Junior /Senior Development

While many of us are enjoying the summer conditions in Tahoe; jumping in the lakes, skiing at ASC, skiing on the beach, running and biking, three Far West Juniors and Coach Kara LaPoint are digging deep in the heat at the Western Regional Elite Group (REG) Camp in Park City, Utah this week 20-26 June 2011. We wish them cool rains…
Then, in early August (1-7, 2011) four Far West juniors and Coach Nancy Fiddler will be attending the National J2 Camp in Sun Valley, Idaho. There, they too will be deep in the xc ski training mode. Usually not as hot there tho.

Do these camps sound interesting/fun to you? Do they seem like a good opportunity to take your skiing to the next level? The answer to each of these questions is, “yes”; and, both are true. Here is how our Far West athletes attending did it:

*The Western REG is a large conglomerate of the 5 western USSA Divisions; Rocky Mountain (RMD), Intermountain (IMD), High Plains (HP), Pacific Northwest (PNSA), and Far West (FW). The athletes and coaches from each division meet in a central location, usually in Park City, Utah, and train/motivate/inspire each other for one week. The US Ski Team (USST) sends at least one coach, this year Bryan Fish, USST Development Coach, as a liaison to technique, coaches’ education, and pipeline development model(s). Each Region across the US has a REG Camp and many of the same activities- uphill running time trial, rollerski race, strength test, technique work, and etc., are employed at each camp. The idea is that, nationally, the regions are doing similar things (training juniors) in order to achieve the ultimate goal of Olympic medals. We all need to be on the same page for this to happen.
The REG is usually made up of J1 and first year OJ athletes based mostly on their Junior National performances. It’s specific criteria is somewhat of a moving target because the Western Regional coaches are always trying to accommodate national training trends. This year the criteria was: Regional Top 10 (male or female) at Junior Nationals and Regional Top 10 on the National Ranking List (NRL); each ‘weighted’ the same. Also, Top J2 girls were included this year. If no athlete from a region qualified via this route then coaches’ discretion was employed. Each division earned three spots to fill. Far West athletes invited for this year were: Alex Hamilton (declined), Annika Taylor (declined), Austin Meng (attending), Katrin Larusson (attending), and Jordan McElroy (attending). GO FAR WEST!

*The National J2 Camp was started last year in an attempt to bridge the gap between general training and the REG Camps; to give all J2’s a summer goal to look forward to and a smaller step on the national pipeline. It was very successful its first year and so it seems it will be an annual training marker. Last year FW athletes Katrin Larusson and Laurel Fiddler attended the camp in Houghton, Michigan. They loved it and came back super inspired to race face this past winter.
This year, the criteria for the National J2 camp was a Top 20 at Junior Nationals and then each division earned a couple of discretionary picks. Far West qualified Katrin Larusson and Laurel Fiddler and chose to invite Bria Riggs and Raylene Chew. All choices were based on their performances over the year (Regional/NRL) and especially at Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota 2011. GO FAR WEST!

So, it is the hope of the Far West Junior Committee that you, reading this, will look at your peers (above) and say, “I can do that!”; “I want to do that!”; “I’m gonna buy a Far West training log, fill it out, attend regular practices, and get my mojo in motion to motivate!”
We hope the above information is educational and that you will try your best to make one of these camps yourself in the years coming ahead. GO FAR WEST!

If you have any questions about the FW/National pipeline please contact Far West Head Coach Ben Grasseschi.