For three Stratton Mountain School alpine skiing athletes, Saturday, Nov. 5 was the culmination of a lifetime of hard work and aspiration, with the debut of the U.S. Ski Team’s alpine team in Vail, Colorado.
Nick Krause (SMS ’11), Northborough, Mass.; Brittany Lathrop (SMS ’13), South Londonderry, Vt.; and Libby Gibson (SMS ’13), Jamaica, Vt., were all named to the U.S. Ski Team’s Development Team back in May, and the Saturday ceremony served as the season kick-off, welcoming the U.S. Team members to the new season.
“This was a special event for the SMS athletes on the Development Team,” said SMS Alpine Director Mike Morin. “Although Brit, Libby and Nick have known for several months that they made the U.S. Team, this event really gets the season going and gets them fired up.”
“Nick has been singularly focused this season on improving his skiing and taking it to the next level,” said Morin. “He has been working hard and achieving his goals, and this appointment to the U.S. Ski Team is such an honor for him.”
Krause started last season with some early FIS, top-10s and traveled on to Austria to compete in high-level junior races against the best competitors in the world. He finished seventh in Slalom (SL) in Vienna, first in Super-G (SG) in Sugarloaf, fifth in the Stowe Super Combined, first in SL at Stratton; third in Giant Slalom (GS) at Stowe and two, top-10s at FIS races in Washington. Krause competed in U.S. Nationals. Krause also spent some of his season skiing the College Carnival series, taking two, top-10s.
“At US Nationals last year, Libby emerged as one of the top junior skiers in the country, current USST members included,” said Eric Harlow, SMS Head Women’s Coach. “Her touch and ability to be fast shone through in some really difficult conditions. It was at that event that she began to understand what was actually possible. Lib’s worked so hard to get to this point, but she realizes this is just a step and there is still far to go before she reaches her goals.”
Gibson finished second at J2 Nationals in GS last March and had several impressive results throughout last season. She had two, top-5 finishes at National Junior Races last season, top-10 FIS race finishes, and she scored 10th in SG at U.S. Nationals in Winter Park, Colo.
“Brittany’s family has a tradition of being involved with the USST, so this has long been a goal of hers,” said Harlow. “Before the US D-Team Tryout Camp, very few of the USST coaches had ever seen her ski, but she went determined to show them how talented she is and she did just that. Her ability and competitive spirit will be a great fit for that team. Britt knows it won’t be easy, but she is certainly up for the challenge.”
Lathrop scored seven, top-10s last season in FIS races, University races and National Junior Races in everything from SL to DH, proving her diversity of talent. She consistently stayed in the top-5 for J2s.
Stratton Mountain School is a ski and snowboard academy located at the base of Stratton Mountain. The school is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year (1972-2012). SMS serves students in grades 8 – 12 with winter programs for 7th graders. The SMS community of students, faculty, coaches and staff share the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.