NENSA is pleased to announce Stratton Mountain School as the 2018 Club of the Year. 2018 was a defining year for cross-country skiing in the United States – and there is only one eastern club that can claim an Olympic Gold medal. While Jessie Diggin’s win in South Korea was the most visible success – the Stratton Mountain School has consistently been a leader in New England and beyond with skiers thriving at all levels of competition.
Stratton has flourished under Sverre Caldwell’s guidance for 38 years, with programming that spans from Bill Koch through the professional SMS T2 racing team. Many Stratton skiers are local kids who start gliding on snow in the West River Bill Koch League – however the program attracts athletes from throughout the US and abroad. Stratton skiers become immersed in a culture of success, many before they know what competition is, by following the lead of coaches and peers – many of whom are National and International Champions.
One telling statistic of Stratton’s success is boasting 23 consecutive years of winning at least one gold medal at Junior National Championships and qualifying at least one athletes for the Junior World Championships team. Stratton skiers and coaches are a staple of our New England Junior National and US World Junior Trips.
During the 2018 season Stratton skiers won six National titles and 12 individual World Cup events. During the FIS Junior World Championships, Ben Ogden was a member of the historic silver medal relay team in Goms, Switzerland and his sister (and Stratton alum) Katharine, won both races at NCAA Championships. Stratton skiers are found at all levels of racing within New England, spanning local Bill Koch club races, Zak Cups, Eastern Cups and low key events like the Cochran’s Skier Cross.
Andrew Newell, four-time Olympian describes his relationship with his home club: “I’m a proud member of the Stratton club so I’m always rooting for other Stratton athletes from wherever I am on the World Cup. To me that really signifies what the ski club model is all about. I came up through the SMS junior camps, attended SMS, raced for the SMS elite team, and will always consider SMS my club no matter what capacity I am racing. Stratton has done a great job welcoming to new skiers of all ages and abilities and because it’s so fun to be a part of a community like Stratton old guys like me enjoy sticking around, I know I’m always welcome at SMS training.”
Congratulations to Stratton athletes and coaches past and present – keep up the good work!