DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. — The ski area is bare but the student-athletes from Sugar Bowl Academy trained hard to prepare for the 2012-2013 season this summer. Given access to unparalleled resources in their disciplines, Nordic racers, Alpine racers and freeride competitors came together in September as middle and high school students at Sugar Bowl Academy (SBA), their ski tips pointed toward the future.
This summer, Nordic athletes have been training with the Far West Nordic Team in the Tahoe Area. Training includes rigorous roller skiing and long-distance trail running. Martin Benes, one of the Nordic coaches and dorm parents at SBA, is operating a camp for collegiate Nordic skiers, many of whom are from the east coast and living in the Academy’s dormitory on Donner Summit.
“It is a testament to our program that Nordic skiers come from all over North America to train with us. Though we are only in our fourth year, we are gaining a reputation as the best west coast Nordic program,” said Jeff Schloss, head coach of the Sugar Bowl Academy Nordic Team. Jeff credits the opportunity to train with collegiate athletes and long hours of summer training as the foundation for winter success.
Alpine racers participated in an early summer camp at Mt. Bachelor, Ore. Immediately following graduation where they focused on fundamentals. U21 and U18 racers are currently in Chile taking part in an intensive on-snow camp at La Parva and practicing their Spanish conversational skills in cultural excursions in the Santiago and Valparaiso ski areas.
Summer freeride training included hours on the world-class water ramps at the Olympic training center in Park City, Utah and week-long camps at the newly-opened Woodward Tahoe facility at Boreal Mountain Resort. A small group of freeride student-athletes are currently in Chile refining their big mountain and powder skiing skills.
“The freeride program is a great option for athletes who want to push themselves both mentally and physically in big mountain, park and freestyle venues. The sport is growing nationally and plans are to develop the program at SBA. We are all energized because we have a group of very committed kids,” said Barb Hartley, manager of the Academy freeride program.
The Sugar Bowl Academy is a nonprofit, independent, college preparatory boarding and day school serving competitive skiers in eighth to 12th-grades. The Academy experience is defined by the pursuit of challenging academics and competitive skiing in a community that celebrates hard work, individual achievement, and community success. Each year, nearly 100 percent of its graduates attend four-year colleges and universities.
Yearly enrollment averages 50 students with approximately 10 in each graduating class. Typically, 40 percent are boarding students and 60 percent are day students. Established in 1998 by the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation for the purpose of providing excellent college preparatory academics to competitive Alpine, freeride, and Nordic skiers, admission to SBA is based on academic achievement, athletic potential, and strength of character. In 2011, approximately 45 percent of its students received financial aid.
Applications for the winter term of the 2012/2013 school year (November-March) are currently being accepted. To learn more, visit sbacademy.org and/or contact Tracy Keller, head of school at 530-426-1844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.