PREP ALPINE SKIING: Miners blend competitiveness, fun to find success
February 7, 2018
For the Nevada Union alpine ski team the 2018 season has been about carving down the slopes (when there's enough snow), being competitive, being supportive of each other and above all else — having fun.
"Every year it's different and this year's team is super, super supportive," NU head coach Alexandra McDowell said. "They are very much a team. They are all at the bottom of the course waiting for their teammates to come down. They have great team spirit and positivity toward each other."
Alpine skiing at Nevada Union isn't as fiercely competitive as it can be with other youth racing clubs, and McDowell is just fine with that.
"We're high school racing, so we're competitive but we're also fun," she said.
Blending the competitive side of racing with the joy of skiing comes naturally to junior Dannah Fournier, who is a regular top-three finisher in the girls slalom and giant slalom races, but said her season goals aren't standings based.
"My main goal is to just have fun. To be that one person that makes everyone else happy to be out skiing," she said. "The feeling of skiing is fun. I really like the snow and the energy you get from skiing. And, just being at the top of the mountain and taking in the view. I love everything about skiing."
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Fournier, who placed fifth in the state slalom race and earned All-State Ski Team honors in 2017, is one of several talented skiers on the Miners' girls team.
Joining Fournier in the top-five on a regular basis this year has been junior Zoe Cohen, who was also a state qualifier a season ago.
McDowell praised Cohen's growth and maturity as a skier and a teammate.
"Zoe has taken such a leadership position and is helping all the other kids," McDowell said. "She's like my assistant coach."
The girls team also has strong racers in Haley McCormick, Lindsay Thomas, Lena Kellermann, Sarah Kellermann and Kyra Leach.
As a team, the NU girls regularly place second at the slalom and giant slalom events this year, finishing behind Davis.
On the boys team, the approach is the same as it is on the girls team — compete and have fun.
For Judah Good being competitive and having fun go hand-in-hand.
"I love the feeling of going fast, accelerating off my edges, and turning on fresh corduroy," Good said. "That's my favorite feeling."
Good's passion for speed has landed him in the top five of multiple slalom and giant slalom races this year.
"He's such a strong skier," McDowell said of Good. "He has got it all and we look forward to lots of success from him."
The talented sophomore qualified for the state championships as a freshmen and has set his sights on getting back there this season.
"I'm really going for top-10 at states this year," Good said. "Last year it was pretty much only seniors that beat me at states. They are gone now and I'm ready to go fast at states."
In addition to Good, the Miners have several other impressive skiers including Jake Schlothauer, Alejandro Vinces, Luke Ericson and Ben Arenchild.
Schlothauer said he hopes to qualify for the state competition and help his team in any way he can.
"I love what I've seen from Jake in terms of maturity and how he's really applying himself this year," McDowell said.
Vinces, a senior, is on the team for the first time this season. For him, it's about going fast as well as the serenity he finds while competing.
"When you're skiing, like running or swimming, everything else gets quiet," he said. "You're in your own little spot."
The Nevada Union team has one regular season race left, a slalom race on Monday, before it turns its attention to the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation State Championships March 5-6 in Mammoth.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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