Ford, Cochran-Siegle win Golden Ski Award

Posted By: The Ski Channel on May 11, 2010 6:45 am

Franconia, NH – The Eastern Ski Writers Association (ESWA) has awarded Julia Ford (Plymouth, N.H.; U.S. Development Team) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Bristol, Vt.; Mt. Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club) with the 2010 Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award. It is the unprecedented third consecutive season that Ford has captured the female honor.

The winners will be officially recognized at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia on Friday, June 4 during a 5-7 p.m. ceremony.

The Golden Ski Award was named in memory of long-time snowsports journalist Don A. Metivier in the 1960s and was awarded to the top male and female skiers in the East until 1975 when the ski was lost. Three years ago the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts and in that donation was the Golden Ski, prompting the ESWA to revitalize the honor; this time awarding the top junior athletes.

“The Golden Ski Award is the oldest and most unique junior skier prize in existence,” said Golden Ski chairman Jim Gregory. “Except for the 33 years when the ski was misplaced, it has been presented to the top Eastern Junior male and female skiers since 1975.”

A graduate of Holderness and a three-year member of the U.S. Development Team, Ford was the top women’s junior in slalom (9th) and giant slalom (13th) at the 2010 U.S. Alpine National Championships at Whiteface Mountain, NY. She was also the top junior in downhill during the U.S. title race in Aspen, Colorado (7th). At the 2010 World Junior Championships in France, she was the top American woman in every event but giant slalom.

“I’m so proud to be from the East and that this award exists to recognize Eastern skiers,” said Ford. “Winning three years in a row is pretty special. I’ve gone to the ceremony every year. There’s always a good amount of people there, the food is great and it’s just down the road from my house, so my family is able to celebrate too.”

On the NorAm circuit Ford captured top 10 finishes in every event, including a super combined win at Panorama, British Columbia. She closed her season by racing at the Swedish National Championships where she finished second in the downhill behind World Cup great Anja Paerson and third in super G behind Kajsa Kling and Paerson.

Ski racing is in Cochran-Siegle’s blood. His mother is 1972 Olympic slalom gold medalist, Barbara Ann Cochran. His uncle Bobby Cochran and two aunts Marilyn Cochran-Brown and Lindy Cochran-Kelley are also alpine Olympians and his three cousins — Jimmy Cochran (Keene, N.H.), Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, Vt.), and Tim Kelley (also Starksboro) — are currently on the U.S. Ski Team.

“I was really excited to hear about this award, it’s a big honor for the East,” said Cochran-Siegle, who graduates high school in June, then plans on attending U.S. Development Team camps in Mt. Hood and Chile. “My spring couldn’t have gone much better. I came into U.S. Championships with a good mindset and then kept things rolling.”

“Ryan really stood out in speed races this year,” said ESWA member Peggy Shinn. “Not only did he score four podiums in downhill and super G in the Eastern Cup series, but at nationals, he finished the super G just one one-hundredth behind 2010 Olympian Tommy Ford.”

En route to the Golden Ski Award, Cochran-Siegle captured the Junior National super G title at the U.S. Championships. He also took the overall Eastern Cup title with six top two finishes a FIS races, including wins in downhill and giant slalom.

“As a former junior ski racer from the East who competed on the U.S. Ski Team, I have huge admiration for Ryan’s and Julia’s accomplishments last winter,” said ESWA member Lisa Densmore. “The East is the powerhouse of ski racing in the United States. Many of the top ski racers are from this region. To be the top of the East, which Ryan and Julia are, is to be at the best among their peers throughout the country.”

The ESWA is the Eastern division of the North American Snowsports Journalists Association, a professional organization consisting of major media members who cover skiing and snowboarding. The Golden Ski Award is underwritten by the support of Doyle & Doyle Communications and K2 Skis.

Golden Ski History

    * 1969: Tyler Palmer, Karen Middleton
    * 1970: Charles Bent, Karen Middleton
    * 1971: Judy McNealus, Rod Taylor
    * 1972: Jody Palmer, Laurent Gaudin
    * 1973: Jerry McNealus, No female winner
    * 1974: No award
    * 1975: Holly Flanders, Scott Light
    * 1976-2007: Award Lost
    * 2008: Bump Heldman, Julia Ford
    * 2009: Nolan Kasper, Julia Ford
    * 2010: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Julia Ford