Wachusett Mountain Race Team provides excellent programs, coaching, competition and support to junior alpine ski racers. WMRT develops strong base level skills to allow athletes competently participate at USSA junior races
First, A very belated Thank You for the effort put in by everyone over our Race Weekend on January 26th and 27th!!
We had just shy of 1000 starts over the two days. Our average run time for the Higgins was about 2 hours and 15 minutes and the for the Shanahan 2 hours and 30 minutes. The fence was down in 30 maybe 40 minutes - I recall standing at the bottom looking up the trail thinking somethings wrong, we couldn’t be done… So with the extra time we had a fence rolling competition. Visiting western Mass venues over the last several weeks I’ve heard nothing but praise for our execution of the races, the facilities and the conditions of the course and trails. I was reviewing the season so far with Jeff Crowley this past weekend and I told him for me personally, I realize how good we have it when I travel to other locations.
Postseason Events: With the exception of the U19’s who still have 1 more event, Congratulations and Good Luck to all the athletes and parents participating in postseason events!
We may into the postseason, but as you can see by the list at the bottom of this letter there is still a lot of racing to be done.
On Wednesday February 27th Wachusett will be hosting the MIAA High School Championships, this will be followed by the Ralph Crowley Classic & the New England Masters on 3/1, The Great Race on 3/2, and the Good Race on 3/3. This will be an exciting four days of ski racing.
Fencing: This Saturday we will be working to line Smith Walton with BNet for the safety of the high school athletes and those of you that may be participating in the end of season races for the night race league. If you need volunteer credits this is a great opportunity as the trail will be closed and with the right amount of people the effort will be light and fast - it took 2 hours last time. Even if you don’t need credits your help would be appreciated so that a safe race venue can be provided for the following weeks races. This is also a great way to say Thank You to the mountain for all they do for us.
The MIAA Championships: Both the MIAA and the Mountain look to WMRT to assist with volunteers to help run this race. If you’re able to, please consider volunteering for this race, especially if you have an athlete participating in it.
To kickoff things off we’re bringing in 12 to 36 inches of snow on sunday, with the possibility of some sleet and freezing rain, followed by an artic blast, a quick mid week warming trend, which may offer some rain and more snow at the mountain, all clearing out by Thursday night, when we kick things into high gear with Thursday night fencing. Followed by three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) of what looks to be great weather and temps for ski racing.
Volunteer Registration: Please register to volunteer if you haven’t already. There are still spots open. If you login and they are full check back, as peoples plans change and somebody may need to drop out, opening up a spot.
Concerns about not enough volunteer credits: If you’re not able to volunteer because the signups are all full, there’s a special family gathering or something else, don’t worry there will be plenty of opportunities made available to volunteer and attain credits. Some upcoming examples are; BNet back into storage container, BNet onto forks for delivery for Great Race and MIAA, Fencing Part II for Great Race and MIAA, Working the MIAA race. With 2 months between our race weekend and the end of the season we’ve got plenty of time to get creative and try some things out.
If you have an idea document it and bring it forward for the board to review. Be prepared to own it, and understand that not all ideas will be accepted. As and example, we have a parent who took it upon himself to investigate having the Kelly Brush foundation and the national Stop the Bleed foundation train our coaches, parents would be welcome as well. To me that’s a great use of Volunteer Credits. This hasn’t been finalized it’s still in the works, but it’s out of the box thinking like this that makes our club stronger.
Race Weekend: Looking at the forecast, snow, followed by potential more snow, with a forecasted bluebird Saturday the 26th, we can expect crowds. Prepare for that and all it entails. We currently have 135 and 139 racers registered, we are expecting a large field
Don’t forget to register you athlete at: Adminski.com
Late Entries are limited for the Higgins race, and NOT accepted for the Shanahan race
WMRT Team HQ & Race Registration: We’re doing things a little different this year and I hope you like the approach the Board is taking. This year we’re renting out the Maple Room (where we had the Parents meeting) for the entire weekend. This will be WMRT’s dedicated Team Race Room for the weekend. ALL WMRT athletes are invited to change, prepare, eat, socialize and cheer on their teammates in the Team Race Room. The only thing we ask is that they clean up after themselves, neither the Board, Coaches, Volunteers or the Mountain staff are there as maids.
The thought with registration is that families will enter from the hallway, tables and/or chairs will be set up to the right as you enter the room, creating a barrier separating the registration area from the WMRT athlete area. Registering families walk straight ahead, check in at the registration table, and continue down the stairs at the far end of the room and back into the Granite room. Our families of course are welcome to hang out in the athlete area behind the registration table. Please Note: registration will only take place from one side of the table..
Deep Thoughts: It’s been great catching up with meeting so many families at the races and Wachusett the last couple weeks, months. I hope your satisfied if not thrilled with the program. This being my first year as president it’s something that’s on my mind, often. While we (the Board) wish we could make decisions and implement policies and procedures that everybody agrees with all of the time, that's just not possible in any organization. What we are are focused on is providing an excellent ski training/race experience that ultimately is not overly burdensome on the volunteers that run it (the Board) and the volunteers that are needed to make it run (the collective membership). When we consider modifications we ask ourselves - will the kids have a better training/racing experience, and/or will we be lessening or increasing the administrative/operational workload.
Personally, I think we’re off to a great start so far. We’ve got a very strong membership and we’ve been paid a great compliment by the USSS Eastern Region Youth Development Coach, about our full roster of coaches, an 8.5 to 1, athlete to Coach ratio. What I also learned in that conversation is that there’s a qualified coach shortage out there and programs are using parent volunteers for coaches. This is happening at other New England programs and across the country. Thank your head coach if you see him, and wish him a belated Happy BIrthday!! For that matter, Thank Your coaches when you see them, they’re the true hero's of this organization!! Additionally, we’ve purchased 50 rolls of new BNet for athlete safety, TriState agreed to purchase 50 rolls as well and store it with ours, a wireless timing system for on hill training, implemented a volunteer program, rescued the gatebox for certain demise, and brought in former Olympian Doug Lewis to close out 2018, all this and our athletes continue to break into the top spots in all the races we participate in.
If you do have a comment, complaint, or praise, please let a Board member know. We want to hear what's working what might need some improvement.
Happy Race Week, and we’ll see you at the mountain.
A Couple Quick Housekeeping Reminders!!
Race Results: Are available in your portal at USSA.org usually 2 to 3 days after an event. I also post them to the team website. Bear with me if they not posted immediately, once available.
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving, and if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you were able to enjoy some downtime with friends and family!!
It was great to get back to the mountain last Saturday and see the kids gearing up for some on snow time. Hopefully you were able to get out and enjoy some turns as well.
If you were away last weekend, welcome back, you’re in for some great conditions.
This mornings snow report has 11 trails open and 4 lifts spinning. I can’t recall a season when we’ve had access to this much terrain, this early, without significant natural snowfall. Thank a member of the Snowmaking Crew if you see them!!
A few things as we slip into December:
Skillsquest is on Saturday the 15th (2 weeks away), please register early so we can prepare -Registration Site
U14 Training Project is on Sunday the 16th, U14 parents please register now so that the athletes can be assigned to groups, the posted registration deadline is 12/2, there will be no day of registration - Registration Site
Program Fees - Please log into the website and settle up any remaining balances.
Volunteer Program - Please bring your postdated checks (March 31, 2019) to the mountain by December 8th. Turn them into your age group parent rep, myself, or Nicole Wilkinson.
Volunteer Program - Skillsquest - The list of opportunities for skillsquest will be posted shortly. An email will be sent out ahead time providing the link and the time that the registration site will open.
The race schedule has been updated on the SkiWMRT.com calendar. Additionally, under the heading “FAQ, General Info, Race Results” I’ve attached a spreadsheet version of the schedule.
New Years Eve - the last day of Christmas Camp. The Board and Coaching Staff are looking into doing something different and exciting that day and will keep you posted as details firm up.
Fall is finally in the air! As I looked around our neighborhood last weekend, I commented to my neighbor how there were only couple trees showing color. As I write this a week later, that has changed, a sure sign that the mountains winter operations will be coming to life very soon.
Registration is now open!!
Please go to skiwmrt.com to register as soon as possible. You’ll also notice a slightly different look and feel to the website. This is a work in progress.
September has been filled with lots of preparation for the upcoming season, and a Board meeting on Wednesday the 26th. Highlights from that meeting are:
2018/19 Programs and Program fees will remain the same as last year
The Board voted, after careful consideration and analysis to implement a formal volunteer program - details can be found on the website under the Volunteer Program tab
U12 & U14 race schedule - No Bradford or Nashoba race this year
TriState East and West will race as one - still requires a vote by TriState BoD at the Oct meeting, but the expectation is that this will pass
Approved the purchase of 30 to 40 rolls of BNet to replace aging/damaged BNet
Discussed video as part of the program, and how best to implement. We continue to work toward inclusion, and ideally will have a workable plan in place for the season
Dryland Training Schedule set - see dates below
unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts we are not able to host an Elite Camp with Doug Lewis as part of the dryland training this year.
Even though lifts will turn this year at 7:30 on the weekends, we will continue to start at 8am.
Adopted Parent Rep roles and responsibilities based on feedback from last season - see participation guide
We have an open Parent Rep Position for the U8/U10 age group, if interested please reach to any Board member
Your 2018/19 WMRT Board of Directors are:
I’d like to Thank those that came out for the preseason fence inspection 0on Sunday September 15th.. We had about 30 people (WMRT, TriState, and WPI) participating. This was necessary to ensure that the fence we use to line the course is up to USSA standards to protect the racers - our kids. Several rolls were retired on the spot, many more were separated out and identified as needing repairs before it could be used again.
Below are some dates to keep in mind - all dates subject to change:
Sept 30 - WMRT Registration Opens
Oct 5 - 8 - Columbus Day weekend - Ski Swap at Wachusett
Dryland Training - October 28, November 4th, and November 11
November 4th is subject to change based on space availability at the mountain
Early October - TriState Board of Directors meeting
Oct28 - Membership & New Parent Meeting - tentative confirming space availability
Nov 11 - Alpine Officials training with John Higgins - tentative confirming space availability