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Rowmark Junior Program Winter 2024 Highlights

By Andy Hare, Junior Program Director

As we reflect on another season, the achievements of the Rowmark Junior Program shine brightly across various fronts. Despite a sluggish start, the season gained momentum, and with the onset of snowfall, our focus intensified, leading to valuable training sessions as we geared up for the qualifying races across all age groups and, ultimately, the end-of-season races and championships.

I’m very proud of our team and our team culture. As part of our team values, we focus on the skills of teamwork, determination, perseverance, and resilience. We executed our mission of providing our athletes with an amazing experience both on and off the snow, creating memories for a lifetime.

Our on-snow sessions at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) continue to provide an exceptional experience and a venue for optimal training. The UOP proves to be one of the leading ski race training facilities in the country. With it only open to ski racing programs that are a part of the community, we avoid dealing with any of the issues that are negatively impacting the resorts around the country, such as overcrowding and lack of parking. The UOP has none of these issues, making it truly a private training facility. We also continue to benefit from our freeskiing at local resorts of Park City, Canyons, Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, and Brighton.

And of course, a huge shout-out to our amazing coaching staff! Their professionalism and dedication to character development are clearly evident in the success and admiration they receive from the athletes. It’s wonderful to see such a strong team supporting the growth and achievements of our program. Thank you, Matt, Hans, Tyler, Sydney, TJ, Penny, Charley, Andrea, Megan, Zach, Hayley, and Wendy. Here's to more seasons filled with growth, success, and passion for skiing!

Competition Highlights

Over the course of the season, our goal is to be at our peak during March and April. This all starts with our dryland training in the fall, on-snow training in the winter, and our sports psychology sessions. Everything builds as we move through the season with qualifiers as we prepare for the championships and critical races in the closing of our season. Below are competition highlights of current Rowmarkers during the last months of the season.

U14 Regionals, Grand Targhee, WY
Our U14 Academy Prep program had five athletes qualify for regional championships. This event is held for the top 60 U14s in the Western US and is the pinnacle of the Rowmark Junior Program, providing a clear path as the athletes continue their ski racing journey. Congratulations to Finley Taptitch, Alessa Lattanzi, Cree Gilmour, Asher Kinsman, and Jake Snyder, who all qualified. At the series, Asher Kinsman earned the Bibo Hard Charger Award in Slalom, where he started with bib #54 and ended up with a 7th-place finish! His best finish was a 5th place in Giant Slalom. And to top that off, Cree Gilmour came home with a silver medal in Super G and a gold medal in the Giant Slalom, which made him the series overall winner and qualified him for the Whistler Cup race series.

The Whistler Cup, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
The Whistler Cup is an elite international junior race series where the best junior racers in the world compete. At the Whistler Cup, Cree Gilmour did an exceptional job, finishing 4th in the Slalom, 1st American, and 4th in the team overall event. Congratulations, Cree!

Grand Targhee IMD U14 SG Qualifier, Grand Targhee, WY
Hannah Hijjawi had a very strong showing at the Speed series in Grand Targhee, WY, where she led the Rowmark ladies with three top-15 finishes. The rest of her teammates did an excellent job navigating their way down the challenging Super G course, with a 100% finish rate.

Tri-Divisional Championships, Big Sky and Bridger Bowl, MT
This event provides an additional tier for our U14 and U16 athletes as they compete alongside Northern and Alaska divisions. Congratulations to Elle Hanlon, Will Hanlon, Mei Mei Morgan, Chet Rhodes, Rohan Pani, and Asher Williams, who all qualified and competed in the Tri-Divisional Championships.

IMD Championships, Tamarack, ID
Rowmark U12 All Stars who were all new to the program this year—Brittan Corcoran, Josey Huang-Kim, Lucas Szoka, and Ari Kinsman—had a great season and really represented all the traits of a great Rowmarker. Ari placed second in the Slalom event. Both Brittan and Josey also did an excellent job in their first year of competitive racing.

YSL Finals, Snowbasin, UT
This is the premier event for our U10 All-Mountain Rippers. The YSL Finals brings all the programs across the state of Utah together. Rowmark’s All-Mountain Ripper team excelled at the Utah Youth Ski League races, which culminated at the Snowbasin YSL Finals in March. Our team captains, Beck King and Mila Patel, excelled as leaders from dryland training in September to the YSL Finals in March. Our strongest performers on the racecourse consisted of: Charlotte Fiore, Beck King, Jinnun Kim (Most Improved Male), Noa Kinsman, Max Matlin, William Nguyen, Sophia Shojai, Lilla Sneen, Easton Walker, and Alessandra Waters (Most Improved Female).

Spring Fling, Grand Targhee, WY
Alessa Lattanzi, Elle Wucetich, Evie Chen, Stella Copeland, Dylan Kinkead, Aaron Chen, and Owen Donigan just returned from an exciting end-of-season race called Spring Fling, held in Grand Targhee, WY. They all finished out the season strong, and Alessa was on the podium twice in second place in both Slalom and Giant Slalom!

Snowcup Series, Snowbird, UT
This event invites the second-year U14s to race with older athletes, including our own Academy athletes. Congratulations to Asher Kinsman, with a 4th place finish, and Jake Snyder, with a 9th place finish, in the U14 age group in Slalom. On day two, Jake finished 11th for the U14 group in Giant Slalom.

Rowmark All Stars
The All Star Junior Program has wrapped up another fantastic season. The 21 athletes started this year's journey at Mammoth camp, learning great fundamental skills and creating a positive culture to encourage each other to keep learning all year. They worked hard at dryland and another camp at Big Sky to help prepare physically for the season to come. It was great to watch the athletes learn new carving skills and apply them to the course. The team performed better each race. Some standout second years (2012): Hadley Rhodes, 1st place on the season and winner of the overall at Champs. Ari Kingsman, 2nd on the season and 2nd place at Champs in SL. Aster Schillinger was third overall on the season and she put two runs together for the dual and got 4th. Walter Wucetich is a strong 2013, coming in 8th in season for his age group and staying constant at champs at 8th. He will be one to watch next year at the u12 level. Bergen Sneen made some great improvements from the start of season to end. He couldn’t put two runs together but we are excited to see how he keeps improving next year. Eliza Phyfe, Cecelia Quinn, and Pedro Huerta Strodthoff attended the YSL Champs at Snowbasin and had some great results, with 9th, 3rd, and 9th, respectively. Josephine Huang-Kim took her skiing to the next level joining Rowmark this year. She was an Alta freeskier and SL really clicked. She was 23 on the season and two top-15 finishes for SL. Keira Kinkead is another first year to look out for next year. She was consistently a top-20 finisher all season. With all the great results the team had a great time free skiing and having a fun time. Until next year…

Congratulations on a great season to all our Rowmark Junior athletes!