Clockwise from top left: Elsie, Logan, Camden, Hannah
We are proud to recognize BBSEF student-athletes as they prepare for the next level of success on snow and off. Congratulations to Elsie, Hannah, Logan and Camden for recent achievements. It takes a lot of energy to manage schoolwork, equipment and prepare for competition. They make it happen at school, on the ski hill and beyond.
Elsie C. (U19) and Logan C. (Alum) have been named candidates in the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors 161 of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. It is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
Hannah C. (Mitey Mite Coach) On National Signing Day, Hannah signed a letter of intent to attend Montana State University. A standout in Track and Cross Country, she is excited to compete at the college level.
Camden M. (U16) was recognized with an Idaho Gold Key for Poetry by the Scholastic Young Writers Awards. Her work will now be judged at the National Level.
One day Brenden Fitzgerald joined his family for lunch at Brundage Mt. and announced that he had spent the morning skiing with his team. “What team?” asked his Mother. “The race team,” said 8-year-old Brenden. So began the Fitzgerald’s family journey into ski racing.
He started race training at McCall, ID and later moved to Bogus Basin. “The Juniors Travel Team was roughly equivalent to today’s U14-16s. That meant midweek training,” said Brenden. He joined BBSRA to train after school.
He remembers racing the Majestic Downhill before Chair 6 was open. He and his teammates would ride Chair 3 and then hike to the top of Majestic. “This was in the days before B-Netting,” said Brenden. “We would race down Majestic between rock piles.”
The lineup at his first Juniors event was by points, not age. “Everyone started at Novice, then progressed to Intermediate and on to Expert. The interesting thing about it was, you could be 14 and travelling around with a bunch of 18-year olds,” said Brenden. Undeterred, Brenden qualified for the J3 Junior Olympics and took second place in the Mt. Bachelor Downhill.
In high school Brenden turned his attention to football. “I took a break from skiing for 10+ years. But once the kids came along, I could not wait for them to participate.” Sure enough, all three children joined BBSEF. Mackay raced through U14 and took home the gold in Super G at IMD Champs in Sun Valley. Joe raced through U12 and then coached alongside Coach Demo. Challis raced through U10 and rips right alongside her brothers.
Meanwhile, Brenden and Vicky were in full ski parent mode, helping racers get to and from training and carving turns wherever the team happened to be. “The road trips were super fun! I loved camping with other families at the Broadway Blast,” said Vicky, of annual trips to Anthony Lakes where campers and RVS can park right at the base of the chair.
Brenden shares his perspective as a racer, race parent, volunteer coordinator and 6-year BBSEF board member: “The best thing that happened to BBSEF was the move to IMD from PNSA in the 90s. Prior to that, local teams traveled much further to compete throughout the Northwest.”
“We are so fortunate to have this program here - to have the Training Center and a mountain that works with us. Bogus Basin Events Coordinator JJ McLeod has been a great resource and conduit for communications. Shannon is the brass tacks of BBSEF itself. She is a Level 3 race official. Her technical expertise with putting on a race is phenomenal. The culture that makes BBSEF go are the parents. People who have great passion for outdoor activity and the mountain.”
“Having to be organized and mature enough to manage homework, equipment and do the things to evolve into the next level of racing - It is a great way to grow up.”
“It is so much more than podiums,” he added. “At the end of the day, you put them all on the mountain and let them loose. You don’t say that one got first, that one got second. You say that is a pile of awesome skiers!”
Person of the Week - Scott, Bitterroot Lift Operator
Scott Gives Mitey Mites a Lift
Next time you are out sliding on snow, give a shout of thanks to the Lift Operators!
Lift Operators are the unsung heroes for skiers and snowboarders. They make it possible for us to go up so that we can come right back down again. The Bitterroot crew at Bogus Basin is among the best. Chair 5 gets busy every weekend with BBSEF skiers and riders in training, high school races, and the general public. Yet, they keep things running smoothly so that all can have the best day possible.
Take a look at the BBSEF facebook page for video of our friend Scott helping some of the youngest among us onto the Bitterroot chair. It can be scary loading on your own when you are just starting out. But Scott takes the time to explain exactly what to expect.
Thank you, Scott, for helping kids confidently load the chair and for all you do to make each day great for everyone.