounds Gretta and Wyatt Schumacher.  Were they even in the U8’s?  I could pretend they were as they flashed by occasionally.  I very much enjoyed a  steady core group of Sophia Marrone, Sisu Clark,  and Zach Dubowy, though they also made steady progress and became harder to keep up with.

Thanks much to the parents, like Joel Dubowy  and Melissa Raye, who often came to help herd shrimps.  By the way, I’m pretty sure we kept track of all the kids.  If you are missing any, they might be hiding behind a certain tree.

From Coach nd U10/U12 Leader Allison Delong: Ayeanna Ruprecht shows up to practice always ready to go and with a great attitude.  This is only her second season with the team and she has shown incredible improvement in her technique, thanks to her excellent willingness and ability to stay focused and listen, in addition to her good body awareness. Her contagious smile is largest when she is skiing downhill in the powder!!!

From Coach Ted Young: The U8’s are a great group of kids. Lots of energy, enthusiasm, and full of play.  Never hesitated to try the hard stuff. I know they learned a lot.

From U14 comp crew coach and MVNT Director Leslie Hall: Travis Grialou is a group leader and has been working hard on his technique all season. He calmed down “the wobbles” and focuses down the track both in skating and classic skiing. He has been the one to catch during relays and speed sessions. Ian Delong‘s calm and quiet presence is appreciated. He works hard at each task and is a solid team member in many ways. Ian has tons of potential that we are excited to see blossom in the next few years. Lindsay Worrell is a determined young lady and she brings that strength to pushing herself in all practices and races. She has come a long ways technically and is working to be more flexible and square on her skis.  It is exciting to see Lindsay charging forward in life and skiing. Liv Aspholm is the group director, taking charge of choosing teams for most relays and games. She is also taking charge of handling stress and pressure during events and managing it well.  Her technique is strong and she accepts input well and puts it to use. Eva Weymuller helped us all work on our downhill gliding skills. She tells us that she is not a Nordic skier but her results tell us otherwise! She has been a committed team member, coming rollerskiing from early on and improving her skills immensely throughout the season.  Keeley Brooks is always happy and positive.  It is a joy to coach Keeley as she is always asking for input on what she can do to improve and thankful for any tidbit of advice.  She is working on a solid core and being square on her skis. Lena Nelson is a calm presence, who’s determination shines through at appropriate moments.  She is a strong classic skier with great leg drive and glide.  Lena has shown us that she can switch gears in racing and put some fire in her stride! Josephine Cole hangs with this speedy group with great focus and determination.  She is always right there, ready to take input with a happy smile and positive outlook.  Her technique is steadily improving with her time on snow. Zane Strome is full of energy and always ready to challenge his teammates. He has solid technique, especially in classic skiing that he is fine tuning.  He always pushes himself beyond 100% and looks forward to games and relays.

IMG_6950