This year’s U.S. Ski Team features a lot of new faces from Vermont.
For a state with just over 600,000 people, Vermont produces a lot of world-class skiers and riders. This year, nine Vermonters were nominated to the 2018/19 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, including six newcomers. Another 14 athletes trained or went to school in Vermont. Meet the new athletes on the team.
Last winter, Vermonters were cheering for two well-known names at the Olympics: Mikaela Shiffrin and Ryan Cochran-Siegle, of the famed Cochran ski racing clan. This season, there are three new names on the U.S. Ski Team.
One new Vermont face you may see in the starting gate at November’s World Cup at Killington is Ripton’s Abi Jewett. This summer, Jewett, 18, bypassed the U.S. Alpine Ski Team’s development team altogether and was nominated to be a member of the U.S. Ski Team’s C squad.
The Green Mountain Valley School grad said, “It’s been something I was working toward for a long time.” Last February, Jewett finished 20th in slalom and 35th in giant slalom at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Davos, Switzerland.
In March, she took 16th in the giant slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sun Valley, Idaho, following a 7th place finish in slalom at the same event the previous year.
Jewett learned to ski at the Middlebury Snow Bowl but trained at Waitsfield’s Green Mountain Valley School starting in seventh grade. She graduated from GMVS last May and was accepted early decision to Dartmouth in spring 2018.
Skiing is in Jewett’s blood. She’s the daughter of Willem Jewett, a former Bowdoin College ski racer who served as state representative for Addison County for 14 years starting in 2002.
According to her father, the Middlebury Ski Club’s coaching and the Snow Bowl’s steep terrain is a big part of what made Abi so good. “For young kids, those big GS rolls on Allen [a steep trail at the Snow Bowl] have a quick turnaround. It’s steep, but they learn to love it. That trains good technique,” Willem said. “It’s cool because you’re moving at high speed, but it’s really technical skiing,” Abi says of the Allen. “I have a need for speed. I think I might be a little bit of an adrenaline junkie.”
Jewett wasn’t the only Green Mountain Valley School student to make the team. Her classmate, Ben Ritchie, 18, of Waitsfield made the Development Team following an impressive string of top ten slalom finishes in FIS ranked races in 2018.
Ritchie has earned a reputation for being scrappy. Over the course of the 2015-2016 ski season, he went from being ranked 38th in FIS rankings for Super G to second. That effort helped earn him the 2016 Golden Ski Award, presented annually to the top male and female ski athletes in the East by the New England Ski Museum. Past recipients include U.S. Alpine Ski Team veterans Mikaela Shiffrin, Alice Merryweather, Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Sam Morse.
The 6-foot 3-inch recent high school graduate started ski racing when he was six with Jay Peak Ski Club. In March, he continued his slew of impressive performances when he earned tenth place in slalom at the U.S Alpine Championships in Sun Valley.
Another newcomer is Zoe Zimmerman. If Zimmerman’s last name sounds familiar to you, it’s because she’s part of a ski racing legacy. The 16-year-old hails from the Granite State, but trains and skis at Burke Mountain Academy. She’s the granddaughter of Austrian Olympic skier Egon Zimmerman and Penny Pitou, the first American skier to win an Olympic downhill medal, a silver in 1960.
This will be Zimmerman’s first year on the U.S. Alpine Development team. However, in 2016, she qualified for the Junior National Championships at Snowbird, Utah, where she competed in the U14 class as a thirteen-year-old. She took 18th overall in Super G, 38th in giant slalom and 25th in slalom, despite competing against skiers a year her senior.
Another Cross Country Sibling
At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Vermonter Jessie Diggins made history when, along with her teammate Kikkan Randall, she became the first American to win a gold medal in women’s cross country skiing. Of the 16 skiers named to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team for 2018, five are Vermonters, and just one is a newcomer, albeit one with a familiar last name.
In January, Ben Ogden, 18, told fasterskier.com that if he had a day when he didn’t have to train or compete in Switzerland, he’d like to spend it “huckin’ backflips in the Swiss backcountry.” The University of Vermont student mountain bikes, fly fishes and alpine skis—when he’s not racing, that is.
This will be Ogden’s first year on the U.S. Cross Country Development Team. He earned a host of top results in 2018, including a silver medal in the 4x5K team relay at the 2018 FIS Junior World Championships in Gom, Switzerland in February. His team was the first American team to ever podium in the relay event.
Ogden took first place in the 30K classic at the U.S. Junior National Championships in Craftsbury, Vt., and 15th in the 15K freestyle in Craftsbury for the U.S. Supertour in 2018. Ogden’s sister Katharine Ogden is on the cross country development team for her third year.
A Rising Snowboard Star
Kelly Clark, Hannah Teter and Lindsey Jacobellis are among Vermont’s greatest contributions to snowboarding, but now there’s a new generation of riders and Anna Valentine, 18, is one to watch. This spring, Okemo Mountain School Head Snowboard Coach Luke Bonang told The Vermont Journal that Valentine’s style was “timeless.” He’s been coaching her since she was eight.
Anna Valentine earned her first nomination to the U.S. Snowboard Team’s Halfpipe Rookie squad in 2017. She’s back again this year, after a stellar 2018 season.
Valentine grew up in Sparta, N.J., but has been snowboarding since she was seven with the Okemo Mountain Snowboard Team. In February 2018, Valentine took first place in halfpipe at the Nor-Am Cup in Park City and followed that up with third place at the tour’s next competition at Mammoth Mountain, Ca. She placed second in the FIS Junior World Championships in Laax, Switzerland in March 2017 in halfpipe.
Valentine started her career in USASA Southern Vermont competitions and in the Vermont Open. Her performances there earned her a spot on the Revolution Tour in 2016, where she won the 2016 Mammoth Revolution Tour Halfpipe Competition and took the silver medal in halfpipe at the 2016 Junior World Championships in Laax, Switzerland.
Biathlon’s Straight Shooter
Biathlon is another sport where Vermonters dominate. Of the nine biathletes named to the 2018 U.S.A. Biathlon High Performance Team, three are Vermonters and two more have trained here. But one newcomer stands out: Rutland native and Middlebury College junior, Chloe Levins, 20.
Levins is not only a world class biathlete, she’s also been a state golfing champion. In 2014, at age 14, Levins placed second of all women (not just juniors) at the Vermont State Amateur Golf Championship.
In February 2018, Levins, 20, placed 6th in individual, 7th in sprint and 6th in pursuit at the 2018 Junior World Biathlon Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. Less than a month later, she placed 43rd in sprint and 45th in pursuit at the IBU Cup in Martell-Val Martello, Italy.
In December 2017, she put in a fierce performance in the IBU Cup trials in Minnesota, winning the 12K mass start event, her first win as a senior, and earning a second in the 7.5K sprint. Levins also comes from a family of athletes: her father raced alpine for Middlebury College and her mother, an All-American golfer at Duke, played on the LPGA tour.
Biathlon, which mixes the precision that golf requires, with the speed and aerobic conditioning cross-country skiing demands, seems perfect for Levins. And in the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, Levins placed fourth in biathlon, after starting in 22nd place and passing 18 competitors. At Middlebury, Levins fits in racing on the college’s Nordic team while studying for a major in neuroscience and completing her pre-med requirements.
2018-19 Alpine Team Nominations
Name (hometown; home club; birthdate)
Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1988)
Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 8/31/1984)
Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard/Sundance Ski Team; 2/12/1982)
Breezy Johnson (Victor, Idaho; Rowmark Ski Academy; 1/19/1996)
Alice McKennis (New Castle, Colo.; Sunlight Winter Sports Club/Rowmark Ski Academy; 8/18/1989)
Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation; 8/17/1988)
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 3/13/1995)
Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Buck Hill Ski Team; 10/18/1984)
Jacqueline Wiles (Aurora, Ore.; White Pass Ski Club; 7/13/1992)
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1992)
Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation; 1/30/1989)
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club; 3/27/1992)
Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation; 3/20/1989)
Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation; 6/15/1991)
Sam Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine; Carrabassett Valley Academy; 5/27/1996)
River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 2/12/1998)
Luke Winters (Gresham, Ore.; Sugar Bowl Academy; 4/2/1997)*
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club; 7/3/1984)
AJ Hurt (Carnelian Bay, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 12/5/2000)*
Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.; Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School; 10/5/1996)
Nina O’Brien (Edwards, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team; 11/29/1997)
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyo.; Jackson Hole Ski Club; 11/14/1985)
Cooper Cornelius (Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 6/20/1999)*
Nick Krause (Northboro, Mass.; Stratton Mountain School; 5/12/1993)
Kyle Negomir (Littleton, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/3/1998)*
George Steffey (Lyme, N.H.; Stratton Mountain School; 8/8/1997)
Abi Jewett (Ripton, Vt.; Green Mountain Valley School; 1/10/2000)*
Patricia Mangan (Derby, N.Y.; Holimont Race Team; 3/7/1997)
Katie Hensien (Redmond, Wash.; Rowmark Ski Academy; 12/1/1999)
Galena Wardle (Aspen, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; 4/24/1998)
Andrew Miller (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski Team/Dartmouth College; 12/18/1998)*
Isaiah Nelson (Wayzata, Minn..; Buck Hill Ski Racing Club; 4/3/2001)*
Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, Vt.; Green Mountain Valley School; 9/5/2000)*
Jett Seymour (Steamboat, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club/University of Denver Ski Team; 11/5/1998)
Trey Seymour (Steamboat, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; 10/13/2000)*
Keely Cashman (Strawberry, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 4/4/1999)
Cecily Decker (Saranac Lake, N.Y.; New York Ski Education Foundation; 5/16/1998)
Ainsley Proffit (St. Louis, MO; Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy; 3/21/2001)*
Nellie-Rose Talbot (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 8/24/1999)
Nicola Rountree-Williams (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 7/7/2002)*
Zoe Zimmermann (Gilford, N.H.; Burke Mountain Academy; 5/16/2002)*
*Newly named to the U.S. Ski Team.
2018-2019 U.S. Freeski Team
2018-19 Cross Country Nominations
Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 5/14/87)
Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 11/21/89)
Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 3/22/90)
Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 8/26/91)
Ida Sargent (Orleans, Vt.; Craftsbury Green Racing Project; 1/25/88)
Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 7/14/91)
Kevin Bolger (Minocqua, Wisc.; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; 4/11/93)
Patrick Caldwell (Lyme, N.H.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 2/18/94)
Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 1/28/92)
Ben Ogden (Landgrove, Vt.; Stratton Mountain School; 2/13/00)
Gus Schumacher (Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Winter Stars; 7/25/00)
Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minn.; Northern Michigan University; 3/8/96)
Hannah Halvorsen (Truckee, Calif.; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 2/19/98)
Julia Kern (Waltham, Mass.; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team; 9/12/97)
Katharine Ogden (Landgrove, Vt.; Stratton Mountain School; 11/17/97)
Hailey Swirbul (Aspen, Colo.; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center; 7/10/98)
U.S. Snowboard Team
Chase Blackwell (Longmont, Colo.; Jim Smith Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 2/27/99)
Ben Ferguson (Bend, Ore.; Central Oregon Series; 1/21/95)
Gabe Ferguson (Bend, Ore.; Central Oregon Series; 4/16/99)
Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 11/17/93)
Chase Josey (Hailey, Idaho; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; Big Mountain West Series; 3/31/95)
Toby Miller (Truckee, Calif; Tahoe Select Snowboard Team; North Tahoe Series; 2/14/00)
Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.; 7/30/98)
Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; Rocky Mountain Series; 2/3/98)
Kelly Clark (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Mount Snow Academy, Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Southern Vermont Series; 7/26/83)
Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 5/4/96)
Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 4/23/00)
Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 2/22/00)
Jake Canter (Evergreen, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; Aspen Snowmass Series; 7/19/03)
Lucas Foster (Telluride, Colo.; Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 9/17/99)
Jason Wolle (Winter Park, Colo.; Jim Smith Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 11/30/99)
Jack Coyne (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; Rocky Mountain Series; 01/17/2002)
Tessa Maud (Carlsbad, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 10/10/03)
Jade Thurgood (Salt Lake City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; Big Mountain West Series 1/27/02)
Anna Valentine (Sparta, N.J.; Okemo Mountain School; Southern Vermont Series; 2/20/00)
Nik Baden (Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 1/13/98)
Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 9/7/99)
Brock Crouch (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 8/22/99)
Brandon Davis (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 8/30/95)
Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii; Rocky Mountain Series; 11/22/98)
Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colo.; Rocky Mountain Series; 6/29/00)
Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 4/3/01)
Chandler Hunt (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; Big Mountain West Series; 11/4/98)
Kyle Mack (West Bloomfield, Mich.; Great Lakes Snow Series; 9/6/97)
Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska; Auburn Ski Club; Big Alaska Series; 10/23/92)
Jamie Anderson (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.; South Tahoe Series; 9/13/90)
Jessika Jenson (Rigby, Idaho; Big Mountain West Series; 8/7/91)
Hailey Langland (San Clemente, Calif.; Tahoe Select Snowboard Team; Tahoe Series; 8/2/00)
Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.; Southern Vermont Series; 9/11/97)
Karly Shorr (Milford, Mich.; Auburn Ski Club; Great Lakes Series; 5/18/94)
Jake Canter (Evergreen, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; Aspen Snowmass Series; 7/19/03)
Dusty Henricksen (Mammoth Lakes, Calif; Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team; Unbound Series; 2/2/03)
Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.; Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation; Central Oregon Series; 9/22/00)
Luke Winkelmann (Blowing Rock, N.C.; Kirk’s Camp; Rocky Mountain Series: 12/18/00)
Nora Healey (Plymouth, N.H.; Waterville Valley BBTS; Eastern Series; 6/16/98)
Courtney Rummel (West Bend, Wisc.; Wisconsin Advanced Ski and Snowboard Program; Upper Midwest Snow Series; 11/12/03)
Ty Schnorrbusch (Monroe Township, N.J.; Tom Anderson, Rocky Mountain Series 5/15/02)
Jade Thurgood (Salt Lake City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard; Big Mountain West Series; 1/27/02)
Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.; Superior Series; 12/17/81)
Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, Mass.; Maine Mountain Series; 4/17/85)
Alex Deibold (Manchester, Vt.; Stratton Mountain School; Southern Vermont Series; 5/8/86)
Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; Rocky Mountain Series; 4/30/91)
Nate Holland (Sandpoint, Idaho; Northwest Series; 11/8/78)
Hagen Kearney (Norwood, Colo.; International Snowboard Training Center; Rocky Mountain Series; 11/6/91)
Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, Utah; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; Rocky Mountain Series; 3/24/92)
Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.; Stratton Mountain, School; Southern Vermont Series; 8/19/85)
Jake Vedder (Pinckney, Mich.; International Snowboard Training Center; Rocky Mountain Series; 4/16/98)
Rosie Mancari (Anchorage, Alaska; Steamboat Spring Winter Sports Club; Big Alaska Series; 1/22/94)
Cole Johnson (Reno, Nev.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club; South Tahoe Series; 9/21/93)
Senna Leith (Vail, Colo.; International Snowboard Training Center; Rocky Mountain Series; 4/8/97)
Meghan Tierney (Edwards, Colo.; International Snowboard Training Center; Rocky Mountain Series; 1/15/97)
Stacy Gaskill (Golden, Colo.; Winter Park Snowboard Team; Rocky Mountain Series; 5/21/00)
Aaron “AJ” Muss (Rumson, N.J.; Rocky Mountain Series; 12/15/1994)
Photo Caption: Abi Jewett of Ripton, Vt. is poised to compete at the FIS Women’s World Cup at Killington this November. Jewett jumped onto the U.S. Ski Team’s C Team after training at Middlebury Snow Bowl and Green Mountain Valley School. Photo courtesy GMVS.