By David Schissler
(June2014) Every year at the end of May the New England Ski Museum hosts a cocktail party to present its exhibition for the coming season. At the event the Eastern arm of the North American Snowsports Journalists Association, (NASJA East) awards the coveted Golden Ski Award. The award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the East since 1969, the year after the modern World Cup circuit started. Many of the Golden Ski winners have gone on to World Cup gold as well. In 1975, the Golden Ski was “lost.” In 2007, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts, and in that donation was the original Golden Ski. The honor was revitalized and named in memory of long-time snow-sports journalist Don A. Metivier, former editor of Ski Racing. The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to alpine ski racers that exists today. This year’s winners are Alice Merryweather, of Hingham, Mass. and the Stratton Mountain School and Sam Morse of Carrabassett Valley, ME and the Carrabassett Valley Academy.
I had the honor of presenting Alice Merryweather with her Golden Ski trophy. She earned it by taking her skiing to ever-higher levels. Alice was the top under 18 finisher at the U.S. National Championship Downhill, took sixth overall and ninth (4th junior) respectively in two NorAm Downhills at Copper Mtn., finished sixth overall (third junior) in the Mont. Ste. Anne NorAm Cup SG, clinching herself a spot on the Junior World Team. She was the only high school girl named to the 2013-2014 Eastern Region Team by USSA. Alice is ranked third in the world in Super-G for her age and is one of only eight USA women chosen for the U/18 World Championships.
“It was a big surprise for me to be named to the Eastern Region Team,” Alice said. “I’ve watched our PGs get on the Eastern Region Team as well as a lot of other really good girls, so it’s a huge honor to be up there with them.”
“This U.S. Downhill Championship finish is phenomenal for Alice,” said Mike Morin, Stratton Mountain School Alpine Program Director. “She went up against not only the top juniors in the country, but the top alpine athletes, and she showed that she was up for the challenge.”
Sam Morse, seen here receiving his Golden Ski trophy from NASJA East President Joan Wallen, had a season built on a string of successes. He won every Maine Alpine Racing Association championship he raced in, was second among under 18 athletes in the Nations Team Event downhill, placed 21st at U.S. Nationals in slalom, was 17th in the World Juniors Downhill, had five top 30 NorAm results and won an incredible seven FIS races throughout the season. Sam did so well he was recently named to the U.S. Ski Team Men’s Development Team
“I’ve had the most amazing couple of weeks, the best of my career so far,” says Morse, who is training to be both a technical turner and speed racer. Morse is currently the No. 1 downhill prospect for his age in the East. “He is a determined and talented athlete. We are all very proud of him and we look forward to seeing him continue to succeed at the international level.” says coach Chip Cochrane.