Sara Radamus attains Middlebury College’s highest athletic achievement
MIDDLEBURY, Vermont — Sara Radamus learned last week that she will be inducted into the Middlebury College Hall of Fame this year for her achievements in skiing and tennis while she was a student there. The Ski & Snowboard Club Vail head alpine coach was a member of the class of 1979 at Middlebury.
“To be considered Hall of Fame worthy is unbelievable,” Radamus said.
Before attending Middlebury, Radamus was a member of the first graduating class of Stratton Mountain School, also in Vermont. In selecting a college, she said she was looking for something small with a good academic program. She also wanted to attend a school where she could play tennis and ski competitively.
“I knew Middlebury would give me a chance to pursue my athletics while I was fully engaged in new and challenging studies,” she said. “Middlebury College embraced and fully supported its women’s teams, which made a huge difference to my athletic successes and my academic standing.”
Radamus went on to become a top-four finisher in the slalom three times, while placing in the top five of the giant slalom during all four years. Her top performance came during her senior year in 1979, when she won the national championship in the giant slalom.
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A four-year member of the women’s tennis team, Radamus played in the No. 1 or 2 spot for the Panthers during her time on the courts. She was also a captain during her junior and senior seasons. She was named the College Competitor of the Year by Ski Racing Magazine, while earning the Broderick Award for the Most Outstanding Achievement for Alpine Skiing in Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics. Radamus also served as an alpine team captain for three consecutive years.
She was also an all-American ski racer all four years at Middlebury, but during her senior year it nearly didn’t happen, she recalls in a memory from her fourth year at College Nationals.
“I had been a three-time All American and knew I had a good chance to repeat and even perhaps take the top spot,” she recalls. “I was sitting in a disappointing fifth place after the first run. My coach was nervous and said, ‘If you just make it to the finish, our team will win the national title.’ OK, moment of truth for me. I looked at the coach and said: ‘Well, I’m going to go for it. I’ll either win or I’ll fall.’ You should have seen the look on his face; I did go for it and fortunately it worked out as I did end up on the top of the podium. Yup, coach was happy, and we did win the national title.”
Radamus went on to herself become a coach, beginning in 1982 when she was the women’s Nor Am coach at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail working with the club’s top women racers. From 1983-86, she was the head J2 coach for both men and women before leaving for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club where she held the same position until 1991. From 1991-94, Radamus was the head women’s coach at Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club where she also served as the director of recruiting for the newly implemented ski racing program at the Lowell Whiteman School. From 1994-2009, Sara worked with a number of athletes as a private coach in Vail and Park City. In 2010, she returned to the Ski &Snowboard Club Vail alpine staff full time as assistant J3 coach.
When her athletes need to choose a school to attend, she always recommends Middlebury.
“Over the past 30 years of recommending my alma mater to athletes who have asked, I would say I am proud of all of them,” she said. “To name a few — Nate Bryan, Davy Bryan, Randi Borgen, Christophe Neiderhauser, Mary Sackbauer, Bryan Shpall, Bobby Poehling, Krissie Poehling — so many incredible people.”
Radamus said part of the secret to Middlebury’s success is in something other schools will never be able to duplicate — its geography.
“Middlebury College is fortunate to have its own ski area, Middlebury College Snow Bowl,” Radamus said. “This helps draw many great racers but, even more so, many avid skiers to attend school in Middlebury. Many of the graduates have gone on to open ski shops, become coaches for clubs, national teams and colleges, work for ski companies, as well as at ski resorts around the world. The ski industry certainly has benefited from Middlebury’s alumni. And equally the alumni have benefited with a passion for skiing encouraged at Middlebury.”
The induction ceremony for Radamus will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5.