STRATTON, Vt. – Fourteen Stratton Mountain School athletes have been named to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team for the 2018-19 season – more than any other ski academy in the United States. These athletes continue SMS’s tradition of academic and athletic excellence, with more than 100 national team placements and 46 Olympic team placements since the school’s founding in 1972.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced their freeski, cross country, and snowboard teams Nov. 12, with a number of SMS athletes named to each. Olympic silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis returns to the Snowboardcross A-team alongside Alex Deibold, who won the bronze in Snowboardcross during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
“I’m excited to see SMS alumni Lindsey and Alex back on the U.S. Snowboard Team,” said SMS snowboarding director Ross Powers, a two-time Olympic medalist and USSA’s 2015 Domestic Snowboard Coach of the Year. “Both have been on the team for a long time and are still on top of their game. I wish them, and all of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, a successful season.”
Recent graduate Caroline Claire, who became the first actively enrolled Stratton Mountain School student to compete in the Olympics during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, has been named to the U.S. Freeski Team’s Pro Slopestyle contingent. Current student Mac Forehand has also been named to the U.S. Rookie Slopestyle team.
“I am super proud of both Caroline and Mac, and I am so excited to see them compete in the World Cup Slopestyle and Big Air events this season,” said SMS Freeskiing director Jesse Mallis, who was recognized as the 2018 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year last spring. “It’s so awesome that SMS will be represented by these two on the global level.”
Also announced Nov. 12 was the official U.S. Cross Country Team, led by Olympic gold medalist and Stratton Mountain School Elite T2 team member Jessie Diggins. During the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Diggins made history by winning the first gold medal in U.S. Cross Country Skiing in the Team Sprint alongside teammate Kikkan Randall. Diggins is joined on the U.S. Cross Country A-Team by SMS alum and two-time Olympian Sophie Caldwell as well as three-time Olympian Simi Hamilton. Patrick “Paddy” Caldwell, who also competed for the U.S. in PyeongChang, has been named to the Cross-Country B-Team.
Three members of the SMS T2 team have also been named to the U.S. Cross Country Development Team including Katharine Ogden, Ben Ogden, and Julia Kern.
“We are proud to have such a strong group on the U.S. Ski Team,” said SMS Nordic director Sverre Caldwell, USSA’s 2015 Domestic Coach of the Year and a member of the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame. “Everyone is looking strong and we are excited to start the race season!”
U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced their official selections for their Alpine team Nov. 15, including athletes Alice Merryweather, who competed in her first Olympic Games in PyeongChang last year, Nicholas Krause, and George Steffey.
“We are very proud of our SMS alums being named to the U.S. Ski Team,” said SMS Alpine director Mike Morin, who was recognized by the Vermont Alpine Racing Association as the 2018 Development Coach of the year, and by U.S. Ski and Snowboard as the 2017 Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year. “Alice and Nick will both be full time on the FIS World Cup this season, while George will be working to rehab a knee injury sustained training SG in Chile. We wish them all good luck and successful seasons.”