In the past years, the Girls Alpine Skiing has been one of the most successful athletic programs at Concord Academy, winning the Central Massachusetts Ski League (CMSL) in the 2019-20 season. The team practices and races at Wachusett Mountain, typically doing dryland training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and racing on Wednesdays and Fridays. The group competes in two disciplines against other schools in the CMSL: GS (giant slalom) and slalom. In GS, the gates the skiers turn through are set wider and farther apart, whereas in slalom the gates are much tighter.
This year, the team has a particularly young group, consisting of eight underclassmen and five upperclassmen. However, what the group lacks in age experience is made up for in the quality skiing and positive outlook that each athlete brings to the team.
Co-captain Tory Adams ’23 shared, “This season we have a younger team, as accomplished racers like Sara McKenna ’21 and Jessica Bradford ’21 just graduated. Tess and I are hoping to create a very inclusive team atmosphere and help our team defend our title in the Central Mass Ski League.”
Co-captain Tess Mooney ’22 reiterated, “The girls’ team is particularly small and young this year, which gives us a great opportunity to rebuild a post-pandemic season team vibe.”
Creating an enjoyable and enthusiastic environment for the team to train and race in is the main goal of the co-captains. Tess conveyed, “My main goal as a captain is to make sure everyone on the team—regardless of ski race experience or skiing level—feels welcomed and supported.”
Through the past years, both Tess and Tory have made incredible memories with the team, and they hope to give younger racers the same opportunity. Tess observed, “Ski team was the first varsity sport I participated in at CA. I have fond memories of freshman year me being welcomed to the team by the more experienced racers. Since then, I’ve always looked forward to the winter season when I get to spend long bus rides with teammates, increase my strength, and ski laps on Wachusett.”
Tory added, “Ski team is one of my favorite parts about CA. Some of my best memories of the team are the 45-minute bus rides to and from Wachusett where everyone is bonding as a team.”
During dryland training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the team typically goes on runs around Concord. Tess noted, “I love the camaraderie that dryland training builds. Even though winter outdoor exercise can be cold, icy, and uncomfortable, the challenge of our sport helps bring the team closer. There’s nothing more satisfying than completing a tough workout, hiking up a course to get another run, or completing a personal best ski run. It makes me smile to watch my teammates push their limits and do such hard things as a group.”
On Wednesdays and Fridays the team either practices or races at the mountain. The skiers practice in gates and get feedback on how to improve from coaches John McGarry, Peter Jennings, and Alexa Holmes. On race days, the team competes on two side-to-side courses, completing two races in the duration of one night. Tory commented, “There is nothing better than greeting your teammates at the bottom of the race course after they have had an amazing run.” Tory, as one of the more experienced skiers on the team, has won the CMSL for the past two years in a row.
On Wednesday, February 16, the Girls Alpine Ski Team will compete in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Championship. The team placed second two years ago and hopes to come back stronger after this year-long hiatus as COVID-19 caused this event to be canceled during the 2020-21 season. Tory will also be competing to defend her individual NEPSAC win in slalom in the 2019-20 season. The best five skiers in each discipline will be selected to represent CA at the championship at the end of the season. The Girls Alpine Ski Team is off to a great start this year with three members of the team placing in the top ten for the first two races of the season and Annie McGarry ’23 winning the second GS race of the season by an impressive .07 second margin. Tory won the second, third, fourth, and fifth GS and slalom races of the season, and many of the girls hit new personal bests as well. CA looks forward to watching the team grow, improve, and remain competitive during this new and exciting season. Best of luck to the team as they compete in their races and the NEPSAC Championship later this winter!