Who's in the Burrow?

Fighting Marmot Takes "Siesta"

You may have noticed fewer posts on our school blog site lately. Alas, it appears that we will be putting The Fighting Marmot blog to bed for... well, maybe ever.We are currently in the process of revamping Sugar Bowl Academy's home site to allow for the integration of blogging.

This site will remain as a record of three years in Sugar Bowl Academy's history, so feel free to come back every now and then, kick your shoes off, and talk a walk down memory lane.

Thanks to everybody who has frequented The Fighting Marmot blog. To ease my own pain, I prefer to think of this as a prolonged siesta for The Fighting Marmot, and, in that spirit, I believe that this image of Sugar Bowl Academy Head Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss at Orientation 2011 would be an appropriate sign off.

Naturally, come see us at our new site! (Like us on OUR NEW SBA Facebook site HERE and you will know when our new and fully featured home site is launched!).

As always, go SBA Fighting Marmots!

Lost Coast Adventure on the Small Screen

You may have caught this in our last "Views from the Summit" update, but I thought this would be another appropriate venue for showcasing the artistic talent of SBA student-athlete Austin Peña. The footage for Austin's video comes from last week's Lost Coast Adventure trip. Read more about our experiential-learning "Trips" program HERE.

Trips! A Report from the Field

Our inaugural Trips program (click HERE if you missed that post) is underway, with five groups afield for their fourth day of experiential learning. Thank you to Steve Ascher for sending daily photo updates of the Owens River Gorge trip. Live vicariously on the small screen!

SBA Mobilizes for 3rd Annual Tahoe Lake Century

For the third straight year, Sugar Bowl Academy student-athletes will cycle around Lake Tahoe on May 21st to raise funds for both Sugar Bowl Academy and World Bicycle Relief. For a look back at last year's Tahoe Lake Century, click HERE.

At today's All School Meeting, the older boys' advisory group began mobilizing the campus for the big event, detailing the different legs of the peddle along with the group's fundraising goals. On behalf of Sugar Bowl Academy and World Bicycle Relief, The Fighting Marmot thanks parents and students in advance for their participation in this important, community-building event.

3.2 Miles, Uphill!

Three SBA student-athletes competed in Sunday's annual Billy Dutton Uphill, a fund raiser for Far West Nordic entailing a punishing 3.2 mile ski/run/snowshoe race ascending 2,000 vertical feet from the base of Squaw Valley's KT-22 to High Camp. Full results are available HERE. Many thanks to Paige Derdowski for the photos of Casey Jobe ('16) - first in his class and 14th of 168 racers overall - and Peter Carroll ('15) - second in his class and 24th overall. SBA's Hannah Halvorsen (not pictured) also finished first in her class.

Congratulations on behalf of the entire SBA community to Casey, Peter, and Hannah from The Fighting Marmot.

SBA's Zabell Triumphs in Rotary Speech and Music Comps

The Fighting Marmot today recognizes and congratulates SBA's Sam Zabell ('15), winner of not one but TWO Rotary Club competitions this week. Sam competed in Rotary's speech and music competitions, and his first-place finish at the local level means that he has earned the right to represent Truckee next week at the regional level of competition. Sam's speech was on the topic "Peace through Service." The violin selection he played for the competition came from Carmen Fantasy by Pable de Sarasate. Congratulations, Sam! On behalf of the entire SBA community, The Fighting Marmot wishes you the best of luck in round two!  

Scene on Campus Pic of the Day

No idea what is happening here, or what that thing is in Graham's hand

Intuition, Freeskier Feature SBA Artistry

The photographic and skiing artistry of SBA student-athletes Skyler Mullings ('16) and Drew Hartley ('13) were featured recently in Freeskier magazine.

Mullings photographed Hartley airborne near Rainbow Bridge, and Hartley's sponsor Intuition liked the photo so much it ended up on a full-page advertisement for the boot liners in Freeskier

Thanks to Skyler Mullings for the following comments about his passion for his artistic pursuits...

"Videography and photography are both great ways to capture a great moment. It's easy to go out there, purchase a camera, and start snapping photos, but the way that you capture that moment and display it to your viewers is the creative aspect of it. My goal is that everything I release has a creative aspect to it and can't be duplicated by someone else out there. I'd like my work to be different, unique. In this case, though, the athlete is the one with the creativity. A big thanks to Drew Hartley's sponsor, Intuition, and to Drew himself for arranging this photo to be used as an ad!" - Skyler Mullings ('16)

Mind, Body, Science!

Earlier this month, SBA student-athlete Lauren Dunn ('14) traveled to Placer County's STEM Expo (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics - click HERE to learn more) to present her findings from a long-term science project born on our campus. Thank you to marmot dad Brian Dunn for supplying the following synopsis of Lauren's project...
"This year, Lauren chose to do a science fair project for her elective class. Steve Ascher agreed to mentor her. The topic of her project was Color Vision and Aging. The objective of the project was to determine if a person’s color vision was affected by the aging process. Lauren conducted extensive literature research on the topic and then developed an experimental protocol. She built a device that allowed her to determine a person’s ability to see colors in the visible light spectrum and into both the infrared and ultraviolet ranges. The experiment also determined a person’s ability to distinguish between colors that were close in wavelength. The project was a success and she’s looking forward to her next project. She is considering using an unmanned aerial vehicle for a classified project!!"

An SBA Sweep

Fighting alpine marmots swept the podium yesterday during day one of racing at the U16 Western Region Championships on Mount Alyeska, Alaska. Michael Cooper placed first in the giant slalom race, followed by Pieter Weemaes in second and Luke Winters in third. Anchorage Daily News coverage can be found HERE. Kudos! 

SBA and Far West Nordic Shine in Alaska

Hannah Halvorsen ('16) on the podium
(photo by Mark Nadell)
Sleepy Nords abound on campus today. 

Team Nordic returned last night from Junior Nationals in frigid Fairbanks, Alaska, having slept little the night before so that they could enjoy closing ceremonies and the northern lights that (finally!) made an appearance at roughly midnight on the team's very last night in town. They were up again at 4 am, making their move to the airport, having endured sub-zero temperatures and four days of high-pressure racing against the best competition in the country. Today, they were back in classes, having a hard time keeping their eyes open. 

For some, Junior Nationals was undoubtedly a learning experience, a humbling opportunity to learn how far they have to go still before they can hope to fulfill their lofty goals. 

For others, it was a chance to shine on the biggest stage available at their age. 

I wrote several weeks ago (click HERE) about the addition of J2 Hannah Halvorsen to our teaching, learning, and training community. Hannah was consistently among the top finishers in Fairbanks, her strongest finish coming in the skate sprint heats, where she placed third in the country. Perennial SBA powerhouse Katrin Larusson also had a third-place overall finish, hers coming in the 5K Freestyle on day one of racing. SBA second-year J2 Sam Zabell - teamed up with Dylan Syben and Julien Bordes of the Far West - helped his team to a fifth-place finish in the 3x3 Classic Relay race. 
Coaches Martin Benes and
Jeff Schloss with Halvorsen
(photo by Mark Nadell)
Mark Nadell and SBA Head
Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss

Congratulations to all the Fighting Marmot Nordic skiers and to the entire Far West team, which finished an impressive sixth overall at Junior Nationals this year and increased its final points total from 2012 by over 60 points. It was truly a team effort, with the coaches applying elbow grease all day at the waxing stands. 

Katrin Larusson ('13) on the podium
(photo by Mark Nadell)
Said trip leader Mark Nadell: "There is a ridiculous amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into an operation of this size, work that’s mostly unseen even by most of the athletes that are there, from hours and hours in the wax room, to the wax testers skiing kilometer after kilometer until their legs die, to late-night coaches meetings. 

"I’m really proud of our coaching crew of Ben, Jeff Schloss, Kara Lapoint, August Teague, Martin Benes, Holly Whitney, and Joel Chew for making all of this happen, Kelly Mcelravey for administrative help, and thanks also to the parents who came along for support, Stacy Bordes, Stacey Herhusky, Michelle Syben, and Janet Hardy. 

"I think we’ll remember this trip for a long time."

The "Struggle Bus" Days

"Struggle bus" days - that's what SBA student-athletes call Fridays in particular. We have lightened their loads with the iPad, but there is still so much gear for our student-athletes to schlep that they are loaded like buses...

Team Nordic Flexes Muscles Before Nationals

SBA Team Nordic has ambitions beyond Saturday's state championships, to be sure. Fulfilling the pre-season team goal of qualifying every SBA racer for Junior Nationals, the entire team will be departing Friday for Fairbanks, Alaska, to race against the very best in the country.

Saturday, though, was a chance to make a team statement versus its peers in the state, and - after a season of some health adversity for a number of SBA Nordic racers - it still turned out to be a blue-and-white day yesterday at Auburn Ski Club. Please enjoy the photo below, then scroll down for the full story of marmot muscle flexing.

Statement: delivered!
Katrin Larusson took top-of-the-podium honors with impressive first-place finishes in both the classic and skate races, and the girls' team again garnered enough season points to repeat as Nordic League Varsity Women champions. The results sheet appeared to be printed in Sugar Bowl blue and white, with SBA's Danielle Nivinski third, Camille Hartley fifth, Bria Riggs sixth, Elise Hardy eleventh and Savannah Blide twelfth.

Sam Zabell had the strongest showing for the boys' team, racing to a third-place overall finish with a particularly strong skate race. Peter Carroll placed sixth, Casey Jobe eleventh, and Skyler Mullings thirteenth. The boys finished second on the season among Nordic League Varsity Men.

The Fighting Marmot congratulates both the boys and girls Nordic ski racers and wishes them - along with the entire Far West team - the very best against the very best in Alaska. 

SBA Alum Meng Qualifies for NCAA Championships

Austin Meng ('11)
Congratulations go out via The Fighting Marmot today to SBA alum Austin Meng ('11), who has qualified for NCAA National Championships after a stellar sophomore Nordic race season at St. Lawrence University. 

Middlebury College is hosting Nordic National Championships next week. Meng will race both a 10K classic and a 20K skate against the best racers in the country. 

Meng posted an impressive four top-30 finishes his freshman year. This year, he has finished as high as tenth in a 10K classic race and now has five top-20 finishes under his belt.  

On behalf of the entire SBA community, The Fighting Marmot sends Austin our very best wishes for strong skiing at next week's National Championships. 

Scene OFF Campus Pic of the Day

Marmot mom Nancy Talbott snapped this photo of SBA alumni Dylan Murtha ('12), Brent Talbott ('10), and Katie Fitzpatrick, sister of Chris Fitzpatrick ('13). The three were all seen at the Bates Carnival held at Sunday River, Maine. Thank you, Nancy, and please keep those alumni photos coming! 

"A Strong Argument for Domination"

SBA Freeeride occupying two of three spots on the
podium at Alpine Meadows, with
Isaac Freeland finishing first and Drew Hartley third
Team Freeride is fresh off one of its most successful comp weekends in history, having harvested an array of podium hardware from their trip to Alpine Meadows. While SBA's Isaac Freeland ('13) and Xander Guldman ('16) both took first-place honors, SBA athletes were represented on every podium at the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series competition.

Those of you receiving Fighting Marmot posts via email feed may not see the embedded videos of both Freeland's and Guldman's winning runs at Alpine below, so be sure to view them at the SBA blog site (HERE). It is some truly sublime skiing.

Congratulations to Team Freeride, and thank you to Coach Tanhoff for the following rundown of the weekend's medal haul.
"SBA Freeriders made a strong argument for domination this weekend at Alpine Meadows, Tahoe Junior Freeride Series Stop #2! SBA athletes were on every podium. Xander Guldman put down a very high energy second run on Sunday to not only claim first place for the event but also to lock down the TJFS season title. Isaac Freeland was able to cruise into first place Sunday after jumping out to a 4.5 point lead on Saturday with a mind-blowing run which included two massive airs and clean, smooth skiing in between. Erika Klenk found the podium with consistent, aggressive skiing that put her in second! Sydney Gradeff continued her transition into Big Mountain competition with a solid third place. Drew Hartley continues his rise to the top with a solid third place in a very difficult older-boys field. The freeriders move over to Squaw Valley this week for a national IFSA event with confidence and momentum!" - Freeride Coach Trevor Tanhoff

Welcome Amelia!

Sugar Bowl Academy's newest addition to the faculty-child fold was born on February 10. Amelia Knox, daughter of Joanne and Andy Knox, weighs in at seven healthy pounds and has "a million funny little faces," reports Joanne.

The Fighting Marmot wishes to extend its warmest welcome to Amelia, and to let the Knox family know that plans to award Amelia at least a trimester's worth of Brit Lit credit are already in the works. Word has it she was taking notes the whole time!

Who's on the "Dream Team"??

Nobody knows who has been named to the "Dream Team" (word has it they will make their grand entrance by parachute at Sugar Bowl tonight), but the Fighting Marmot can confidently report today that SBA Head of School Tracy Keller will once again don her Dartmouth speed suit for the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation's annual Silver Belt Calcutta races tomorrow.

Noted ski-racing handicapper Jim Harleen of San Francisco contributed the following highly entertaining "2013 Silver Belt Handicap and Tip Shot," which is duplicated below in its entirety (and entirely unedited for your reading pleasure). Thanks, Jim, and good luck to all the Silver Belt racers!
TEAM #1: JEFF HAMILTON, CAPTAIN - The “Silver Bullet” says he’s serious this year. No messing around. The gloves, or mittens, are coming off. Yep, that can mean only one thing: Captain Jeff Hamilton is dusting off “The Tuck,” not seen since 1984, for this year’s Silver Belt! Olympian and first man to ski over 150 mph, Hamilton is a fearless speed merchant tired of fellow competitor’s “Hey Hammy, straight-line Nob Today?” taunts reflecting rumors he may be north of 40 now. He says to any doubters, “The Bullet is back, fit, and ready for a Buckle!” Teammates, Milt “Freight Train” Holstrom, Gladys Weidt aka Yesican Arc (an alumni of the Bolshevik National Team and the University of New Mexico), the “Fresh Prince” himself, Dashiell Judd, Lucie “Dead-Eye” James, and Head Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss (doing the uphill honors) make this a low risk proposition. Odds: 3-1 
TEAM #2: TAMARA MCKINNEY, CAPTAIN - She is the greatest female ski racer in US history. Yes, even better than teen phenom, Mikaela Shiffrin, and what finer venue to prove it once and for all than the Silver Belt Calcutta! Tamara McKinney won so often she climbed the World Cup podium like a stairmaster and now plans on taking home a Silver Buckle to go with all her World Cup hardware. Her team is poised to make it a double celebration with Tim “Gordie’s Father” Critz Devin “The Yammer Hammer” Gill, Eleanore “The BB” Hamilton, Andrew “Pliny” Elder and uphill ripper Skyler Mullings make up the “pitch” perfect choir. This team’s a diamond in the rough. Odds: 5-1 
TEAM #3: KRISTEN CLARK, CAPTAIN - Kristen “The Colonel” Clark is back and ready to once again fry up some male egos in her special blend of seven herbs and spices…..The former US Ski Team super star and World Cup downhill winner loves nothing more than watching former USST male teammates sprout feathers as she chicks them in yet another Silver Belt. When asked about this, the ever shy and modest Clark just said, ”dipping sauce, anyone?” Her team looks particularly strong this year with, uh oh, is this true!?!?…. Oh, God, please tell me there are two people named Dan Keller who ski at Sugar Bowl. Otherwise this could be Assistant Sugar Bowl Patrol Director, Dan Keller, (husband of Tracy), who’s entered in this year’s race! (If so, Zaloga, get a meat wagon ready at gate 4, which is where Mr. Keller’s ski racer fantasies historically end. Badly.) You’d think that with a Masters in engineering from Berkeley he’d be smarter than this…. Please Lord, just no compound fractures this time……Fortunately, this team also has Chummy Prestowitz who says he can keep up with his daughters down Nob Hill and the dynamic duo of Lily Rose Longton and Harrison Marshall who are two of the finest skiers the SBST has ever produced. Add in “Thunderbolt” Sam Zabell and you have a money team. Odds: 4-1 
TEAM #4: DARON RAHLVES, CAPTAIN - He’s the greatest downhiller in US History, winner of the Hahnenkamm, Olympian, fearless Big Mountain Movie Star, the Fort Knox of Silver Belt Buckles, a man so nice I can’t think of a single bad thing that could be said of him. I know you think I am talking about Tim Fitzpatrick! Understandable, but no, I’m talking about the twins’ father, Daron Rahlves! And believe you me, his entire Hall of Fame career has been pointing to this very race. He’d give it all back, the fame, the fortune, everything! for just one more Silver Buckle….and short of some one driving nails through his skis, you can start etching his name on that buckle right now! He has AAA rated wingmen in Mike “Ready Mix” Rodarte, Maggy “East Burke” Mulhern, Cody “Deep Freeze” Winters, Grace “Velvet” Hammarskjold with Danielle “Skip the Klister” Nivinski doing the uphill racing. Bidders are going to love this team. L…O….V…E…THEM!! Odds: 2-1 
TEAM #5: TRACY KELLER, CAPTAIN - The years of clearing gates have put so many holes in the famous Dartmouth speed suit that when Tracy Keller slips into it, she’s the spitting image of Jennifer Lopez strutting her stuff at the People’s Choice Awards. Backing her up are Mark Palamaras, Brandon “The Ravin’” Craven, “Sweet” Georgie Sullivan, “Yosemite” Sam Ferguson and Martin “Yes, I know it was Elaine on Seinfeld’s Last Name” Benes. I know what savvy handicappers like Phil Hammarskjold are thinking, “Keller’s knees? What’s the status?” Truth is, when she’s in the starting gate and hears, Racer Ready, 5…4…3… she’s the same old Wilson with smoke pouring from her ears, flames firing from the nostrils, stomping her skis, whanging her poles together while chanting “Kill, Kill, Kill!” Believe me, the knees could be fused and locked straight and it wouldn’t matter a whit. Come race day, she’ll be ready. Could this be her year for a buckle? I say YES!!! Team #3 is a “Best Bet” for a podium. Odds: 2-1. Prop bets have Keller at even money for a Buckle. 
TEAM #6: TONI STANDTEINER, CAPTAIN - Former US Ski Teamer, NCAA Champion, Toni “The Anvil” Standteiner flosses with barbwire, wears homemade squirrel pelt long johns and moves mounds of red hot forge coals barehanded…OK, we all know he’s tough, and was fast….but what is he doing to make up for the ravages of time and to create some speed for the Silver Belt? According to his wife, Jennifer: Total Body Hair Removal……using duct tape, forge tongs and left over roofing tar. He says it makes him not just feel fast, but, well, sexy fast. When last seen, he was hanging his speed suit back up in the closet….Uh, oh. Parent teammate Brendan “The Convertible” Dyson is tanned, rested and ready! Star skier, Katharina Golik is on the team diet of free range yak burgers seasoned with metal shavings and Sno-Melt (so you know she’s ready!) and there is the Batman and Robin combo of Addi MacCracken and Michael “Mini” Cooper ready to carry the load should Toni get arrested. Taking on the uphill duties is Katrin Larusson, who is a powerhouse Nordic athlete. This Standteiner team has cashed in more often than any other in the history of the Silver Belt! Odds: 4-1 (Standteiner shows up wearing only a jock strap and Bowie Knife? 2-1!) 
TEAM #7: BILLY “BAROO” HUDSON, CAPTAIN - Rumors that he actually was a US National Champion, World Cup and Olympic skier with a book, “Right on the Edge of Crazy” written about him are, by current observations, very unlikely, but being verified. Whatever the truth, nothing says SILVER BELT! like when Billy “Baroo” Hudson dusts off the 215 Hexcel Swallow Tails , waterproofs the Henke 2 buckles and straps down the chin strap of his world cup leather helmet! Hasn’t skied much of late (had to ask big brother, Jim, “Hey, how do I get to the “Christmas Light” chair?), but he says this is his year. With Bill “Soon to be Silver Belt Legend” Veghte, Cheslsea “Beware of the Dark Horse” Boone, Christina “100” Watridge and Austin “Powers” Peña, the team is looking very, very competitive. But the ultimate success of Team Baroo all comes down to the guy on the skinny skis. Peter Carroll crushes it, this team cashes it. Odds: 5-1 
TEAM #8: KATE KREHBEIL, CAPTAIN - Google the words “Kick Ass” and what’s the first search result that comes up? “Kate Krehbeil’s US Ski Team Bio, that’s what! The former US Ski Teamer has lost zero, nada, nil, nuttin in retirement and, in fact, may be faster than ever. And she’s got Jimmy “Juice Man” Schaffner laying down so much Hi-Fluro their skis could be hovering 2” off the snow by race day. Backed up by the great Dan “Willie” Loman this team should be an easy sell job for auctioneer Jim Hudson. Add in the jet fuel combo of David Niehaus and Luke “How Could I Not be a Skier with a Last Name Like” Winters and Casey “Jones” Jobe providing the Nordic power and you have an almost sure bet. Odds: 3-1 
Grand Entrance by Parachute 8:30 PM Saturday Night 

Valentine's Day Serenades at SBA

SBA Student Council officers delivered customized Valentine's Day serenades to raise funds for this year's senior trip to Disneyland. The performers made quite a splash on campus, and not only for their singing, as can be seen here...

Building a Better Dragon, One Gene at a Time

Pretty "Petunia" may not have gotten the fire-breathing gene, but she does have a menacing spiked tail, arched feet built for speed, pointed thighs, large pink wings, elbow spikes, and four intimidating head flaps. Male dragon Barney, on the other hand, was fortunate to get the fire-breathing gene, since he sports a large yellow comb on his head that might make him the object of some school-yard derision. Barney is noticeably flat footed, and has a much less-intimidating tail than does Petunia. 

They are two of a small clan of dragons born on the SBA campus this week, the spawn of the annual biology class "Dragon Genetics" project designed to help students understand how genes determine our physical traits. Welcome to SBA, Petunia, Barney, Betsy, Hansal, and Elliot, and thank you to biology teacher Andy Giordano for the following overview of this always popular project!

"Last week the biology class engaged in the annual favorite 'Dragon Genetics' activity. Once students get a firm grasp on patterns and mechanisms of inheritance, it is time to apply all of the principles in one activity. Students select sets of chromosomes, in essence generating parental genomes. Paired off, they create a baby dragon genotype by simulating meiosis among the parental genotypes. Students then are asked to interpret the genotypes by drawing a large dragon that displays the physical characteristics (phenotypes) dictated by their baby dragon's genes. The activity is extremely valuable, as students reinforce their understanding of topics across the unit (dominance, segregation, independent assortment, chromosomal mutations, meiosis, incomplete and co dominance, and sex-linked traits). It is also super popular because, well, Dragons!" - Andy Giordano, Biology Teacher

A Two-Podium Day for SBA

Fighting marmot alpine racers ably defended home snow with some strong skiing in this morning's giant slalom race, taking first place in the ladies' and third in the men's races here at Sugar Bowl.

On the ladies' side, it was Julia Bjorkman with another first place finish for the season. Michael Cooper was third on the men's side.

Also in the top ten for the ladies were Lauren Dunn (fourth) and Lily Longton (ninth). For the men, Owen Wattenmaker finished fourth and Pieter Weemaes seventh. Full results are available HERE for the ladies and HERE for the men. 

Scott Schadlich named me volunteer "cat herder" at the starting gate, giving me a chance to see some of the pre-race and gate action close up. Enjoy the film footage (also available HERE), and congratulations to each and every fighting marmot for today's strong showing! 

SBA Nordic Shines in Soldier Hollow

Halvorsen at the top of the podium
Sugar Bowl Academy and Far West Nordic ski racers had an exceptionally strong showing racing against the best of the West in Soldier Hollow, Utah, last weekend. In the sprint race, top finishes included SBA's J2 Hannah Halvorsen finishing first and J1 Katrin Larusson finishing third among all J1/OG combined. For the boys, J2 Peter Carroll placed a strong sixth in the sprint.

Day two saw Halvorsen taking fifth in the Classic 5K among J2s and Larusson eighth among all J1s. Sam Zabell finished fourteenth for J2 boys. 

Larusson (right) on the podium again
Congratulations to all of Far West Nordic and to the strong skiing of the entire Sugar Bowl Academy ski team at Soldier Hollow! Given her particularly strong showing at Soldier Hollow, Hannah Halvorsen is spotlighted in this post. Below, Hannah offers her thoughts on becoming part of the Fighting Marmot sprawl, on her win at Soldier Hollow, and on her goals for the future.
"I made the decision to come to SBA based on what I believed would be a unique school environment that would best support my academic and athletic dreams year around. I am super excited about the flexible schedule that will allow me to train longer each day in the mornings and attend school in the afternoon. SBA also works around our competition schedule so I won't miss classes. I am excited to train and be a part of a team and school that is super passionate about the sport I love so much, Nordic skiing. I have been skiing since I was one and still love doing it everyday. SBA offers me the opportunity to train at a high level with great coaches and teammates each day and get a good education while I pursue my Nordic dreams. That said, I will miss my teachers, coaches, and teammates at Truckee High School, whom I respect very much. I never envisioned winning the Soldier Hollow sprint before it took place. Not only standing on the podium, but the entire experience of competing at this level was absolutely incredible. I learned so much, had so much fun, and now have the exciting hope and determination to carry out my dreams even farther. My goals for this season are really to take in every awesome experience and learn as much as I can about high level racing. This is really the beginning of my Nordic career and I intend to start off on a good foot. I don't have much past experience to really set any goals for a certain place or number, so I hope to do my best, learn, and enjoy every moment and see where it takes me." - Hannah Halvorsen ('16)

Alumni Spotlight: Emperor Meng?

News of SBA Nordic alums Austin Meng and Cassidy Cichowicz has surfaced recently from St. Lawrence University Ski Team's Facebook and blog posts. The SLU Ski Team maintains a strong social media presence, with its own Facebook page, Tweets, and a Blogger page much like our own. 

SLU's Facebook page reports that Meng had a top-ten finish at today's University of Vermont 10K Classic. The SLU Ski Team's blog site reports that Meng "has been the story of calm, consistent skiing" throughout the season.  

The Fighting Marmot congratulates Austin on his fine skiing this season at SLU and wishes both Meng and Cichowicz the best in the season's remaining races. 

Freeriders Defend Home Snow

Congratulations to SBA's Xander Guldman, who has started the freeride comp season with a pair of podium-worthy performances. Thank you, too, to Head Coach Trevor Tanhoff for the following report of freeride marmots competing last weekend on home snow... 
Team Freeride
"The Sugar Bowl Academy Freeride Team defended home turf well this last weekend with a pair of first-place podiums and four skiers in the top five! With over 130 skiers in the field, the competition was fierce. Xander Guldman and Sydney Gradeff took home top honors and some confidence going into next weekend's second stop at Squaw Valley. Drew Hartley and Isaac Freeland wowed the crowd with their big lines, but each had small control issues that cost them the podium. Louis Norris continued his strong showings this year with a fourth place in a stacked age division. Ian Scott redeemed himself after a bobble at Snowbird with a fifteenth-place finish here at home. Carly Gradeff and Erika Klenk had strong showings and undoubtedly will come out hungry at the next two stops at Squaw Valley and Regional Championships at Alpine Meadows." - Coach Trevor Tanhoff

SBA's Larusson Awarded Far West Nordic Scholarship

Congratulations to SBA senior Katrin Larusson, this year's recipient of The Far West Nordic Ski Association's annual Ted Beauchamp Scholarship. SBA Head Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss supplied the following report of Larusson's selection by FWNSA coaches. 
"The Far West Nordic Ski Association just announced that Katrin Larusson has been awarded the Ted Beauchamp Scholarship for 2013. This scholarship is given annually to a Far West Junior Nordic skier who exhibits a great passion for Nordic ski racing, is a dedicated athlete who has the desire and ability to compete at the National level, and has a character that is a credit to the Far West Nordic community. Katrin is a senior at Sugar Bowl Academy and has been at the top of her age group in ski racing for the past five years. Katrin has been a medalist at the US Junior National Championships in each of the last four years and has been the California/Nevada High School State Champion for the last two seasons. The scholarship is one of the highest honors that a junior Nordic ski racer can achieve in the Far West Division. The Ted Beauchamp Scholarship was set up in 1995 to honor the memory of long time Far West Nordic Board member Ted Beauchamp. Ted gave tirelessly to help kids excel in the sport he loved, and Katrin is a perfect young person to honor Ted’s name. Katrin loves ski racing and training, and one of her greatest gifts is her ability to mentor other athletes. She has taken numerous younger skiers under her wing and helped propel them to become the best they can be. Katrin plans to continue her ski racing career as an NCAA racer next year, but hasn’t decided which school it will be. Whichever college is lucky enough to get her will be acquiring a dedicated ski racer who will give her all every day, and will most likely be near the top of the pack in every race. She is someone Far West can be very proud of as she makes her way out into the larger ski racing world." - SBA Head Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss

Two-Time Olympic Skier and Former NFL Player Makes A Virtual Campus Visit

SBA student-athletes were treated to a virtual visit from two-time Olympic skier and former NFL player Jeremy Bloom at Monday's All School Meeting.

Bloom Skyped with our students from his office in San Francisco, fielding questions about his mogul-skiing days, juggling academics and athletics as a high school and collegiate student-athlete, and the connection between the commitment required to be a successful athlete and his success with his most recent business ventures. 

His virtual visit came about thanks in part to a student-led effort to create a guest-speaker series on campus. Senior Brian Francis has taken the lead now in successfully scheduling two guest speakers, the first being Janet Hardy (mother of SBA's Elise, '14), manager of the U.S. Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. Hardy visited our campus in the fall to talk to our student-athletes about how a love for skiing and snow put her on the career path that led her to study snow and ice for the U.S. government at its Hanover, N.H. laboratory. Click HERE to learn more about Hardy's visit.

Francis said that the idea of an All School Meeting Skype session with Bloom was born when the two met at a U.S. Ski Team fundraising event in San Francisco late last fall.

"I heard he was going to be at the fundraiser and was incredibly excited, because I knew about him balancing football and skiing, something I had tried to do early in my high school career," said Francis.

"I think that what the students really took away from his talk is what is capable in the world if one is really determined..., and the idea that the only way to succeed is to fail, but to learn from those failures."

On behalf of the entire SBA community, The Fighting Marmot thanks Mr. Bloom for his engaging virtual visit.

Scene OFF Campus Pic of the Day

It's day two of Team Freeride's first comp of the season at Snowbird, and while there are no results to report just yet, Marmot Man did receive this photo from team manager and parent Barb Hartley (mother of Drew, '13). After Isaac Freeland's run Sunday, three Chilean girls asked to have their photo taken with him.  

UPDATE! Results are in! Coach Trevor Tanhoff has notified me that SBA's Xander Guldman finished second in the Boys 12-14 age group while Drew Hartley took third in the Boys 15-18 age bracket. Both Erika Klenk (15-18) and Carly Gradeff (12-14) placed sixth for their respective age groups. Congratulations Fighting Marmots on a strong start to the season! 

Scene on Campus Pic of the Day

Sam Zabell ('15) packs up poles and skis en route to the next race

Scene On Campus Pic of the Day

Elise Hardy ('14) cheers on SBA ski racers with her vuvuzela

Nordic Marmots Strong on "Home Snow"

For a full photo essay of our home race, please click HERE
Sugar Bowl played host to a high school Nordic ski race Friday, with some impressive results for SBA racers both at our well-attended and spirited "home snow" race as well as on Sunday at Tahoe City Cross Country's Junior Nationals Qualifier. 

Head Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss was kind enough to offer the following summary of season highlights thus far. Thank you, Jeff, and congratulations to team Nordic on a very strong start to the season! 
"The 2012/2013 Nordic race season is still in the early stages, with races running all the way until the middle of April, but things are off to a great start for the Fighting Marmots' Nordic squad. In the CNISSF school league, SBA captured first place for women and second place for men in the opening race, the Kirkwood relay. The SBA team of Danielle Nivinski, Elise Hardy, and Katrin Larusson dominated the race with a win by over a minute, and the young J2 boys with Peter Carroll, Skyler Mullings, and Sam Zabell skied to a strong second place. In the SBA home CNISSF race on January 11th, all SBA athletes who raced placed in the varsity top ten, including Katrin Larusson in first, Camille Hartley in ninth, Savannah Blide in tenth, Sam Zabell in fourth, Peter Carroll in sixth, Skyler Mullings in ninth, and Casey Jobe in tenth. In Far West racing, SBA athletes have been very strong in the Junior National qualifying races, with age-group wins from Katrin, Sam, and Danielle, as well as strong qualifying races from almost the entire team. On the National front, the older girls of Katrin, Danielle, Elise, and Bria have been racing at the U.S. Super Tour races in West Yellowstone, Montana, the Bozeman Super Tour (Katrin) and U.S. Nationals in Soldier Hollow, Utah (Katrin, Danielle, and Elise). The biggest highlights of these races have come with Katrin winning the J1 girls classic race in Bozeman and coming in fourth for J1 girls in the skate sprint at U.S. Nationals. Some goals for the team this year include trying to qualify the entire team for the Junior National Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, putting an SBA athlete on the podium at Junior Nationals, winning the CNISSF league for women, and coming in top two for men. Finally, we would like to see every SBA athlete feel that they have improved significantly from last year. The season is young, but we feel we are on the way to achieving our ambitious goals!"

The Skinny on SBA's Alpine Ski Racers

What happens when SBA's alpine ski racers clip in to skinny Nordic skis? See for yourself!

Scene on Campus Pic of the Day

The Older Girls' Advisory group throws a baby shower for Joanne and Andy Knox

SBA Alumni Offer Some Sage Advice

Have they already achieved "sage" status? Now enjoying their first year in college, several SBA alumni stopped by campus late last week to offer their advice to the senior class on a variety of topics, from what life is like as a college athlete to how to navigate SBA's challenging Senior Projects (click HERE to learn more). Thank you to Joanne Knox for the following report. 

SBA Class of 2012 Members (left to right) Kelly Habibi,
Joelle Romo, Joe Piercy, and Dylan Murtha
"Some of the illustrious alumni from the class of 2012 recently stopped by SBA’s Senior Project class to impart some sage advice and wisdom to this year’s senior class. Kelly Habibi, Dylan Murtha, Joe Piercy, and Joelle Romo provided our current seniors with an understanding of how the skills they learned in Senior Project have helped them succeed in their freshman year coursework. Additionally, current students probed our alumni on topics ranging from what it is like to be a college athlete to how the food on campus tastes to what it is like to be in a college classroom. Special thanks to our alumni for their support of our current seniors!"

Scene OFF Campus Pic of the Day

Head Men's Coach Jeff Kai pulls his J1 skiers aside on the slopes of Copper Mountain