Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes fill ranks of U.S. Ski Teams
Steamboat Springs — Even after being nominated for the U.S. Ski Team seven times, the news never gets old for Steamboat Springs ski racer Anna Marno.
“It’s a little different when you are a veteran,” Marno said. “But it’s not really something you can take for granted. People get cut from the team all the time.”
Still, Marno was pretty confident she would land a spot on the team this year after placing first and third in a pair of February NorAm super-G races in Nakisha Canada. But while she knew she had met the criteria to earn a spot, she also understood the decision would not be clear cut.
“I’m excited when my name is on the list every year,” Marno said. “Every year, you have to re-qualify, and it’s a chance to reflect on a season that went pretty well. I knew I had a couple of good races, and I was close to meeting my goals, but I also knew that I would be on the bubble. There are a lot of good ski racers, and there are no guarantees you will make the team. Making the cut is something that I’m always very proud of.”
The announcement that she was nominated was good news for Marno, and it was good news for Steamboat Springs that she would not be alone on the U.S. Team Alpine squad. For the first time in several years, Steamboat Springs Hig Roberts will represent both the town and his club on the men’s side after earning a nomination to the men’s ‘B” team.
For Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and former national team and Olympic team member Caroline Lalive, the news brought a special sense of pride to the club.
“Hig (Roberts) didn’t take the normal path to the national team,” she said. “He races for Middleburg College and is a great example of what can happen if you never lose sight of your dreams.”
Lalive said that, in the past, ski racers have had to choose between college or the U.S. Ski Team, but things have been changing the past few years. Top ski racers are taking the time to go to college, but have held onto their national team goals. After college, they returns to ski racing, and for some, the doors open again.
“Hig is a perfect example of what can happen,” Lalive said. “I’m so proud that he was named to the team, and I’m so proud of what he has accomplished as a ski racer. It’s every ski racer’s goal to make it to the U.S. Ski Team, but the fact is that there are only five new spots every five years. It’s quite a feat to make it to the U.S. Team. So our club feels a sense of pride by what Hig has done.”
In fact, the club has a lot to be proud about this spring.
There were 15 current and former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes nominated to this year’s team, including Marno, who will be a part of the women’s Alpine “C” team, and Roberts, who earned a place on the men’s Alpine “B” team.
Those athletes will be joined by four freestyle skiers selected for next year’s team, including Jeremy Cota, Ryan Dyer, Sophia Schwartz and Lane Stoltzner. The Nordic combined team was awarded two positions that will be filled by Steamboat Springs brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.
The rest of Steamboat’s nominees will come from the snowboarding program, where six snowboarders will take their places with the U.S. Team. Mick Dierdorff has been notated to the snowboardercross team, and Rosie Mancari was promoted to the women’s development team.
Nik Baden has earned a spot with the men’s pro slopestyle team, and Matt Ladley, Taylor Gold and Arielle Gold will all be a part of the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding teams halfpipe contingent.
“We’re extremely proud for those Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes recently named to the U.S. Ski Team, ” said Jim Boyne, executive director of the SSWSC. “The wide range of winter sports disciplines that these athletes represent is a testament to the breadth and strength of our multi-sport programming; I can’t thank our discipline directors and coaches enough for the training and mentoring they provide to our athletes. It’s no surprise to us that these athletes have achieved this rare success. We are honored to develop, train and encourage these athletes to aim high with goals for their lives, to be passionate and vigilant in pursuing those goals, and to strive to be the best that they can be as athletes and as people.”
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