Welcome to the SSCV 2020-2021 Year End Awards Virtual Recognition

Although we cannot gather together as a community for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Year End Awards, SSCV remains committed to its end of season tradition of recognizing outstanding performances and/or contributions both on and off snow of SSCV athletes and community members to the SSCV community. As such, we invite you to be a virtual attendee of this awards ceremony.

Please click on the program links in the left hand column (or in the right hand dropdown menu on your mobile device) and hear what SSCV, VMS, and VSSA staff have to say about these outstanding contributors to our community. Join us in sending everyone virtual handshakes, hugs and congratulations.

Vi & Byron Brown Volunteer of the Year Award

Awarded annually to an outstanding SSCV volunteer in honor of Vi and Byron Brown and their outstanding and tireless long-term volunteer contributions to SSCV in a variety of roles both on and off the hill in support of SSCV’s mission.

Vi and Byron Brown
2016
Photo by Preston Utley, courtesy of Vail Valley Medical Center

Vi & Byron Brown Volunteer of the Year

Trent Schaffler

Trent is a highly deserving individual for the Volunteer of the Year Award for the 2020/2021 season and a volunteer that all members should look to follow. Trent volunteered at almost every alpine event, even events where his child was not racing, or when we were in a pinch at the last minute. He was always on time, professional in his role, and willing to go the extra step to help make sure our events this season were a success. It was a pleasure to work with Trent this season, which included many different changes to our normal event operations. We look forward to his volunteerism next season.

Walter Kirch Award – Overall 3C Winner

& 3C Athlete Monthly Award Winners

The Walter Kirch Award winner is selected from among the 3C monthly award winners. Each monthly award winner embodies one or more of SSCV’s core values of Character, Courage and Commitment (the 3C’s).

Walter Kirch
Longtime Vail resident and one of the founders of The Streeter program

Walter Kirch Award Winner and 3C Monthly Winner – March

Campbell, Addie, and Finn Sullivan

Campbell joined SSCV and VSSA in 2014 as a full-time alpine athlete. In 2017 Campbell’s world suddenly changed with a cancer diagnosis. Campbell personified SSCV’s 3C’s-CHARACTER, COURAGE AND COMMITMENT- from this initial diagnosis through her final days, inspiring countless individuals to be their very best selves and look outward to others. Campbell’s two younger siblings, Addie and Finn, who are also full-time SSCV athletes and students at VSSA demonstrated unbelievable character in carrying on despite heartbreak with the loss of Campbell.

3C Monthly Winner – December

Nash Lucas

Nash Lucas this past year experienced the best and worst 2020 had to offer. His mother passed away July 15, 2020, Nash was at SSCV camp in Mt Hood at the time and decided to finish the camp. Just prior to her death he had managed to become Rocky Mountain Division Champion in Moguls, attend school, train, and achieve the highest rank in the BSA of Eagle Scout. The story is much bigger than what I have written today but Nash has had many challenges thrown at him. He has managed to become a better person and athlete thru diversities in his life.

3C Monthly Winner – January

Izzy Glackin

Izzy Glackin is somebody we all would love to coach, have on a team, to be friends with…and the list can go on. She is a second year U16 who is not afraid to rise to a challenge. Izzy might be quiet, but there is a true fighter inside her, that appears when the going gets tough. Izzy proved that by having an excellent MTB season this last year, and she is carrying her confidence into the Nordic season as well. Izzy is kind, hard working and attentive. She is always prepared for practice and seeks to improve her skills daily. Izzy’s character really shines in the team environment, where she helps to bridge the gap between the younger and older members of the team. She has a positive attitude and tremendously supports the rest of the team.

Not only has Izzy shown her courage this season, when she has been consistently training with the older group of girls, but she has also asked for permission to race “up” with the U18 group at FIS races in Soldier Hollow, Utah. That is a big (and courageous) step for a few reasons. Number 1, the U18 group was supposed to race a 10km distance. Double that of what U16 girls race! Number 2, because of the COVID-19 situation, this was our first race this season, beside our own town series. Number 3, because of the same reason, this race was about to be considered as a potential qualifying race for World Juniors and therefore attracted the majority of the fastest junior females in the western United States. Did this intimidate Izzy? No way, she knew this race could provide her a valuable experience and she was ready to fight and learn from it. Lastly, number 4, due to multiple COVID-19 quarantine periods Izzy had to go through (I believe 3, almost in a row), Izzy missed a large chunk of team training, but thanks to her drive and goal oriented mind she was able to train on her own and keep in shape while training alone.

This brings me to the last “C”. Commitment. Because if training through 3 quarantines on your own doesn’t show commitment to your sport, to your goals and to your own growth, I am not sure what does. Furthermore, Izzy, who attends VMS, is now on the remote learning program in order to avoid yet another quarantine, which I believe, further deepens my point here. Izzy Glackin is a well deserving athlete, who isn’t even close to reaching her full potential yet, and her character, courage and commitment are a great representation of SSCV’s values.

3C Monthly Winner – February

Will Bentley

Will Bentley was nominated for this month’s 3C award in recognition of Will’s fantastic season. Will joined the program and VSSA this year, coming over from Summit County where he has been a successful racer for the Summit Nordic Ski Club. Watching Will through the years competing in the Rocky Mountain Division, his drive and passion for the sport and racing have always been evident so it comes as no surprise that he has excelled this season. That being said, I don’t think we as a program realized just how strong of a mentality he has. Getting to watch him in training and racing this season has been really great and something his coaches and teammates have benefitted from.

Right from the beginning Will has demonstrated the 3Cs, his character shines through his encouragement for teammates and his willingness to strive. It takes a lot of courage to change programs and schools as a second year U14 when you are young and learning and have been very successful. His commitment has been fantastic traveling over from Summit, very driven to improve and excel. Mom and Dad get a lot of credit too doing the hard laps back and forth over the pass to get him to training and school in a year where it hasn’t always been easy.

There have been limited racing opportunities this year for the U14 and younger classes relative to U16 and older. As a top performing U14 Will has opted to participate in some events as a U16 this season, broadening his competition base and opening up more opportunities. Even though the level is much higher, especially given those critical years featuring such a vast discrepancy in experience and physical maturity, it is a challenge Will has embraced.

One thing we have really seen with Will is how he trains without fear of failure or the competition. He pushes and encourages his teammates. He goes after the older racers and if they won’t hold the lead Will takes it from them. It’s fun and exciting to watch and is a good example of how hard Will works. Will has proven to be adaptable. His skill acquisition this season has been very good. He asks questions and you can see him work to make adjustments. He has made great gains this year transitioning technically from skiing like a little kid to that of a teen.

We are very fortunate to have had Will join the program this year and look forward to his continued success.

3C Monthly Winner – April

Elsa Perkins

The SSCV Nordic Program is proud to nominate Elsa Perkins for this month’s 3C award, this is a story of character, courage, and commitment. Below you can read the nomination that the Nordic Program submitted on Elsa’s behalf for this season’s Rocky Mountain Nordic Jon Zeke Zdechlik Memorial Award. RMN clubs went on to award Elsa as this season’s female recipient. Lenka’s write up does a really nice job of telling Elsa’s story but so much more has happened in this last month. Elsa did a race, it was very challenging and it was decided that Elsa would not race for the remainder of the season, instead to focus on healing. This was an extremely difficult and emotional decision, thankfully we were able to put Elsa to work.

Elsa joined us at Western Region Junior Championships and the season ending FIS races in Sun Valley filling in as an athlete/coach. Elsa did it all. She helped out her teammates. She prepared skis. She carried skis to be tested, lots and lots of skis. She picked up coffee. She tested skis, waxes, and structures. She really did it all. It was awesome. We benefited from her hard work. To be able to include Elsa was a win for everyone.

I’m sure being at these races was not always easy for her. While she was happy to help out she would have much rather been out there as one of the racers. All of the coaches and Elsa are looking forward to the months of dryland ahead and getting her back on track for the racing season ahead. She is a fierce competitor, a dedicated athlete, and a very important member of our program. Getting her back to the level of racing she expects next season is going to be great.

Nomination for Elsa Perkins – From SSCV: If you look through the result lists of this season, you won’t find Elsa Perkins’ name. If you would come to our dryland practice during early fall, you wouldn’t find Elsa there. If you would come to our ski practice even a few weeks ago, you wouldn’t find Elsa there. Yet, she is the one who deserves a nomination for The Zeke Award.

This was not an easy year (or two) for Elsa. During the last ski season, even while undergoing intensive physical therapy treatment to alleviate the symptoms, Elsa was struggling with shin and leg pain. She is not one to complain too much, so we all knew things weren’t great when she would finish a race or an interval session in tears. Since things weren’t improving, the decision was made to perform a double surgery on her worse leg to treat her shin splints as well as a vein constriction issue which was causing some of the pain, especially during a hard effort. Now, most athletes are quite horrible patients, and Elsa is no exception. The recovery period was long and very tough for somebody who was ready to jump in and start training as soon as the crutches were gone. But that was understandably not the case. The road to recovery was slow and although Elsa maybe felt like she was losing fitness, and was often a little frustrated, what she was gaining was an even bigger drive towards her goals. Once finally cleared to train with the team, she was excited to be around her friends, ready to work and get her fitness level back up. There were sessions when she couldn’t keep up with the rest of the team, but I haven’t heard one complaint – she was simply happy to be back, even if that meant a little bit of struggling. Unfortunately, Elsa’s other leg kept bothering her, and after a few months she decided to undergo yet another double surgery, and that’s where we are now. Elsa is finally back on snow, double poling only for now, getting stronger and hopefully will be back to pain free skiing before the end of the winter.

Throughout last season as well as this year, Elsa’s attitude has been nothing, but positive. She never stopped looking for solutions while trying to figure out what was wrong with her legs, and she has kept giving the sport all she could. She never stopped trying to improve even if she could no longer skate-ski, or run. And she would always be there for the rest of the team, happy for them, even if she didn’t have the best day, and that isn’t always easy to do. These last two weeks, while Elsa herself couldn’t race, she volunteered to help at our races so she could cheer for her teammates and (I think) to be part of the race in one way or another. She could stay home and be bitter about the fact that she cannot race, but instead she showed up for her team.

As her coach, I see all the aspects of The Zeke Award in Elsa. She has a positive attitude pretty much no matter what. I am certainly inspired by the way she approaches training, racing and life. And did I mention her double pole? That is definitely inspirational. Elsa’s sportsmanship really shows as her endless support of the rest of the team, as well as her kind nature towards others. Elsa is definitely one of those athletes that helped to glue the team together and she is a stellar teammate. Lastly, her love and commitment to the sport speaks for itself, after all, she is still here, climbing (or in her case double poling) her way back up, when she could have easily given up. No, not Elsa, she likes skiing too much to let it go so easily. I think Zeke would have liked her.

Les Streeter Awards

Presented annually to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete for the most outstanding performance in each discipline.

Les Streeter
Olympic skier, The Streeter Program was named after Les Streeter

Alpine Les Streeter Award

Campbell Sullivan

This year the Alpine Les Streeter Award is awarded to honor Campbell Sullivan. Campbell, through her battle with cancer, was always on the hill as much as possible taking in everything this sport has to offer. Even through her toughest times she was at the hill, watching, cheering and coaching. Many times her coaching was more effective than anyone. If not possible for her to watch in person it was done through live stream feeds. No matter what, Campbell was engaged and deeply immersed in skiing. Her spirit lives through every athlete in the program and this only pushed each athlete even further to better themselves. Additionally her ability to bring people together was like no one else. Her spirit lives within each athlete and due to this they are better in every way imaginable.
Freeski Les Streeter Award

Matt LaBaugh

Matt proved himself everyday on the mountain with dedication to his training and pushing himself to the next level in his abilities. Furthermore, he applied this training to his competitions throughout the season. He made finals consistently at NorAm events and even qualified for his first World Cup event in Aspen this season, landing his toughest run to date in the biggest contest so far of his life. I’m very proud to award Matt with this award and can’t wait to see him continue to pursue his passion for Park and Pipe freeskiing.

Mogul Les Streeter Award

Elizabeth Lemley

Elizabeth Lemley turned some heads in the Freestyle mogul scene this past season. Turning 15 years old in January, Elizabeth had her first crack at the FIS level and could finally compare herself to the top mogul skiers in the Nation regardless of her young age. She didn’t miss a beat taking on the best of the best and started her campaign with a solid 2nd and 4th place finish at the US Freestyle Selections in Winter Park. With that performance, Elizabeth earned herself a team USA World Cup roster spot, but she was still too young yet to embrace this challenge. Stronger from the early season prowess, she went on dominating the RMD circuit taking 5 gold medals in that many events. She also claimed the Junior National title in mogul, and added a silver medal to her collection, at that same event, in dual mogul. Throughout the entire season, Elizabeth was able to elevate her performances, pushing the women’s field to new highs, while also competing some of the hardest tricks ever seen worldwide on the women’s scene. Her passion and eagerness to excel have propelled her to some mind-blowing performances, and there is no doubt that the future is bright for that young lady! Elizabeth brings complete commitment, an appetite for learning, and a positive attitude day in day out which makes her a strong influence in our team environment. Through adversity, uncertainty, and being one of the youngest skiers taking at FIS events, she is always willing to go the extra mile, and that leadership carries to the rest of our team.

Nordic Les Streeter Award

Lucy Perkins

Lucy Perkins is the 20/21 Nordic Les Streeter Award Winner. Lucy has been an integral part of our program for the past 5 years. It has been amazing to watch Lucy grow into a great teammate, leader and athlete. She has come through our entire program, starting as a Future Star, building into Jr Prep and Prep Teams and next year will move up to our full-time development team. This year despite the setbacks of a pandemic, Lucy was able to garner many high level results. The results that she received are even more impressive considering most races she was racing against athletes 2 years older. This year we had the opportunity to race many of our 2nd year U14’s up into the U16 categories both locally, regionally and nationally. All of them took up the challenge and exceeded our expectations. Lucy stood out largely due to some specific results. The first result came in January where Lucy ended up 2nd among all U16’s and 42nd overall against the best women in the country. A few months later in March, Lucy, as a U14 went on to win the Western Junior Regional Champs 5km Classic race. This result was even more impressive considering she won the event by 35 seconds! We are excited to see what our young athletes have in store for subsequent years and will no doubt look to Lucy to continue to lead by example.

Snowboard Les Streeter Award

Connor Schlegel

The Snowboard Les Streeter award is presented to the SSCV athlete “for most outstanding performance” and in the 2020/21 season, Connor Schlegel’s performance is the very definition of outstanding. In his post graduate year, Connor showed everyone what work ethic was all about starting from the very beginning. He never missed a step with his weight and cardio training over the summer, and came into his dryland season at an all time high, utilizing our new pumptrack to build stamina and strength as he prepared to send off to Europe to race in the Europa cup. While in Europe, Connor worked his way into his first World Cup start at Reiteralm and came home to win two-thirds of the FIS races in the United States at the Hole Shot Tour at Copper Mountain. The U.S. Snowboard team has supported Connor’s movement into the World Cup, and we are all anxiously awaiting the new team announcements. Connor’s motivation, work ethic, and relentless approach to meeting his goals set him up for a breakout season and earning his place on the World stage representing his country and home of Vail. The snowboard team couldn’t be more proud of all of these accomplishments, and we will all be watching as Connor continues to work to achieve his highest goals.

The George Rau Coach of the Year Award

Presented annually to an outstanding coach at SSCV in recognition of the outstanding contributions to the development of young snowsports athletes of former SSCV coach George Rau.

George Rau
Former ski school instructor and ski club executive director/coach in the early years of SSCV

The George Rau Coach of the Year

Philippe Marquis

In his second season with SSCV, Philippe took the reins of the FIS mogul team and made improvements across the board. From daily tracking, running group and individual training sessions to regular one on one meetings, Phil invested the time and effort to develop strong relationships with each of his athletes. Phil is still one of the strongest technical mogul skiers in the world and could easily jump back into World Cup competition. His ability to demonstrate skills gives him immediate credibility, but his caring and active outreach create a true rapport with his athletes, and that’s what we all strive for as coaches.

As a two-time Olympian, Phil is aware of his prominence and has chosen to act as a leader in sport. Phil truly embodies the spirit of the sport. He’s meticulous in his preparation for both daily planning and long term development. He carries himself with elan that shows in his smile as much as his skiing. He’s easy with his charisma and shares his enthusiasm with everyone he comes across. Phil serves as an ambassador for Protect Our Winters and is a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and stays involved on the board for Freestyle Quebec.

This year Phil faced the challenges of our uncertain environment with patience and adaptability. Under his guidance, Liz Lemley and Mylo Ornowski vaulted onto the podium at the few 2021 US FIS events and turned the heads of the US Team. In addition, Phil served as a consulting coach for our returning World Cup skiers Tess Johnson, Kai Owens, Dylan Walczyk, Casey and Jesse Andringa and even fellow coach Nessa Dziemian in her farewell win at US Nationals. As rewarding and attractive as the successes are, Phil worked even harder with athletes struggling with adversity to help them talk out their situation and help them face tough decisions. These are among the qualities that make him SSCV’s 2021 Coach of the Year.

SSCV Student of the Year Awards

Presented to a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete attending an SSCV Academic Partner for their outstanding academic accomplishments while all the while balancing their commitment to their snowsport.
Lower/Middle School Student of the Year from Vail Mountain School

Solveig Moritz

Vail Mountain School is extremely proud to nominate Solveig Moritz as the SSCV Middle School Student of the Year. I have never received so many emails so quickly and with such enthusiasm as when I asked for nominations for the award this year. Within minutes, my inbox was flooded with Solveig’s name followed by lists of positive adjectives and exclamation marks.

In a year that was full of challenges, Solveig turned obstacles into opportunities. Despite the fact that her transcript is nearly perfect, her teachers’ comments primarily focused on her character. They described her as a student who gives their best effort every single day. Without knowing the intensity of her ski schedule, the calm, positivity Solveig exudes suggests that she is arriving at school after a morning at the spa or a 30-day yoga retreat. In reality, she arrives at class after a challenging morning of training without missing a beat. This speaks volumes to Solveig’s willingness to work as hard on the student side as the athlete side in being a student-athlete. She makes it all work.

Under her placid exterior, Solveig is a fierce competitor in classroom games and recess soccer matches. Her positive attitude and strong work ethic have a positive effect on her peers, driving everyone around her to be their best self. Solveig’s competitiveness is complimented equally by her kindness and empathy. She is quick to help others along the way. Solveig’s teachers also noted her growth mindset. If she does not understand a concept the first time, she readily asks questions and seeks feedback. She is relentless in her pursuit of excellence.

Solveig epitomizes what it means to ski full-time at Vail Mountain School. She gives her best self and her whole self to everything that she does. We feel incredibly lucky to work with her. Congratulations, Solveig!

Upper School Student of the Year from Vail Mountain School

Katy Jane Hardenbergh

Katy Jane Hardenbergh is Vail Mountain School’s nominee for the Upper School Student of the Year Award. For Katy Jane, education extends beyond the classroom.  She is always working to get the most out of what she is learning and while this results in strong grades, she has also established herself as a lifelong learner. For Katy Jane, learning goes beyond GPA. 

A prime example of this is Katy Jane’s senior project, which centers around helping female athletes better understand their bodies and the impact of menstrual cycles on peak performance. She extensively researched female athlete physiology, training, and nutrition. This is just one example of Katy Jane’s intellectual curiosity driving her to not only attain the depth of material but allowing her to make connections to the real world. Amidst her rigorous course load, Katy Jane is also an AP Art student and participated in the school musical. 

Though her stellar grades and results might suggest otherwise. Katy Jane doesn’t spend all of her time poring over books and training. She is also highly invested in the community. Katy Jane is a lead member of the Philanthropy Service Group. She promotes random acts of kindness around the school and is a frequent volunteer at The Community Market.  Last summer, Katy Jane was a student-teacher for SummerQuest, a Vail Mountain School program designed to provide academic opportunities and support for students in Eagle County. On her work in the program, a teacher noted, “Working with Katy Jane during SummerQuest was amazing. She was thoughtful, engaged, and always there to listen and support students. She created space for students to feel comfortable being themselves and I felt truly honored to have her as a student-teacher.” Katy Jane has also taken a leadership role in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work at Vail Mountain School. 

In nominating Katy Jane, a teacher said, “I really can’t imagine a better representation of what VMS is: a student with diverse interests, someone always looking outside herself, someone who enjoys the process, and someone who leverages her social capital for the benefit of all.” Katy Jane, we are so proud of all you have accomplished. Congratulations!

Lower/Middle School Student of the Year from Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy

Reinecker Schmidt

There are just some students that exemplify excellence in all that they do and Reiner really is one of those students. In the classroom, Reiner defines the 4 C’s at VSSA – Character, Courage, Commitment and Compassion. He works hard to maintain excellent grades but he always takes the learning further to ensure he understands the material. Reiner displays excellent character at all times and his compassion for other students and teammates shines at all times.

As Ms.Gothberg said; Really genuine, empathetic, and kind young man.

This year has been tough in several ways and Reiner has stepped up in every way. The Lower School Staff’s overwhelming choice for this award is Reinecker Schmidt.

Upper School Student of the Year from Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy

Sarah Bivens

While new to Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy this Nordic athlete has made an incredible first impression on the staff of the school and is our choice as VSSA’s Upper School Student of the Year

As Ms. Wheatley says; Sarah, though new to the school, has jumped right in and figured out what it takes to be successful in math. She has put in the time and effort to really understand the content. She is always happy and helpful in class and is overall a great person and student.

Mr. Bennett commented that Sarah is keenly academic, with a level of commitment and excitement that are rarely seen at the high school level. As a human, Sarah is intrinsically concerned with helping others; be it young Nordic skiers or the elderly in our community. As an athlete, Sarah’s grit, determination, and tenacity are unparalleled in her cohort.

We are proud to present Sarah Bivens as the Upper School Student of the Year.

The Terresa Herbst Teacher of the Year Award

Recognizing a Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy teacher for their outstanding contributions in support of SSCV full-time athletes in honor of Terresa Herbst. Terresa was the founding academic director at Vail Valley Academy, which was established as an SSCV academic partner, and later transformed into the Vail Tutorial Academy, setting the framework for SSCV’s Winter Tutorial program and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, all in support of the mission of SSCV.

Terresa Herbst
Terresa Herbst, long-time educator and USSA official/on-hill volunteer

Terresa Herbst Teacher of the Year from Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy

Charlene Whitney

This year VSSA would like to recognize the tireless efforts of Charlene Whitney. Charlene is an exceptional Counselor for the kids of Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy and works incredibly hard on the behalf of the school and the kids.

As a counselor, she is there for our kids and always willing to help students through the emotional journey of school. She supports our athletes with the highs and lows of competitions and the stresses of working to be a top athlete in their field. She has been there for our kids supporting the ups and downs of this crazy COVID year keeping our students’ mental health at the forefront.

She does an amazing job to prepare our kids for the college application process. Whether it’s organizing applications, editing student essays, applying for scholarships, or managing Naviance, she works tirelessly to prepare our kids for that next STEP in life. She has really educated herself on the NCAA requirements for our athletes and does an exceptional job helping our parent community through the process as well.

Charlene has a wonderful vision for developing the whole child and tailors this to VSSA. She organizes our community service day and provides numerous classroom lessons on becoming a kind, respectful, healthy young adult in today’s world.

Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy is proud to present Charlene Whitney as the Terresa Herbst Educator of the Year.

Adrian Kearney Award

Presented annually to a graduating Alpine Age Class athlete who exhibits a true passion for skiing and a love for life in the mountains.

Adrian Kearney

Adrian Kearney Award

Maizy Douglas

Maizy Douglas is the teammate everyone wants on their team: fun, friendly, works hard, and just loves being on the team! My first experience with Maizy at a training camp – “Let’s name our team.” ”How about Dream Team?” I was super excited to coach the Dream Team! Everyday Maizy’s teammates, coaches and lift ops get a friendly “Hello!”, “Thanks” and “See you tomorrow!” Once again, excited to be on the Dream Team! Working hard is fun! Maizy looks for feedback, always wanting to improve. “What can I do better?” “Help me understand.” Yep, the Dream Team has improved a lot over the past years by getting a little better each day. Proud to be part of the Dream Team! Thank you Maizy.

Paul Cuthbertson Award

Awarded annually to a current second year U16 alpine athlete moving into the FIS alpine program for the upcoming season who exhibits a true passion for skiing and a love for life in the mountains.

Paul Allen Cuthbertson
May 18, 1998 – May 19, 2019
“Live for those who cannot”

Paul Cuthbertson Award Recipient – Female

Avery Forstl

On a team full of athletes deserving of the Paul Cuthbertson Award, Avery Forstl stands out. Avery flat out loves to ski and to play in the mountains year ‘round. She will race you in any discipline, in just about any conditions. She is a tough and versatile competitor. But if it snows too much, Avery’s first choice is probably not ripping the race course. On powder days Avery is known amongst her peers for having both a nose for deep stuff, and the tenacity to find it from first chair to last. Avery loves the mountains and life in them. Whether riding her mountain bike, hiking a local trail, skiing the side country, or lapping a training course, Avery’s mischievous smile and dry humor are infectious for those lucky enough to share in one of her adventures. Avery is a vibrant, strong young woman of the mountains and a most deserving recipient of the 2021 Paul Cuthbertson Award.

Paul Cuthbertson Award Recipient – Male

Carson Hume

When he is not ski racing, you can usually find him riding his mountain bike or freeskiing with friends. This season Carson showed us what it means to believe in oneself and to stay positive no matter what happens.

Downhill Racer Award

Presented to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete with the most outstanding performances in Downhill and Super G.
Downhill Racer Award

Zoie Palmer

Zoie’s passion for skiing is fierce. She loves not only the sport, but enjoys every aspect it encompasses including all of the speed disciplines and elements that surround it. She is fearless and shows immense courage daily. Whether it is taking flight off of an intimidating jump or traveling 70 plus miles an hour down any slope, her smile only grows with each passing moment. These characteristics are what gravitate her towards success in Downhill and Super-G. Zoie was only a first year FIS athlete this past season and her journey in the speed disciplines has only begun. Her future in the sport is bright. We cannot wait to see what is in store for Zoie in years to come.

Thomas Pitcher Award

Presented annually to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to the sport of ski racing and academic excellence.

Thomas Pitcher

Thomas Pitcher Award

Cleo Braun

Cleo Braun is the epitome of commitment to the sport of ski racing. Throughout Cleo’s ski racing career thus far, she has seen her fair share of hurdles and jumps over each one with grace. Her tremendous work ethic and tenacity enables her ability to overcome anything standing in her way. Cleo does not miss a beat; through every conditioning session or on snow session she shows purpose each and every session. In doing this, she betters herself daily which is why she has seen so much success thus far in her career. Through this commitment, she will continue to shine in this sport and I cannot wait to see what she can accomplish.

Craig Kelly Memorial Award

Presented annually to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail snowboard athlete who demonstrates the finest combination of athletics, citizenship and academic excellence.

Craig Kelly
April 1, 1966 – January 20, 2003
An American professional snowboarder known as the “Godfather of Freeriding”

Craig Kelly Memorial Award

Rogan Isaacs

Craig Kelly once said, “Snowboarding is just like living because you have fun moments and harsh moments, you get scared, some days it seems like you’re just working, and sometimes you’re just having fun”. He used these words to describe the balance of how the mountains and snowboarding change day to day, and how he saw the balance between the feelings of work and play. When I hear these words, I think about how snowboarding is an amazing mix of play, fun, challenges, hard work and achievement. There are highs and lows involved that can show where someone’s true passions lie, and reveal their true colors. In his 3rd year with SSCV, Rogan Isaacs has shown above and beyond that snowboarding is his true passion, and that there is no low that will keep him off of his board. Just like Craig, Rogan rides with a passion and love for snowboarding that you can see and feel in every turn he makes. Rogan works so hard to overcome fear, make the most of every day, and have the most fun possible while doing it. His dedication for snowboarding is so deep that it pours into his school, allowing him to achieve academic excellence while chasing his love for bottomless pow turns. He shows his peers every day what it means to be kind, supportive, and positive. Our team is simply better off with Rogan being a part of it, and as he continues to follow his passions, we will all be there cheering him on. Thank you Rogan for keeping Craig’s memory alive through your actions, words, and slashes!

Zeke Pierce Memorial Award

The Zeke Pierce Memorial Award is given annually to an SSCV member who exhibits a love of skiing and riding that transcends their competition discipline. The recipient has a passion for skiing in all its many forms, pushes limits while taking responsible risks, and embraces the variables of weather, terrain and conditions that makes skiing and riding so special. A passion so deep that it exhibits a way of life, love for the environment and respect for all who share this love.

Zeke M. Pierce
September 13, 1997 – July 18, 2013
Zeke’s love of adventure and the outdoors gave rise to his athleticism where he spent 10 years racing with SSCV

Zeke Pierce Memorial Award

Finn Griffith

Finn Griffith exemplifies all the attributes necessary to be nominated for the Zeke Pierce Memorial Award. It is clear that skiing gives Finn true joy. He can hardly contain his energy while riding up on the first chair of a powder day. When he is unleashed upon the mountain it is nearly impossible for anyone to keep up. Finn loves to push his abilities on the slopes, but he takes risks in a responsible fashion. He has excellent attendance and is always early to training. He is supportive of the peers on his team and is also a great example to younger athletes. The passion for skiing and adventure is a way of life for Finn, and he is very deserving of this award.

Campbell Sullivan SkiFast Award

The Campbell Sullivan SkiFast Award is given each year to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete who is the beacon that enables Campbell’s light to shine on in our community through their actions and their words both on and off snow. This athlete embodies the strength, kindness and selflessness, alongside a passion for their sport, that Campbell displayed each and every day as she gracefully but mightily confronted her cancer diagnosis head-on.
Inspired by Campbell this athlete also displays a courage and commitment to get through any challenge, supporting their team by demonstrating leadership and perspective.  As Campbell said in her own words on her SkiFast Foundation Website  “Facing cancer has been a challenge I wouldn’t wish on anyone but I would tell others that conquering cancer both mentally and physically has taught me leadership and perspective, skills I am taking to college with me that are not on my transcript. Instead of limiting me, cancer has motivated me to take on the future, no holding back.”
Let her light shine through you.

Campbell Barrett Sullivan
May 13, 2001 – February 22, 2021
SSCV Alpine Athlete,

Childhood Cancer Advocate

“Let Her Light Shine Through You”

Campbell Sullivan SkiFast Award

Molly Blakslee

The Campbell Sullivan SkiFast Award is given each year to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete who is the beacon that enables Campbell’s light to shine on in our community through their actions and their words both on and off snow. This athlete embodies the strength, kindness and selflessness, alongside a passion for their sport, that Campbell displayed each and every day as she gracefully but mightily confronted her cancer diagnosis head-on.

Molly Blakslee embodies the qualities inherent to this award: strength, kindness, selflessness, and great passion for cross country skiing and outdoor adventuring in general. Molly is a valued member of our community because of her commitment to the sport, the program, and her teammates. Molly has found that balance of being competitive and supportive of her teammates and her friends leading by example. When I read the award description, Molly came to mind as an excellent representative of Campbell’s best qualities.

Molly has been in the program for 9+ years and she continues to stay motivated and improve. This, her senior year of high school, may have been her strongest season yet, which is saying something given the additional stresses and complications this year has brought. We needed leaders more than ever this past year, those who shined their light to help us all see the positive and joy in our process. Molly is a perfect fit, someone who lifts us all and encourages those around her to continue working toward their goals. Molly will be attending and skiing for Williams College next fall and we are looking forward to seeing her future journeys.

Gaynor Miller Award Winner & Gaynor Miller Snowsports Nominees

Nominated from each snowsport for exhibiting the highest standards of Sportsmanship, Teamwork and Dedication. This athlete’s overall performance is an example to be followed.

Gaynor Miller
A founder of the Vail Resort Association

Gaynor Miller Award Winner and Nordic Gaynor Miller Nominee

Haley Brewster

Sportsmanship, teamwork and dedication. Those are the three key words when describing athletes who are nominated for the Gaynor Miller Award. When I read those words I imagine an athlete who is committed, hardworking, supportive of others and whose love for the sport and perseverance allows him/her to withstand any hiccups along the way. When I read those words I think of Haley Brewster. Haley is one of those athletes that coaches love to coach. She is goal oriented, comes ready to work, ready to improve and even though she is mostly quiet, she leads the rest of the team by an example. She drives the whole team to be better, to try harder and to not give up easily. When she is at a practice, especially when it comes to hard effort, everybody steps up their game. She doesn’t have to say or do anything, besides being herself and bringing her focus and intention, and the rest of the team follows. Exemplifying this, Haley was the 2020 Rocky Mountain Nordic nominee (chosen by her 50 teammates) for the prestigious Dave Quinn award that is named annually at the Junior National Championships.

It is clear that Haley loves Nordic skiing and she is willing to work hard to achieve her goals. On top of that, Haley is very supportive of others, even if it comes to beating her on the result list. It takes a lot of class to accept the defeat and be truly happy for your teammates, and Haley shows it over and over again. Her dedication to the sport is incredible, whether it comes to solo training sessions, adding little extra time to training here and there, or pushing through [a lot of] pain in order to finish a race. (Last season Haley suffered from very painful stomach issues, yet she has never quit a race.)

Haley has been on the team for a long time. She started as a Future Star Team member and this year she is graduating from Battle Mountain High School and starting at The University of Vermont (UVM) in the fall. Haley has been doing very well the last few years: she is a former junior national champion and multi-time medalist, qualified for the U16 Scandinavian Cup trip with the US Ski Team, and has had many other stand-out performances at the regional and national level in the last four years. This year, Haley did something extraordinary. She was the first female member of our team to qualify for the World Juniors! Sadly, upon arrival to Finland (which was the venue for World Juniors this year) Haley had a positive COVID test, and she wasn’t able to race. It is heartbreaking to achieve your season goal and at the same time feel that you haven’t reached it – because you have no results to show for it. I know this was very tough for Haley, especially because she was asymptomatic and probably felt like she could race. Well, unfortunately not in this COVID era. But in my mind, Haley did it. She qualified, and I know that if she puts her mind to it, she will qualify again and hopefully be able to show the rest of the world what an amazing athlete she is. She deserves it. Please consider Haley Brewster for the Gaynor Miller Award. Her sportsmanship, generosity toward her teammates, perseverance through challenges, and consistently impressive results exemplify the spirit of this award.

Alpine Gaynor Miller Nominee

Stanley Andrie

It is humbling to work with an athlete who puts forth the sort of consistent effort that Stanley Andrie does on a daily basis. His effort, energy, and enthusiasm for the sport of alpine ski racing are both unmatched and contagious. Although Stanley is neither the most vocal nor most athletic, he is a true leader on the men’s FIS team. He leads by example, whether that is with his unwavering optimism or unrelenting drive to get better every day. Not only this, but Stanley is a true student of the sport. If you want an analysis of how each racer performed in the latest World Cup ski race Stanley is your guy. Although not the most naturally gifted skier, Stanley has made tremendous strides over the past handful of years. The progress he has made is purely a result of his daily, consistent effort and positive attitude. Because of these qualities Stanley is truly a model for other SSCV athletes to aspire to. I am so proud of the effort Stanley has demonstrated over the past three years and couldn’t be happier to see him recognized as this year’s Alpine Gaynor Miller Award nominee. Congrats Stanley!

Freeski Gaynor Miller Nominee

Jack Ganley

This award is presented to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete who exhibits the highest standards of Sportsmanship, Dedication, and Teamwork. Jack strived everyday this season to come to training and work hard, support his team, and achieve his goals on the mountain. He landed on multiple podiums this season at high-level events and made it to finals in NorAm level events consistently. With all of his success he made sure to support his teammates and encourage them throughout the season on his own.

Mogul Gaynor Miller Nominee

Nash Lucas

For a long time, Nash has been looking to make his mark at the bigger mogul skiing events. Coming short over the past 2 seasons, the opportunity didn’t slip away this time around even with all the adaptation that COVID brought upon us all. Nash was able to make his first top-10 at the FIS Open competition in Deer Valley in early February, and also concluded a prolific year with a 4th place finish at the US Freestyle Nationals against the best mogul skiers in the Nation. Within a few hard months of training, he was able to become a consistent competitor improving in all facets required in mogul skiing. Nash also won the Vail RMD competition in early March making a strong showing on home soil.

After dealing with a challenging off-season, Nash was courageously able to maintain a strong commitment toward his skiing goals. He adapted nicely to the uncertainty of an atypical 2020-2021 campaign putting the extra work in all year around. His strong character allows him to keep moving forward through the many hurdles of life. Nash is one of the hardest workers. Never missing a beat, he is an athlete model – coachable, passionate, engaged – that has become an outstanding reference for the younger athletes.

Snowboard Gaynor Miller Nominee

Jack Stygar

Jack Stygar is a young man who saw potential in SSCV, and with his dad packed up from Illinois to jump on the opportunity to allow Jack to pursue snowboarding. With this opportunity, Jack has worked as hard as anyone I have ever seen to achieve high level goals, and he has done so with a unique style and grace. Jack started his training with SSCV at the Utah Olympic Park this summer, and immediately began setting high goals and working hard to achieve them. His momentum continued strong into the season, where even though we were not able to ride resorts, we had great training opportunities at VSSA. Jack showed consistent hard work and determination while developing his technical mastery on rails. As soon as there were jumps he got right to work on learning as much as he could, as quickly as he could. His hard work remained consistent throughout the entire winter, coupled with a humble attitude that was a model for his peers. It has been a privilege to have Jack at SSCV, and watch as he makes the most of every opportunity given to him while supporting his teammates and standing out as a positive driving force for the snowboard team.

Zella Gorsuch Award

Awarded annually to the person with the greatest contribution to the advancement of skiing in the Vail area.

Zella and Jack Gorsuch
Photo from Climax, Colorado ca. 1939

Zella Gorsuch Award

John Keane

Established in 1977, the Zella Gorsuch Award is given to the person with the greatest contribution to the advancement of skiing in the Vail area.

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is honored to present the 2021 Zella Gorsuch Award to John Keane.

John has served SSCV as board chair for the past five years. During this period he helped lead the SSCV Clubhouse and Golden Peak Expansion initiatives. In realizing the decades old priority to complete the Golden Peak expansion SSCV has doubled the training space available with the completion of a mogul-specific venue likely this summer. The completion of the clubhouse project not only resulted in an incredible facility but also dramatically reduced debt associated with the development costs and has created a fund to further strengthen the financial stability of SSCV.

The completion of these foundational projects represents an enduring legacy which will benefit area youth, SSCV, and competitive snowsports in the Vail Valley for years to come.

In addition to the above areas of leadership and oversight, John has led the board during the transition of Kirk Dwyer as executive director and the succession planning for our new executive director, John Hale. John will remain as board chair during this transitional period.

John and his wife Anne-Marie have four children who have all been SSCV athletes; Patrick and Kaitlin who are current athletes, and Brendan who coached our FIS men full-time this past winter. Brendan and his older brother Jack are both attending Dartmouth College.

John has worked tirelessly on behalf of SSCV and our “kids”. The progress made during his tenure as board chair leaves an enduring contribution to the advancement of skiing within the Vail Valley and more broadly for the US.