Here We Go Again!

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the Lafayette Ski and Board Team website! We’re excited to get started with the school year and even more excited to meet all of our new potential members ;).

Come find us at the Activities Fair on Tuesday September 3rd. To find out more about the club and all of the fun stuff we do, check out The Team page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook where you can look back on our past seasons and get updates on important things to come.

Hope you all have a great start to the year!

Getting Started!

Welcome to the Lafayette Ski Team page!  The board of the team year is as follows;


President-Will Sargent

Vice President-Jenna Gowell

Treasurer-Keaton Holappa

Secretary-Paul Polk


Make sure to check us out at the activities fair September 8th on the Quad!  After that we start up our fall condition program, indoor soccer in the gym every tuesday from 5-6pm, come join us and get to know some of the team!

Conference Champions 2K15!

This past weekend saw the Lafayette Ski Team sweep to yet another conference victory.  The Women’s alpine team cruised to two more wins on both Saturday and Sunday while the Men’s team won on Saturday’s GS race and took second on Sunday’s Slalom.  Overall the Women’s team won the conference handily.  The Men’s team barely came out on top, beating out Lehigh by only a single point!  The Team was ecstatic to say the least.10927185_10205379557662496_1918576923401406729_o

At the end of the conference season, the Lafayette Ski Team had a number of individuals who won their events or place on the podium.  Below is a summary of the victories the team racked up yesterday:

1st Place Female Snowboarder – Rachel Shore
3rd Place Female Snowboarder – Emma Kent

1st Place Female Freestyle – Jess Horvath
1st Place Male Freestyle – Connor Kennedy

1st Place Women’s Team
1st Place Female Alpine – Meg Del Col
2nd Place Female Alpine – Sydney Burton
4th Place Female Alpine – Olivia Erdman
7th Place Female Alpine – Rebekah Scharfe


1st Place Men’s Team
4th Place Male Alpine – Paul Polk
5th Place Male Alpine – Alexander Lehmann
6th Place Male Alpine – Will Sargent


In the coming weeks, the team will continue to practice in preparation for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia which will take place from February 19th-21st.

Belleayre Weekend Update

This past weekend the Ski Team cruised to another set of resounding victories for the Womens alpine and snowboard racing team.  Senior Meg Del Col stood atop the podium on both days this weekend with Sophomore Olivia Erdman and Freshman Sydney Burton not far behind in 2nd and 3rd.

On the Snowboarding side of things, Senior Rachel Shore continued her dominance with another first place finish at Belleayre, solidifying her victory as the conference champion.

On the Mens side of things there was a little more of a mixed bag this weekend.  Junior Will Sargent not finishing his run on saturday, but having a great day on sunday in slalom with a 7th place finish.  Sophomore Alex Lehmann was unable to race this weekend due to an eye infection and the team missed him dearly.  Freshman Paul Polk had the opposite luck of Will, skiing to a strong 4th place finish on Saturday and then being disqualified on Sunday in the Slalom.

Overall the team is looking forward to their final race weekend where Hunter will host the conference finals.  The men’s team is currently tied with Fairfield College for first and will be anxiously awaiting their results this weekend to see if they repeat as conference champions.  The Ladies already have their victory in the bag for this season, and are hunting bigger prey, the upcoming regional competition in two weeks time in Virginia which will determine what teams qualify for nationals in Oregon this year.  The Women face strong competition from Penn State.  The Men face difficult competition from Penn State and the Naval Academy as well.

2015 Mid-Season update

As the Lafayette Ski Team crosses the hump with the 2015 Season, the results both individual and team have been spectacular so far.  Lafayette is dominating Men’s alpine with sophomore Alex Lehmann, junior Will Sargent, and freshman Paul Polk all consistently placing in the top ten.  This past weekend at Mountain Creek Resort on Vernon, NJ, Alex placed second on Saturday and cruised to an excellent win on Sunday while Paul placed seventh and Will tenth at the end of the day on Sunday.

Overall in the conference, freshman Paul is sitting third, Alex is tied for fourth and Will is holding down the team in sixth. On the Women’s side,Senior Captain, President and all around excellent person Meg Del Col secured her victory as conference champion for the 2015 season with two consecutive victories this past weekend at Mountain Creek in NJ.  Rounding out the rest of the Women’s team this past weekend, sophomore Olivia Erdman placed second, and freshman Sydney Burton placed fifth.  Senior Rebekah Scharfe and freshman Kendall Sangster also had strong finishes this weekend.

Overall with the Women, Meg has a choke-hold on first, Sydney is holding third, Olivia fourth, and Rebekah sixth.  In Men’s snowboard racing, Sophomore Tucker Emory had two solid first runs both days this past weekend but was unable to finish both of his second runs.  On the women’s side Senior Rachel Shore, team mom, kind hearted and generous soul and genuinely nice person (I honestly can’t put into words how nice Rachel is) has dominated the female snowboard races this season winning two of the three races and placing second in the single race she didn’t win.  Obviously a shoe-in for nationals.

In terms of Men’s Freestyle, Seniors Connor Kennedy and Jon Bakken has consistently thrown down solid tricks in the park, Junior Max Fink, while new to the steez lifestyle has shown great promise and finally freshman Slice has brought great honor to the team with his willingness to try new things and eat the last slice of pizza.  Senior Jess has held it down for Lafayette in Women’s Freestyle this season.

The team is looking forward to its first practice session at Blue this week as they prepare for what is sure to be another victory for the Leopards as they hit the slopes at Belleayre Mountain resort this weekend in Highmount NY.


Season 2013 Recap

USCSA NJ Conference Regular Season Results

Women’s Alpine Team Overall: Lafayette 1st
Men’s ALpine Team Overall: Lafayette 1st
Women’s Alpine Individuals: Lafayette 1st (Meg Del Col) & 3rd (Julia Mason)
Men’s Alpine Individuals: Lafayette 2nd (Kyle Brinkerhoff) & 3rd (Will Sargent)
Women’s Snowboarder Individuals: Lafayette 1st (Rachel Shore) & 2nd (Jenna Gowell)
Men’s Snowboarder Individuals: Lafayette 1st (Andrew Sanders)
Women’s Freestylists: Lafayette 3rd (Rachel Shore)
Men’s Freestylists: Lafayette 3rd (Reed Shapiro)


Ski and Snowboard Racing Club


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Nationals at Sunday River, ME


On March 7th, 2012 Lafayette’s Women’s Ski Team competed in the giant slalom national championship in Sunday River, ME. The women’s team had never qualified for nationals before and were looking forward to seeing how they could do against some of the best racers in the country, including some racers on european national teams and junior olympic racing programs.

The girls could not have asked for better conditions, as the day brought a gorgeous blue bird sky without a breath of wind in the air. There were many schools from as far as Colorado and Canada competing, but the girls felt that their east coast skiing background would help them with the conditions in Maine. Nevertheless, the course was probably as difficult as the girls had ever raced on, with its alterations in pitch and steep top section forcing them to change their attack constantly throughout the technical sections and long 380 meter vertical drop. The course design foreshadowed a war between these 101 athletes and it didn’t disappoint.

Meg del Col was the first Lafayette girl to race and skied to a strong 34th place finish, skiing the top section well, despite the difficult headwall there throwing the skiers way out to the left. She stayed close to the gates and took a very aggressive line down the mountain. Meg and Julia Mason (57th) put their excellent conditioning to good use, skiing with great precision down this difficult course- a course twice as long as any GS course the girls had raced on during the season. On a course like this your legs really start to burn at the bottom of the 53 gates when the lactic acid is setting in and muscles are screaming in agony as you fight the fatigue, trying to negotiate the last few gates before the finish corral. Despite Lafayette’s efforts, 24 year old Matea Ferk from Croatia, skiing for Sierra Nevada College won the giant slalom national championship that day. In the Friday slalom race, Meg del Col showed her dedication in deciding to hike a missed gate on the 1st run, just so she could have an opportunity for a second run. Julia Mason came in 55th, but overall it was a tough day for the Lafayette girls. Kia Mosenthal from Brown University ended up winning the slalom title.


For the snowboarders, freshman Rachel Shore had a brilliant 1st run, using every ounce of technical skill she possessed to finish in 4th place before stumbling on her second run. Nevertheless, she showed the nationals field she knew how to generate serious speed and still came in 13th overall after that terrific first run. You can’t keep lightning in a bottle, and Rachel kept building on her strong regular season and regionals performances, showing she could compete at each subsequent level.


Freestyle competitor and Easton rail jam frequenter, Reed Shapiro competed at nationals in the slopestyle and skier-cross competition. He made the finals in slopestyle finishing in 9th place, and came in 24th place out of 76 competitors in skier cross. His 9th place finish garnered him 2nd team All-American honors for slopestyle. 

Despite not reaching the same level of success they were accustomed to at the conference and regional level, the Lafayette women’s ski team was thrilled just to be able to compete on a world class race course with some of the best athletes in the country. They all had a great time taking part in nationals and the experience they gained from competing on such a difficult stage will translate to invaluable experience for building towards next season’s success.


Regionals at Snowshoe, WV

The USCSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Ski and Snowboard Championships took place at Snowshoe Mountain, WV this year. While Lafayette had qualified for regionals many times in the past, this year had a different excitement surrounding it, as our team felt for the first time that we could make a serious run at qualifying for nationals. In previous years our team had been happy just to qualify for regionals, this year we were hungry for something more, to really go out there and prove we belonged with the elite programs in the region.

On Friday, the giant slalom event took place. What should have taken three hours, dragged on all day as our patience was severely tested with a lightning and thunderstorm that threatened to call off the race entirely.  As we sat in the lodge for hours waiting out the storm, trying to stay mentally prepared was difficult as we felt the competition would never start up again. Half of our competitors were even stuck in the woods for hours in the pelting rain, unable to get to lodging as the chairlift was suspended indefinitely for safety due to the lightning in the area. Finally, just when we thought it would never end, the lightning abated and the race was re-started. However, due to time constraints all competitors were limited to just one run as opposed to the customary two, which threw off those of us who were really gambling on improving on our second runs.

At the same time, the warm weather coupled with the rain caused the snow on the course to get soft and rutty, and made it especially difficult for our skiers skiing in the latter half of the group.  Yet somehow, our women’s team skied to an amazing 2nd place finish that day with Meg (4th), Julia (5th), and Catey (27th), managing to edge out Virginia Tech by 2 seconds. In a competitive race where tenths of a second could decide several place spots, Rebekah Scharfe and Sam Ladell did admirably as they were forced to ski on longer, stiffer skis they weren’t accustomed to due to the FIS minimum ski length restrictions imposed at regionals. They managed a solid 28th and 41st place finish respectively out of the 57 skiers competing despite unfamiliarity with their equipment. The women’s team came in hot with the 1-2 punch of Meg and Julia, but couldn’t overtake the 1st place Penn State juggernaut led by Pennsylvania all-state racer Heather Derr that day.

The men, despite having more temperate expectations coming into regionals, had a surprisingly strong showing that day as well, skiing to a 4th place finish behind Tanner Flanigan (9th), Matt Bernhard, and Kyle Brinkerhoff (both tying for 27th) out of the 17 schools and 72 competitors qualifying. Navy, Penn State, and Lehigh were the only teams that placed ahead of them.  The snowboarders raced that day as well, with Freshman racer Rachel Shore laying down a smoking 3rd place finish at regionals and Andrew Sanders pacing the men’s team with a solid 9th place out of the 46 boarders competing. Meanwhile in the Slopestyle competition, Reed Shapiro, our free-style specialist competed and got the silver, being less than a point behind the 1st place winner after throwing down a back flip to 720 combination.

Connor and Matt at Snowshoe

After that first day of competition both of our teams were in prime position to grab that elusive nationals bid which had escaped us for so long. Going into the Saturday slalom our team was fired up and ready to keep skiing fast. The conditions were drastically different that day as the temperature dropped and brought heavy snowfall. Along with the flat lighting that day, it was difficult to differentiate crucial details in the texture of the snow on the course and see gates up ahead. Nonetheless, our women’s team again raced to a 2ndplace finish edging out James Madison University by a collective 1 second! Meg paced the team with a 3rd place finish. Julia (5th) and Catey (22nd) also contributed to the win. The only team able to overtake them again remained Penn State.

The men’s team, after a solid run the day before had put them in great position to advance to nationals, was in trouble from the get go in the slalom when top racer Tanner Flanigan, skiing blazingly fast down the headwall couldn’t maintain control on the more technical flats near the finish and skied out. When the competition is as good as it is at regionals, losing your best racer is often unrecoverable. While our depth proved solid enough in our own conference to finish top 1 or 2 even when a teammate or two fell, our team could not handle the loss at regionals.  Kyle skied hard to a great 15th place finish, Matt placed 24thand Connor 28th, but it wasn’t enough to advance.  While it was disappointing that men’s team didn’t qualify for nationals, they still have a lot to be proud of as they dominated in the conference and had a great 1st day showing. There is a lot of youth and talent on the men’s team and it is right on the cusp of being nationals bound.

Women with Medals

With 2nd place finishes both days, the Lafayette women’s team was guaranteed a berth to nationals (the top 3 teams advanced) and are eagerly awaiting the next chapter of their dominant skiing season taking place march 5th-10th at Sunday River, Maine.  There they will be tested against some of the best ski racers in the entire country and we are all eagerly awaiting to see what kind of noise they can make at the national championships. They will be making history as it is the first time a Lafayette team has qualified for nationals from regionals. They are also looking forward to avenging their loss against the big time Penn State program, which remained the only team that could handle them at regionals.