Nordic program enhances SSCV’s strong list of disciplines
With cooler temperatures in the valley and leaves tinged with gold, there’s no doubt Fall is on it’s way to the high country as well as some changes for the winter at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
For the first time in the club’s recent history, SSCV will offer a competitive Nordic Program. Over the years, SSCV has produced several United States Alpine Ski Team athletes, National Snowboard champions and NCAA competitors, but until now, has not offered a cross country ski program.
Aldo Radmus, executive director of SSCV, is excited about adding Nordic to the club’s array of disciplines saying this is something he’s felt the club has needed for some time.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce the sport to younger skiers while providing support to those already established in the sport,” says Radamus. “Offering Nordic with the other winter sports available at SSCV puts Vail on the map with prominent ski areas around the state such as Aspen, Steamboat, Summit County, Durango and Crested Butte.”
Dan Weiland, a native of Vail who competed in Nordic for Battle Mountain High School and was the National Junior Nordic Champion in 1992, has been named Nordic program director/head Nordic coach at SSCV. Weiland, who in his spare time competes as an adventure racer, has served as head high school Nordic coach at Vail Mountain School for the past 6 years.
Although Weiland will continue to be involved at the high school level, he’ll now concentrate most of his efforts on the Rocky Mountain Division level of skiing, bringing more young athletes to a higher level of racing.
With this new position, Weiland says his goals now are much broader.
“We want to reach kids when they’re young and introduce them to the healthy sport of Nordic and the way to do this is to make it fun,” says Weiland, thus the name of SSVC’s K-4th grade program – the “Fun Squad.”
This program begins December 1st with practices on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Vail Nordic Center. The group will have five local races throughout the winter at the Vail Nordic Center.
The middle school program, open to grades 5th to 8th, begins dry land training November 8th and practices will be held Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Weiland says the middle school program is designed to increase the level of good Nordic skiers in the valley and says this group will travel to various Rocky Mountain Division races around the state.
“Again, this program will be based on fun and the introduction to traveling to races will just add to that,” says Weiland.
Last but not least, is the high school program, which Weiland says will consist of two teams – a development team and a select team.
The development team is designed for the high school racer and/or the first time racer who wants to take the sport to the next level of competition. Weiland says his goal here is to create student athletes who want to excel at the next level of the sport while maintaining a fun and vibrant atmosphere. This group begins dry land training October 4th and will consist of 3-4 days of training throughout the season.
The high school select team will be a very intensive program, focusing on race preparation and tactics and proper training techniques. The goal for this group, says Weiland, is to develop athletes who have the ability to race at the college level or U.S. Ski team level. This group will travel extensively during the winter, culminating with Junior Nationals at Lake Tahoe next March.
“We’re excited about all of the Nordic programs we’re offering at SSVC this winter and what it will provide here in the valley,” says Weiland. “We have some very talented kids and this opens up a lot of possibilities for our young athletes. At the very least, it’s a great way to help kids attain higher goals athletically while promoting a healthy outdoor lifestyle.”
An important meeting about the SSCV Nordic program will be held Tuesday, August 31st, at 5:30 p.m. at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. For more information, call SSCV at 476-5119, or e-mail Dan Weiland at email@example.com.