The Far West Ski Association (FWSA) awarded Lila Lapanja of Incline Village a grant of $1,000 to be used to cover training and competition fees during the 2012-2013 ski racing season.
Lapanja, 18, is the only Tahoe scholarship recipient this year. She trained with the Diamond Peak Ski Team and Sugar Bowl Academy before joining the U.S. Ski Team's Development Team.
From her first scholarship four years ago, Lapanja was recognized as a strong all-around athlete who held top-10 standings in all four racing disciplines. She joined the U.S. Ski Team's Development Team in 2011, then exceeded expectations the 2012 season: She took fourth place in slalom at U.S. Nationals and finished the season ranked first in giant slalom, first in super combined, second in slalom and third in super G for her year group.
Most recently, Lapanja was the top American in the first three slalom races at the Colorado and Panorama NorAms and scored a sixth place (second place for an American) in the super combined at the Canadian NorAms. She has been appointed to the USST's Europa Cup Technical Team for the 2012-13 season.
The Far West Ski Association, "The Voice of the Western Skier," is a non-profit, volunteer organization devoted to skier safety, ski travel, ski club programs, recreational ski racing, ski area development and family ski involvement.
It is one of the country's largest ski associations with 11 active councils representing skiers and snowboarders in all the continental states west of the Great Divide, with the exception of Colorado.
The FWSA scholarship program was established in 2004 as a means of aiding deserving young alpine ski competitors. This year, 18 young racers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada and Utah will benefit from FWSA grants.