Being a student athlete is a lifestyle that consumes every aspect of a students life. Those who want to participate in college athletics should understand that they will be sacrificing many of the activities the average student experiences during his or her college career. For the past 24 years, the Sierra Nevada College ski team has won at least one United States Collegiate Ski Association National Champion title every season. Observers only see the success and hardware but not the work and sacrifices behind it.
Being part of a college sports team is almost like a full-time job. Often you start your day early and finish late. Freshmen Mihaela Kosi knows first hand what the day-to-day life of a student athlete is. Kosi moved thousands of miles from her home country Slovenia where she has lived her whole life. She came to the U.S. in the fall of 2014 to pursue her skiing career while earning a bachelors degree in Environmental Science from SNC. According to Kosi, one of the biggest adjustments was to learn to study in a foreign language while training and competing in skiing.
”I was really nervous in the beginning about studying in a foreign language,” Kosi said. ”First few months were the hardest but as I got used to the language, school got a lot easier. When it comes to training, it’s pretty much the same as it is at home, so there wasn’t too much adjustment there.”
Kosi mentioned that the team wakes up almost every morning before the sunrise.
”Our days usually begin at 6:45 a.m. with a gym practice in the fall,” Kosi said. ”During the winter, our trainings begin at 7:20 a.m. when the sun comes out. After our training is done around 9:15 a.m. we head back to campus to have breakfast and hurry to our classes. We do our second training independently after the school day is over.”
The team trains together for almost nine months, during summer the athletes are personally responsible for their trainings.
The Sierra Nevada College ski and snowboard teams dominated during the week and were able to bring back home a lot of hardware. The teams won a total of eight team National Championship titles, 24 individual podiums and four overall team National Championship titles.
Protect Our Winters teams with winter sport industry to generate activism to slow climate change.
BY DANNY KERN
As Jeremy Jones glides along the wind-scorned ridge, his split board crunches through the sun baked snow like teeth biting into a piece of toast. He’s been skinning since the sun rose over the vanilla dipped peaks that line the eastern horizon. His excitement boils as he nears his favorite bowl hidden away deep in the Sierras. Sweat droplets emerge from the pores of his face, instantly freezing once released from the security of his warm scruff covered chin.
He stops to take a break. Looking around like a night owl in search of prey, he notices unfamiliar faces painted across the surrounding mountains. In past years, the rocks in front of him were hidden under the snow. He can’t recall a time he has witnessed such low snow levels.
Jones continued to his destination, breaks down his skins, put his board together and begins his descent back to civilization.
Thousands of people have witnessed scenes similar to this in Jones’s documentary snowboard films, “Deeper”, “Further” and “Higher”.
Jeremy Jones is a renowned professional snowboarder and activist who has seen first hand the impact of climate change on our mountains, according to his story on Protect Our Winters website. POW, is a non-profit organization based out of Truckee that was founded by Jones in 2007 to address the gap between the winter sports community and action being taken to address the issues of climate change.
BY Rebekah Ashley
Asst. News Editor
The Sierra Nevada College snowboard and ski teams are nearing the end of their pre-season training as snow begins to fall in the Sierras.
For the Eagles, pre-season training began at the end of August and continues until lifts open and the athletes can bring their training to the slopes.
According to freestyle skier Aiden Lee and snowboarder Colleen Healey, the freestyle team’s pre-season training consisted of running at Diamond Peak, workouts at both Incline High School and Ski Beach, and Woodward Tahoe trampoline and foam pit sessions.
“I’ve never been part of a ski team before so this whole experience is new to me, but it’s been super helpful in preparing for my season,” said Lee.
According to Healey, it was an intense pre-season of dryland training.
“We mainly focused on getting in shape through cardio workouts at the beginning and then began to introduce core and leg workouts. We started out small and then worked our way up to more difficult training regiments,” she said.
Alpine skiers Viking Roald and Elias Stürz say for the race team, pre-season is a time the team come together at the Village Green, Diamond Peak, Mount Rose and High Altitude Fitness.
“Every training we do, we do together as a team, either if it means running for miles in the Tahoe mountains or hitting the gym,” Roald said. “This preseason, we have pushed ourselves harder than ever.”
The first competition for the freestyle ski and snowboard team will be on Jan. 18, 2015, at Diamond Peak.
“I’m not nervous about it, I actually think it’ll be kinda fun to compete,” Lee said.
BY JAMIE WANZEK
With a small patch of snow, blue skies and 60 degree weather, Boreal Mountain welcomed its 50th season on Nov. 8.
“Opening weekend has been going extremely well. Everybody in California wants to come up here and ride. We are starting the season off right because it’s our 50th season,” said Tucker Norred, Sierra Nevada College alumnus and events & social media coordinator at Boreal Mountain.
Many SNC students can be found riding at Boreal in the winter months, being the only resort in the area with 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. operations.
“It was fun to ride with everyone while getting sunburn in 60 degree weather. The park was much better than I thought it would be,” Junior Brain Walther said.
Due to the drought and warm weather, Boreal was the only ski area open in California as of Nov. 8. The mountain kicked off the season with a local DJ and outside BBQ to complement the excitement of the new winter.
“Opening weekend got me ready to ride. Boreal starts everything off right, every year. There are always a bunch of weird people doing weird stuff,” Junior Bryant Davis said.
Boreal was able to open the Castle Peak Quad lift with mid-mountain operations, on a minimal patch of snow to the bottom. As the only section of snow on the mountain, the Boreal terrain park crew was able to set up six features of rails and boxes.
“Opening weekend at Boreal was a blast! Nothing beats wearing sunglasses and t-shirts while riding at Boreal in November. Even though the conditions were minimal, it was fun to be back snowboarding with everyone,” Sophomore Jada Garcia said.
Big Bear Lakes, California: an unassuming, countrified nook tucked in the underskirt of the San Bernardino mountains. These mountains are a homey getaway from the swarming ruckus of Southern California; a sip of mother nature; the oasis in the desert. Big Bear is also the breeding ground for a certain caliber of snowboarding, synonymous with the terms “legend”, “OG” and “timeless.”
Big Bear’s 11th annual “Hotdawgs and Handrails” attracted thousands of spectators to the resort on Sept. 20. It’s the premier pre-season snowboarding event that, in the past, has elevated relatively unknown riders (including Keegan Valaika, Zak Hale, Ryan Paul and former Sierra Nevada College student Tommy Gesme) to the limelight of the snowboard industry. Although this year’s podium held some more familiar names, this will still stand as a breakthrough for folks who had to compete on two courses rather than just one. To start things off Luke Haddock, a Vermont native, hustled for the entirety of the session, aiming for idyllic execution. It was Haddock’s clean full cabs on the down bar that landed him in third place.
“I was shocked to find out I made the podium, the level of riding was extremely progressive,” Haddock said.
Second place fell upon Denis “Bonus” Leontyev, the Russian rail wizard.
“I thought the course was really fun. I really enjoyed the fact that there were two different courses,” Leontyev said.
His resounding consistency and eye-catching trick selection, regardless of the feature at hand, was what paid off for him in the end. However, it would take more than technical precision and unmitigated riding to walk with the $10,000 prize.
Local surfers had the ride of their lives Sept. 25, thanks to high winds that churned up a giant swell on Lake Tahoe’s northern shores. Sierra Nevada College senior Conner Wagner is an avid surfer and tries to make it out on the lake whenever there are waves.
“Some of these waves are overhead,” said Wagner. Wagner spends his winter breaks surfing the north shores of Oahu, Hawaii, and he snowboards in Tahoe when he returns.
“These are the biggest waves I have ever seen on the lake,” said Wagner.
Surfing on Tahoe has become sort of a novelty. According to locals, there is nothing else like it.
“When you duck-dive a wave, the water is crystal clear, and it’s warm. It’s like surfing in Hawaii,” said Incline resident Russell Conway.
In the summer Tahoe water temps can reach 70 degrees. But wintertime temperatures cause the water to dip into the low 40s. The surfers congregate at one of the best breaks, which is at Hidden Beach just outside of Incline Village. The large boulders off the shore of the beach generate breaking points for the waves rolling in.
“You can get clean rights and lefts all day,” said Conway.
It has to be pretty windy to surf Tahoe, usually the wind has to be a consistent 25 plus mph.
“Most storms come in during the fall and winter, but you can get some great surfing in the summer too,” said J.P. Donovan, a lifeguard at Sand Harbor. “The wind normally blows from the southwest, west or northwest.”