Six members of the girls’ varsity hockey team competed at the 2019 Chipotle USA Hockey Nationals. Olivia Branch ‘20, Drea Chin ‘19, Sydney Fascetta ‘19, Darby Palisi ‘19, and Morgan Sisson ‘19 played for the Concord Capitals while Katrina Grzeszczuk ‘20 represented the St. Lawrence Steel. The Concord Capitals made it all the way to the championship game but ultimately fell to the Boston Jr. Eagles 6-1. Katrina was the second leading goal scorer for the Steel.
Our eastern alpine team was represented by Claudia Cantin ‘19, Hayden Dahl ‘19, and Andrea Reynolds ‘20 at the US Senior and Junior National Championships where they competed against top racers from around the country, including some members of US Ski Team.
Over 2,000 miles away from the Holderness campus at Copper Mountain in Colorado, Jamie Bayha ‘19, Jared Carr ‘20, Bram Hikmate ‘22, Charlie Morris ‘21, Jack Spence ‘19, and Ian Switzer ‘21 competed in the 2019 USASA National Championships as members of the eastern freeski team. Three Holderness students finished in the top ten of the Freeski Junior Men competition. Ian Switzer claimed a spot on the podium, finishing third, and Jamie Bayha and Jared Carr finished sixth and eighth respectively.
Some of these late season competitors share thoughts about their experiences from the national championships:
“It was an amazing experience to share with my teammates and family. The competition was great, and even though we lost in the finals it was a memorable way to end my youth hockey career. I am very thankful to have been a part of such an amazing team for the last four years.”
“Nationals this year was the best tournament we played in. Even though the core of the team had been together for years, I really felt like we became closer on and off the ice. We were able to go to Niagara Falls, and also see Buffalo play Ottawa. Only having one game a day, gave us a lot of time to bond and go explore the city. I had played for the Concord Capitals for 14 years and this was the farthest I had ever made it, and it was also the best team I had ever played with.”
“Our team had an unforgettable experience at the National Tournament this year. After a disappointing loss in a shootout to open the tournament, I don't think any of us imagined ourselves making it all the way to the championship game. With that being said, from there on out, we played every game with heart and determination. Our tenacity and hard work earned us a position to play for #1 in the nation. Although we came up short to a tough Boston Jr. Eagles team, #2 in the nation is a great feat and our run in Buffalo was an experience we will never forget.”
“I knew that nationals would not be like other races I had been to because it was the most competitive race I have ever qualified for, so I was excited to pit myself against some US Ski Team members. I would say that the highlight of my experience was going up against Nina O'Brien in the dual panel slalom event. I find it rewarding to go to these events because the challenge of skiing with people like Nina O'Brien makes you push yourself to the edge.”
“Nationals was a really cool experience. To ski race against kids who have raced in the World Cup was really awesome, especially at Waterville, which is a place I have been racing at since I was a kid. It was also great to ski the Super G race at Mittersill where we have skied all year and where I have been skiing since I was four years old.”
“I had an awesome experience at Nationals. It was a unique opportunity to not only race against but get to know the best ski racers in the world - some of whom I have only seen on a TV screen before. To be able to have the race out here in New Hampshire made it that much sweeter.”
“My time in Colorado was definitely all time, with great conditions and even better people. Our group found great success in the Slopestyle discipline and we acquired a great amount of video footage showing our new and perfected tricks from both Keystone and Copper Mountain. On our last day, we skied in some light and fluffy powder before trekking back to Denver to catch our flight that evening. The whole trip was a blast, even though I fell in my first run, and it opened my mind to the aspects of a great team environment and how our team really embodies all characteristics of a friendly yet competitive team.”
“We were out in Copper, Colorado for 7 nights. We trained for six days and explored the mountain. My competition day was the day before we left. One memorable moment for me was hanging out at the summit of the mountain while it was 60 degrees. It seemed strange that I was at a high elevation with such nice weather. We looked out at the surrounding mountains and scoped out where avalanches had started, and what they brought down with them. The views were like nothing on the east coast.”