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Bill McGrath – In Memorium

in Announcements, Recent News by Stacey Weston Leave a comment

Dear Friends,
Sadly, Bill’s family announces his passing. It was Bill’s wish that we inform you of this in this way and that we invite you to celebrate his life with us. Details of the service and celebration are below.
With love and appreciation to his many dear friends,
Bill’s Family.
Obituary: William (Bill) Ambrose McGrath
William Ambrose McGrath, familiarly known as “Bill,” gracefully accepted the fate that awaits all of us, dying peacefully at his home in Park City, Utah surrounded by his loving family and close relatives on October 21, 2014. In what can only be described as an untimely death due to complications from colon cancer, he was two weeks short of his 50th birthday.
Known for his many achievements in athletics and engineering, and his extraordinary sense of humor, Bill was born in Hanover, New Hampshire on November 4, 1964, just across the Connecticut River from his home in Norwich, Vermont. After attending Norwich and Hanover schools, he enrolled at the University of Vermont in Burlington where in 1988 he earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering and graduated Cum Laude. While an undergraduate, Bill was a star of the Track and Field team, posting many records for running including the 1,500-meter event, which stands unrivaled to this day. As a testament to his athletic and academic prowess, Bill was the recipient of the prestigious Wasson Athletic Prize, which is awarded to a senior male (and female) student-athlete who has demonstrated a high level of athletic achievement and has maintained the highest standard of academic scholarship.
Upon graduation, Bill pursued a number of engineering and teaching positions. He worked for a prominent engineering firm in Boston, where he also ran professionally; he built a state-of-the-art water treatment plant in Sarasota, Florida; and he taught chemistry at Burke Mountain Academy in Lyndonville, Vermont. Bill returned to the University of Vermont and in 1997 earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.
Shortly after earning his graduate degree, Bill married Darci Thompson, a native of Golden, British Columbia, Canada who was working in the United States as a nurse. The couple eventually moved to Park City, Utah where they acquired a beautiful home in proximity to an active ranch. From this home, they enjoyed spectacular views of the Wasatch mountain range and the Park City Mountain resort. Darci and Bill shared a deep passion for the mountains and wilderness and enjoyed a rich, adventurous outdoor life with their family in Utah.
Bill and Darci have two sons, Scott, 15 and Reese, 13. Bill was deeply and joyfully committed as a father and was wildly successful in this role. He brought his broad and humorous world-view to the education of his children. He was the patient teacher, the wise mentor, always the facilitator, the advocate, the coach, and the greatest fan of his boys. His enthusiasm for his boys’ athletics helped them excel in hundreds of hockey and soccer games, swim meets and ski races. He was tirelessly playful, endlessly adventurous and always so much fun. His complete devotion to Scott and Reese has poised them well for the next stages of their lives and his paternal legacy will usher them successfully into adulthood.
In his adult years, Bill enjoyed outstanding success and notoriety as a masters’ ski racer. Dueling with his friend and long time rival Tyler Palmer, Bill won the New England Sise Cup championship on several occasions. After moving to Park City, Bill became known as “The Sheriff” for his dominance of the Intermountain Masters’ ski racing circuit. Always a strong ski racer, Bill impressed his fellow competitors with his strength and elegance on the slopes.
In Park City, Bill was a smart, ambitious, and well-respected professional. Under his leadership, several grand hotels in Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley and The Canyons were built. His deluxe hotel for Marriott at the base of the Park City ski lifts was brought in on time for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. Today, these elegant edifices stand as some of the most impressive hotel/condominiums in any American ski resort.
One of Bill’s significant contributions to the Park City community, and one he was most proud of, was his involvement with the Summit Ski Team, where he advocated growing the club as a family and community based organization, touching many lives.
Amiable and angular, Bill had the perfect build and temperament to excel at track and field and ski racing, to mentor junior ski racers, and to genuinely touch the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him. His legacy is embodied in his family and his many friendships in New England and the Intermountain West.
Bill is survived by his wife Darci, his two sons Scott and Reese, as well as his mother Susan Morgan of Bozeman, Montana, his father Robert of Washington D. C. and his siblings Felix of Oslo, Norway, Rob of Manchester Center, Vermont and his sister Swithin of Bozeman, Montana. He will be greatly missed by his closest and dearest relatives, by his loyal dog Bugsy and devoted cat Buzz, and by his many friends and admirers.
A non-denominational Memorial Service will be held in Park City at the Temple Har Shalom on November 1, 2014, at 4:00. A celebration of Bill’s life will follow the service. (Address: 3700 N Brookside Ct, Park City, UT 84060). Donations may be made to the Bill McGrath Memorial Fund, Youth Sports Alliance, P.O. Box 681698, Park City, Utah 84068.

Rod Taylor – In Memorium

in Announcements, Recent News by Stacey Weston 1 Comment

Rod Taylor: A memorial written by his dear friend Sara Sherter

Rod Taylor sustained a sudden and fatal heart attack on July 5th at his beloved Woodbury Ski Area in CT.

An enthusiastic and flamboyant supporter of Masters Ski Racing, Rod battled his way down Masters’ race courses for almost two decades, consistently medaling in both SL and DH at Regionals and Nationals.

A world-class athlete, he occupied a spot on the US A-team from 1968 to 1971, racing World Cup along with the likes of Tyler Palmer and Hank Kashiwa. He was named US Downhill Champion and won Aspen’s famed Roche Cup in 1970. Rod went on to race on the World Pro Skiing circuit at its highest point, competing against Bobby Cochran, Otto Tsuchdi, Henri Duvillard, and his best pal; Spider Sabich.

In a pile of photos and press clippings I found a candid polaroid signed: “Rod – To the most exciting person I know – Jean-Claude Killy”.

Rod came to ski racing late, but his first race is legend. He tore up a sheet, sewed white stripes down the sides of some black stretch pants, grabbed his skis and a football helmet and hitchhiked to Cannon Mountain. Running with bib number 200-and-something, he came in 11th. The result was noted by a scout and on Rod went to the US team; three years later he was running in the Hahnenkamm.

Everything about Rod was BIG; big guy, big ego, big dreams, big competitive streak, big optimism, big, (sometimes questionable) outfits, big talent, big mouth, big innovator, big presence, but mostly big heart. He loved to promote, mentor and encourage skiing on every level.

At Masters’ races Rod would always drop by the women’s start often in a zebra speed suit, and cheer us on with his trademark “Let’s go Big Timer!” In his own races he went crazy fast, approaching each course with glee and great gusto.

Being organized was never a concern for Rod. He thought nothing of jumping on a plane to head to Nationals without having skied all season. He would charge into a parking lot at a race, stuff falling out of his vehicle, and slam his dangling speed suit sleeves in the car door. In the hurried trudge across the parking lot, he’d probably lose his goggles and at least one shin guard. If he forgot something important he’d make do, as long as he got his race in.

Details didn’t faze him. Twice I found his wallet lying somewhere in a starting area. Once I found his car keys, another time the key to his hotel room lying in the snow.

Rod was incredibly strong – whether muscling his way down a SL, fighting big air in a DH, flinging willing and unwilling partners across a dance floor, taking out the sidewalls of a tennis court while jumping for a shot, or urging a horse over a solid and imposing stone wall on a hunter pace, to the absolute horror of his equestrian, saintly and stoic wife Carolyn.

When he tore an Achilles heal, he opted to “let it heal on it’s own”. He was never a drinker and an ibuprofen made him dizzy.

Rod’s passion was directed towards Carolyn, (“Honey gotta get to my start- you can get down to the finish area from here, later!” – he left her teetering at the top of “Jaws of Death”), and Woodbury Ski Area.

There is hardly a ski resort in either hemisphere that hasn’t heard the voice of Rod on a chairlift saying “Hi there! Ever heard of Woodbury Ski Area?”

We never called it Woodbury Ski Area, it was simply “Rod’s Place”. Rod took every opportunity to bring fun and love of sport – any sport – to his place in the northern hills of CT.

“Woodbury, Home of Big Powder” was his standard line on an incoming call.

In the summer, at the high point, his Reggae Fests drew thousands to perch on his hill. Rod made videos of the concerts and would head into the city to sell them on 42nd Street – at night. Skateboard parks, and huge into-the-water ski jumps have beckoned high-flyers from around New England.

In the latest Woodbury brochure glamorizing the “15 runs” of the area, I was surprised he didn’t offer heli-skiing off the back bowl.

In winter, the area has been a mecca to snowboarders, boasting one of the first half-pipes, a terrain park where shovels were left on the hill to encourage jump building, and many ‘Big Air” contests. Then came expansion and tubing -12 tubing runs providing various degrees of excitement. Before Rod died, his latest addition was zip-lining, both summer and winter.

Up to 5 or 6 high school teams trained at Rod’s every ski season. Many kids made their racing “bones” on the hill at Woodbury. Masters racers were always welcome. Grab a drill, a wrench, some gates and have at it. “Oh, and this is how you turn on the lift”. A great slalom hill, there was however some competition for space in the earlier years.

At that time, anything you could wrestle to the top was a go for the descent. I was running SL once and a bicycle with studs on the tires went flying by through the adjacent half-pipe. Another time, crusty, bearded men of dubious age wearing flannel shirts, jeans, and work boots with steel scrapers riveted to the toes, scorched me as they practiced for a 90mph downhill on Flexible Flyers. Training one New Years Eve, I leaned over to wrench in a gate and felt the apparent wind created by a blue and white ticked mattress full of revelers skidding by at about 30mph.

Forty-three Masters Regional and National medals hang in the “office” at Rod’s place. When you look up that hill you can imagine Rod pummeling his way through a SL course, goggles askew and shin guards flying every which way but clocking a very fast time. He doesn’t pause at the end of the course before getting huge air off a jump, over-shooting, and landing on the flat with an ear-splitting THWACK- grinning from ear to ear.

So long Big Timer, gone too soon.

Sise Cup Champions

in Announcements, Race Overview, Recent News by Katie Green Leave a comment

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Sise Cup Champions of 2014

The 2014 Sise Cup Champions of the 2014 season are Ben Green and Lisa Marien! Both had to battle to the end of the season to claim victory over their peers. 2014 GS Champion Mark George and 2014 Slalom Champion Aaron Donnan made a run for the Overall in the last few weeks, but came up short after Ben Green won the Suicide Six Slalom and Waterville Slalom to solidify his victory by 205 Sise Cup points. Meanwhile, the women’s Overall Sise Cup came down to a tie between Alex Andrews and Lisa Marien. The daughter of speedster Don Andrews, was just edged out after Marien won both the Waterville Giant Slalom and Slalom to take the trophy. This ends a great season with an amazing schedule that included many weekends of speed, steeps and spills! Congratulations to all the Sise Cup Class winners and the Overall Champions!

Meet The Winners

Lisa Marien
Lisa began her days on the long boards at Wachusett Mountain, where she first skied at age 3. She started in the mountain’s racing program at age 6 and was a natural. She continued on to Waterville Valley Academy where she graduated and then decided to take some time off from ski racing to pursue softball and ice hockey in college. After graduating from St. Michael’s College in Vermont, Lisa was unable to stay away from racing long. She took on the assistant coaching position at Essex High School to give back to the sport she loved. Looking to get back into racing herself, her fellow ski coach and Masters racer, introduced her to the New England Masters circuit six years ago. She has been hooked ever since and vying for the Overall Women’s Sise Cup!

Ben Green
Ben began his racing days at King Pine ski resort in East Madison, NH. As he progressed into the USSA J3 age bracket, he transitioned to Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, NH where he qualified for the Junior Olympics. Ben continued his racing career at Clarkson University, while finishing his degree in Civil Engineering. He attended several USCSA Nationals with his team. After college Ben began racing in the New England Masters Circuit in 2007, where he caught the bug to chase victory for the Sise Cup!

Class Champions

MEN 90-99 (M14)
CALVERT, RICHARD

MEN 80-84 (M12)
SEVIGNY, ALPHONSE
MACNEIL, GEORGE
RICH, PAUL

WOMEN 75-79 (F11)
BRITTON, ROBERTA
SWEENEY, CAROL A

MEN 75-79 (M11)
WISSE, DOUGLAS
BRITTON, DAVID
BRODT, PHILIPP

WOMEN 70-74 (F10)
NORDHOY, ANNE
STEWART, CAROL

MEN 70-74 (M10)
LUSSIER, JOHN
FOLEY, STEPHEN
DE PAOLI, GUILLAUME

MEN 65-69 (M9)
MCCOLLOM, WILLIAM
NEUBAUER, PEPI
CULLMAN, DUNCAN

WOMEN 60-64 (F8)
SETTEL, BARBARA
STUART, MARSHA
BERLACK, CINDY

MEN 60-64 (M8)
TRUCKENBROD, HANS
CUTTING, ERIC
MCLUSKY, JAMIE

WOMEN 55-59 (F7)
VAUGHN, MARGARET
WESTON, STACEY
LANE, PATTI

MEN 55-59 (M7)
GEORGE, MARK
SERTL, MARK
JEFFERSON, RICHARD

WOMEN 50-54 (F6)
KNORTZ, NOREEN
SPEARS, ELIZABETH
HANRIGHT, MARTHA

MEN 50-54 (M6)
DONNAN, AARON
GRIGGS, DEREK
SEVACK, LLOYD

WOMEN 45-49 (F5)
AUDET, CINTHIA
ORSINI, GAE
GEARHEART, DAWN

MEN 45-49 (M5)
MASUR, STEVEN
HARRIS, DAVID
SPOONER, JOHN

WOMEN 40-44 (F4)
ADAMS, DEBORAH
WOLOSHIN, MICHELLE

MEN 40-44 (M4)
STEWART, SHANNON
CLANCY, JOHN
OUELLETTE, STEVE

WOMEN 35-39 (F3)
PARKER, KIRSTIE
BELTZ, SHANNAN
TEMPLE, MICHELLE

MEN 35-39 (M3)
WHEELER, SCOTT
BOURQUE, STEPHANE
ROGERS, CHRISTOPHER

WOMEN 30-34 (F2)
MARIEN, LISA
ZAMOLODCHIKOV, DARIA
BUCHHOLZ, KRISTIN

MEN 30-34 (M2)
GREEN, BENJAMIN
OCCHI, ANDREA
EGNATZ, JOSHUA

WOMEN 18-29 (F1)
ANDREWS, ALEXANDRA
LEVY, JACQUELINE
HIGHT, JENNA

MEN 18-29 (M1)
KNORTZ, CHRIS
LUK, PATRICK
KNORTZ, MATTHEW

The View from the Finish Line

in Announcements, Recent News by Katie Green 1 Comment

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Our Very Own Bill McCollom’s New Book is Available Now!

In The View from the Finish Line you can relive highlights from Bill’s fifteen years of writing for Ski Racing magazine! Remember all the exciting ski racing moments from Bill’s perspective, including stories about everyone from Al Sise to Bode Miller. If you are quick, you can even get Bill to sign it at a Masters race!  

**Hochgebirge Challenge Cup Team Race**

in Announcements, Recent News by Katie Green Leave a comment

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Racers get your teams set! The 2014 edition of the Hochgebirge Challenge Cup is upon us!

That’s right, think good food, awesome costumes, fast skiing, crashes & PRIZES!!  Race is a slalom (one of the most exciting on the Sise Cup tour) held at Cannon Mountain, NH on Saturday Feb 22, 2014. While this race is part of the New England Masters Sise Cup Series it is also a team race. This harkens back to the early days of alpine ski racing (the race was first run in 1931!!) when team racing was an important component of competition. 

Teams of four can be registered the morning of the event at the bottom of the race hill. Team fee is $20 and teams can be made up of any mix of ages and gender. Teams comprised of four ladies may compete for the Harding trophy…teams of four gentlemen or mixed composition can compete for the Hochgebirge Challenge Cup. There are also age group awards with teams being entered in the category of the youngest member of the team.

Awards will be presented at the Hochgebirge “Hilton”…with raffles and history/ski racing trivia by the fire. Dinner is available and refreshments offered.  Don’t forget, the best costume wins an awesome prize!!  So bring your best duds and get voted #1 by your fellow NEMSies!!  AND…There will be a pair of 192 Bomber GS Race skis with a 27m radius from Artech up for raffle as the Grand Prize!!

Additionally the Sandra Bolduc Award for Questionable Skiing Behavior will be awarded for just that. Racers may also check out the KHS Flite 720 road bike that will be raffled at the Sise Cup finals at Waterville Valley in March. Don’t miss this!!

Steve Masur Wins World Cup Race Skis

in Announcements by Katie Green Leave a comment

Suicide6_CashWinner

Thanks to our sponsor Artech, NEMS raffled off a pair of Bomber World Cup race skis at the Cannon awards.  Steve “Big Red” Masur was the winner, proving again this year he’s not only smoking fast, but he’s also lucky!!

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