RIPLEY - In a letter dated April 10, a Mont Ripley Race Team alpine ski racer received an invitation from the United States Ski Association (USSA) to join the National Training Group.
Sarah Rowe of Dollar Bay will join the U16 National Training Group based at the USSA headquarters in Park City, Utah. Coincident with this invitation is admission to the USSA TEAM Academy, where Sarah will attend high school with 40 to 45 other elite level USSA snow sports athletes.
The USSA TEAM (Total Education and Athletic Model) Academy is a private academy with classrooms at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City. According to the nomination letter, "The purpose of the National Training Group is to bring this country's very best U16 athletes together to train and compete at the highest level alongside their peers. We hope that your participation will further your athletic development, leading to membership on the U.S. Ski Teams and eventually to success at the international level. The National Training Group was created to address the need for greater and earlier support to the development of elite athletes. Through this effort, the USSA is able to offer high-level, peer based training opportunities to top young athletes."
According to Bob Vial, head coach of the Mont Ripley Race Team, "It is a great honor for Sarah to have been nominated to the National Training Group. A select few young ski racers receive an invitation of this nature. Sarah has trained hard, competes aggressively and is deserving of this recognition."
Currently there are four girls and one boy in the U16 National Training Group. Recently, Rowe was one of 14 birth year 2000 girls selected nationwide to ski up in the older U16 age class, to compete for the U16 National Championship.
Rowe said, "I am thrilled to be nominated to the National Training Group. I can't wait to get started. I know this is just one small step towards achieving my ultimate goals in ski racing and I have a lot of hard work ahead of me. I owe a lot to coach Vial for all that he has taught me about skiing. I also want to thank my teammates, Jenna Stein and Ally Fenton, for pushing me to be a better skier and making ski racing fun. I am grateful to Mr. (Pete) Fenton and Mr. and Mrs. (Russ and Tricia) Stein for helping me at many races over the past few years."
In June, Rowe will join the NTG for an 8 day training camp at Mt. Hood, Ore. Additional planned NTG projects for the 2014-15 season include training camps or competitions in the following locations: Park City for 7 days in July, New Zealand for 21 days in August, Copper Mountain, Colo., for 20 days in November; Stams, Austria for 20 days in December; and another 19-day trip to Europe in January/February.