Far West News

Congratulations to the 2020 Season Far West Ski Team.

The 8 Women and 3 Men that qualified for this years team have less than 70 points in two disicplines as a man and 80 points or less in two disciplines as a woman. Two of these athletes qualified based on their results at Regional Championship events.

Congratulations to the following athletes, alpha listing:
Women's FWST
Tea Kiesel, Erica Lynch, Sasha Mueller, Madeleine Roberts, Piper Sage, Georgie Sullivan, Maya Wong and Anna Zaruby.

Men's FWST
Isaac Mozen, Winston Pretti and Charlie Regelbrugge

Click here for listing with athlete pictures

Far West is excited to host its annual Fall Convention the weekend of November 1-3, 2019 at Squaw Valley. 
This years line up sessions is not to be missed stacking up with Coaches Education based around our continued work with the Far West Development Initiative, a Regional Club of Excellence with sessions on "Stop The Bleed", "Whole Athlete Development", High Performance Club sessions and much more. 
Of course this is always an action packed weekend for our Officials and their continuing education needs, too! There are sessions for returning officials and new officials alike! Officials materials will be linked for study purposes after the materials release in early October.

Check out the schedule and registration by clicking here.

Questions? Contact the Far West Office!
See you in November!

Validated Physical Assessment dates have been scheduled. These are for U16 and older.

October 4th at Sugar Bowl

October 8th and 9th at Squaw Valley.

Registration is available on by clicking here and head to the US Ski and Snowboard website

Unsure if you need to complete a validated testing date? Please reach out to your head coach for assistance.

Far West Academic Team recognizes Srs - U16 athletes from the 2019 season (YOB 1997-2004) that raced as Far West members whose GPA for Spring Semester was 3.5 or better. These athletes were be registered Sr-U16 during the Spring Academic period. 

Congratulations to the following athletes on their successful Spring academic period and wishing everyone a wonderful 2019-2020 School Year.

First Last School
Bruno* Amon Franceschi John Marshall Senior High
Thea Amon Franceschi John Marshall Senior High
Neave Anderson Mater Dei High School
Eric Ashkarian Mira Costa High School
Kacey* Benjaminson North Tahoe High School
Marco Brougher Woodside Priory School
Jessica Conley Carlmont High School
Jordan* Flood Sugar Bowl Academy
William Franklin Stuart Hall for Boys
Ella Freeman Forest Charter School
Summer Furrer South Tahoe High School
Toby* Gajar North Tahoe High School
Freya* Grant Foothill Middle School
Parker* Gumins Mammoth High School
Amber* Hansford Cold Stream Alternative
Brooke* Hansford Squaw Valley Academy
Ryan Herhusky Sugar Bowl Academy
Caleb Horsch Sugar Bowl Academy
Amelia Jones Sugar Bowl Academy
Andrew* Joy Sugar Bowl Academy
Sierra Kim Sugar Bowl Academy
Abigail  Larrabee Sugar Bowl Academy
Jillian Larrabee Sugar Bowl Academy
Emma* Lawson Sugar Bowl Academy
Aidan* LeFrancois Mammoth High School
Erica Lynch Mammoth High School
Allison* Mollin US Performance Academy
Isaac Mozen Sugar Bowl Academy
Jacob* Nguyen Forest Charter School
Logan* Reeves Sage Ridge School
Brenna* Ritchie Incline High School
Emmett* Roberts North Tahoe High School
Luca Robillard Sugar Bowl Academy
Claire Rumzie Sugar Bowl Academy
Jackson* Seo French American International School
Madelyn Welling Sugar Bowl Academy
Benjamin Wolfe Mammoth High School
Maya* Wong North Tahoe High School
Kaelin* Woodruff Sugar Bowl Academy
Josh* Zebrack Bishop Manogue High School
*denotes 4.0 for Spring Semester





The Marce Herz Foundation bears the name of an extraordinary individual, Marcelle (“Marce”) Barkley Herz.  Marce, a track and field world record holder, champion amateur skier, and co-founder of the Sky Tavern Jr. Ski Program, was also a teacher who believed that sports were good for everyone, but especially children, and that all children should get the opportunity to ski (and now snowboard) regardless of a child’s race or economic status.  Marce also believed in the power of sports and academics to uplift and motivate children.  She became the first woman to receive the Sportsmen (Sportswoman) of the Year Award from the Nevada Sportswriters Association.  Marce made contributions in our community to youth, teaching, journalism, skiing, sports, and the skiing community.  Once young people, particularly young women and girls, discover the life, times and achievements of Marce Herz, they are usually moved and motivated to strive for excellence.  It is a privilege to be able to provide a scholarship in her honor. 

To learn more, go to www.marceherz.org

Completed applications are due to The Far West Skiing Office by Monday, October 15th at 5:00pm. Applications must be submitted via the Far West Skiing website (www.fwskiing.org). There will be two (2) scholarships (one to a female and to a male athlete) at $1,000 each, awarded for the 19-20 season by the Marce Herz Foundation. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Download Scholarship Application information here.

Applicants may only apply online at the link below.

Click here to apply

Dave Van Ruiten Memorial Scholarship  2019-20

The Far West Board of Directors will once again offer the Far West Skiing - Dave Van Ruiten* Memorial Scholarship for the 2019-20 ski season.  A $1000 fund is available from Far West Skiing.

The athlete chosen for this special award must be a U19+ for the coming season, and must have a legitimate chance of being selected to the United States Ski Team (USST), according to the judgment of the Far West Board, based on the athlete’s national junior FIS ranking in one or more disciplines. Applicants must be members in good standing with Far West Skiing. In the event the Far West Board believes multiple athletes meet the appropriate criteria, they will look to financial need to assist in the final decision process.

To apply for this scholarship, all applicants must complete and submit an application (online at www.fwskiing.org). Applicants must be prepared to submit responses to the questions below, 2 letters of recommendation, your most recent report card, 2 photos (1 head and shoulders and one action shot). All applications must be received by Tuesday, October 15th at 5:00pm. No applications will be accepted late, and incomplete applications will not be considered.

The yearly amount of the Daven Van Ruiten Scholarship is set by the Far West Board of Directors at their annual budgeting meeting.

The Far West Skiing Board of Directors will announce the recipients of this scholarship on its website on Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. Questions regarding this scholarship can be directed to the Far West Skiing office, 530.559.4130 or [email protected].

* Dave Van Ruiten, former Director of Racing at Sugar Bowl Resort, passed away on November 7, 2005.  He was the former Vice President of Far West Skiing, a tremendous leader and asset to junior ski racing in this region, and a highly respected professional.  He was instrumental in Sugar Bowl’s commitment and rise to national ski racing prominence over the past several years.  This special scholarship award to a Far West athlete with USST potential and financial need is named in his honor.


Download Scholarship Application information here.

Applicants may only apply online at the link below.

Click here to apply

Welcome to summer training block and preparation for the 2020 Competition Season. 

1. All Tahoe Race Series and Age Class Schedules are now posted on their respective pages.

2.  Tahoe League has a name change to Tahoe Race Series!

3. Please take note of  NEW NEW NEW  announcements on each age class page.  

4. Updated Late Fee policy: $40 for tech events and $45 for speed events

5.  Reminder that athletes with the age class of Senior are required to submit an intent to compete email/communication to the Far West Office by August 15th in order to be placed on the FWST, FW Pace Team and FIS event selection boards.

6. Far West Academic Team recognizes Srs - U16 athletes from the 2019 season (YOB 1997-2004) that raced as Far West members whose GPA for Spring Semester was 3.5 or better. The athletes must be registered Sr-U16 during the Spring Academic period. Athletes are invited to send a legible copy of hte spring report card to the FWS office ([email protected]) by September 15th, in order to be named to the Far West Academic Team. The Far West Academic Team will be announced on the FWS skiing website by September 17th.

7. Scholarships - any scholarships that become available will be posted on the FWS Homepage and Facebook pages. Currently the Masters Scholarship is posted and soon the Dave Van Ruiten along with the Marce Herz Foundation Scholarship will be added. These applications will be due Fall of 2019. Please pay close attention to scholarship deadlines.

8. Fall Assessments - athletes in the age classes of U14 and older should be participating in Physical Assessments two times a year. This year the Far West is trying a new approach to utilize the best facilities possible. The following clubs will host assessments open to anyone within the Far West Division to participate: Sugar Bowl, Mammoth and Squaw Valley. Fall assessments dates will be announced and posted by the end of the summer.

9. Far West Fall Convention and Regional Club of Excellence will be held November 1-3, 2019. 

10. Please check out the updated membership structure chart from US Ski and Snowboard that is posted on the FWS homepage.

11. The Far West Office is officially closed during the month of July so communications may be delayed by a few days while I am away.

Now is the time to make sure you are subscribed to the correct age class newsletters for the 2020 season. Please check the age class listed on your newlsetter today and if it is correct you will need to do nothing. If you need to add an age class please do so on the Far West Skiing Homepage, and if you need to unsubscribe then please do that at the bottom of your newlsetter.

Thank you and have a great summer!
Far West Skiing

There are no changes to the Far West pricing structure for the 2020 season. The National Membership pricing structure is increasing after many years due to fees for safesport training and background screening for all that are 18 years of age and older. 



Age Category




Sanctioned Competition


AG = Alpine General Member






Restricted to those under 18

AS  = Alpine Non-Scored Athlete






Formerly Non-Scored Student

AM = Alpine Master







AM = Alpine Master (Requirements)






For those masters participating in clubs with minors








AC U12 = Alpine Competitor U12 & under






Combined U10 & U12 into one category

AC U14 = Alpine Competitor U14







AC U16 = Alpine Competitor U16 & Over







DAC = Alpine Adaptive Competitor






Adding this category back to track adaptive athletes








AO = Alpine Official







ACO = Alpine Coach







AJCO - Alpine Junior Coach







AV = Alpine Volunteer














STA = Short Term Alpine






Restricted to those under 18

STAM - Short Term Masters






Restricted to those 18 and over

STAF = Short Term Alpine Foreign






Available to foreign athletes coming to the U.S. for an event















Family Cap Refund is now $500







Members may still add additional memberships for only the cost of the highest membership


To All Parents and Coaches involved with U12 and younger athletes, take a moment to catch up with the rules that were passed during the 2019 May Congress Meetings. These rules go into affect for the 2020 season and are a goal to cut down on the cost of ski racing plus being aware of the environment and health of the athletes. 

Rule 1:
At U12 and under competitions. We recommend each division hold two races next season (2019-2020) that do not allow speed suits showing.

Rule 2:
U12 and under competitors are only allowed to use one (1) pair of skis per race (inspections & competition). Parents, coaches or technicians are not allowed to furnish additional pairs of skis for use during race day inspections or competition. Non-compliance may result in NPS or depending on circumstance, DSQ (proven violation after start).

Rule 3:
U12 and under competitors should refrain from using fluorinated wax. In any case, application of any type of waxing solution must not be applied at U12 and under competition venues. Use of ski preparation benches at the U12 and under competition venue is not allowed.


The Grand Prix series is scored for U19’s as a series to qualify for scholarships to be used for the following season. The places are determined by adding up the total World Cup Points earned during ALL the races listed in the Grand Prix series for that season. Each race is scored by separating only the U19 class. Foreign, out of division, current USST and U16 participants in each race are removed and results are sorted by class prior to assigning WCP’s for each race. Athletes must have competed in at least half of the scheduled Grand Prix races in order to qualify for the scholarships.

Overall Champions from the Grand Prix Series will be awarded the following:

            1st  place – U19 men/women       $1800 Scholarship 
             2019 Recipients:    Gunnar Barnwell and Maya Wong

            2nd place – U19 men/women       $900 Scholarship
             2019 Recipients: Chili Messner and Jillian Larrabee

            3rd  place – U19 men/women      $600 Scholarship
            2019 Recipients: William Lewison and Elizabeth Scott


Full standings can be viewed on the U19+ Schedules and Results page under the Grand Prix Standings Section.

Congratulations to this years recipients, funds are available for use after July 1, 2019!

Around 12:30 on Easter Sunday the 2019 Far West Skiing race season concluded. A season to remember....not enough snow to run our Night Slaloms over the holidays to eventuatlly having to cancel due to too much snow and power supply issues on the summit. So much snow in February that we ran only 31% of our races,  a successful WR Jr Championships event held by Alpine Meadows utilizing both Alpine and Squaw to make it happen, and running into lightening strikes close to the venue during the final days of SG racing! Congratulations to all athletes, coaches, officials and race organizers on a great season! We would also like to take a moment to send off those seniors or PG athletes as they head off into racing at USCSA, NCAA and Masters Racing levels. We with you the best in all that you do and hope to see you on the hill somewhere again soon!

During Divisional Championship events we had the opportunity to recognize age class champions and during the SG final we were able to take a moment to recognize some Outstanding indviduals for their accomplishments and leadership during the 2019 season!

Awarded during their Championships Events
U10 Championships
Richmond Cup Winners: Caroline Ehrman (KSEF) and Blaise Turnbull (KSEF)
Jeff Todd Cup (Sportsmanship Award): Caroline Ehrman (KSEF) 
Rasmussen (Overall Team): Squaw Valley Ski Team
U10 Team Parallel Cup: Kirkwood Ski Team

U12 Championships:
Allan Cup Winners: Maya Eisner (MMST) and Oscar Whelan (SVST)
Marco Sullivan Cup (Sportsmanship Award): Simone Dessens
Poulson Cup (Overall Team): Squaw Valley Ski Team
U12 Team Parallel Cup: Mammoth Mountain Ski Team

U14 Championships:
McKinney Cup: Carly Hamilton (SVST)
Rahlves Cup: David Morken (SVST)
Andy Mead Lawrence Cup (Sportsmanship): Adam Brown (NSST)
Cushing Cup (Overall Team): Squaw Valley Ski Team
Team Parallel Cup was cancelled due to weather during the 2019 season

Awarded on 4.21 at the conclusion of the SG Finals
Wild West Winners:
The Wild West series awards the athletes with the best overall combined World Cup Point results from the race contested in the Wild West Series during the 2019 season. This year’s results are based on two weekends of racing, and tech only, since the SG’s were cancelled due to the February snow accumulation.

Girls 3rd place Ella Williams from Sugar Bowl
Girls 2nd place Erica Lynch from Mammoth
Girls 1st  place Amelia Jones from Sugar Bowl

Boys 3rd place Evan Lear from Sugar Bowl
Boys 2nd Place Karsten Hart from Sugar Bowl
Boys 1st place Zachary Bower from Sugar Bowl

Special Awards
Jill Kinmont
was an up and coming ski racer out of the Mammoth area in the 1950’s. The Jill Kinmont award recognizes the outstanding performance from an athlete in the SR age class, YOB 1997 and older.

Jordan Cashman (SVST) has served as an athlete and coach during the 18.19 season. Jordan has raced very calm this season with great results in the Far West, but watching him lead in this position has been even more amazing. Providing guidance through inspection to younger athletes, encouragement throughout the day are all more of what the Far West Division needs as athletes look up to and embark on their racing journey.


Jinny Glass award recognizes the outstanding performance from an athlete in the U19/U21 age class, YOB 1998-2002
Matthew Smallhouse (DPST) grew up in Reno, NV and is member of the Diamond Peak Ski Team. Matt has shown dedication, patients, and determination this season through his adoption of a process learning mindset. He has learned to take responsibility of his outcomes and has developed the skills to be independent, reliable, and self-motivated. Matt has improved his skiing technically and tactically, while also serving as a role-model for his teammates and younger athletes. Matt continues to show passion for the sport and finds joy in training, racing, and free skiing. Matt’s results reflect his hard work and he continues to prove himself as a dominant racer in the Far West and Western Region. Matt was the top ranked Far West U19 in five of the six contested races at the Western Region Jr. Championships and earned himself a spot on the Western Region SR and JR National Team. It has been a great pleasure coaching Matt this season and I am confident he will continue improving as a racer and a responsible adult as he transitions to a college level athlete.

Keely Cashman (SVST/US Ski Team)
Keely is a class act and hard worker, from camps to championships. Keely has had many success throughout the year with wins at the Nor Am level, taking third overall in the Nor Am Cup Standings, and topping off the season as the US National GS Champion! She is consistently a valuable role-model and mentor for younger ladies.

Bobby Mehrhof was a member of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team that enjoyed ski racing throughout his life. The Bobby Mehrhof award recognizes the outstanding performance from an athlete in the U16 age class, YOB 2003-2004.
Ryan Herhusky (SBST)
Ryan is not only an accomplished racer but a team leader both on the hill and in the classroom. Ryan has been racing in Far West since he was 4 years old. He was selected for the U16 NPS in both 2018 and 2019 and was 6th in slalom at the Burke NPS project this year. He also was 2nd in the Proctor Holiday Slalom. He won the Western Region Slalom Qualifier at Squaw (1st U16, 4th overall), took 4th in slalom at Western Regions in Sun Valley and qualified for U16 Nationals where he was 11th in slalom and 14th in Super G. Despite his extensive traveling for racing, he maintains an A average in his classes. He is passionate about ski racing and consistently exhibits great sportsmanship and support for his teammates and fellow racers.

Alison Mollin (SVST)
A local Tahoe girl. Alison is dedicated and hardworking. Her results at the U16 Regional Championships qualified her for U16 National Championships. She is all character and a great competitor.


Bill Mackay Award recognizes an outstanding race organizer and organizing committee for the current season.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Race Dept. worked so hard this season (the BIG winter) to put on quality race series.  Even with the U14 series and the U16+ SG’s cancelled, the dept and operations put in so much effort to try and make it happen.  All of the events hosted had quality snow conditions because of the preparation effort and work during the event.  I would especially point out the Western Region Champ series with six days dedicating split venues, amazing race surface, and giving the award ceremonies the pomp and circumstance deserved - something we don't always see for our u19 athletes.

Dave McCoy award recognizes the most outstanding coach for the current season.
Lindsay Dowd, SVST U16 Head Coach
Originally from the east, N Conway Mass. Lindsay is known for her presence. What only few know is her endless commitment to athlete betterment always seeking more knowledge and better understanding of the process. She is dedicated to making our FW youth better people and better athletes.

Stanley Walton Award recognizes an outstanding official for the current season.
Missy Brannen Mammoth Race Department Race Administrator
nothing seems to frazzle Missy. She calmly works through many events at all levels from Far West age class racing, FIS races, Snowboard and Freestyle/Freeski, too. She reviews and prepares for each level of event she is working, along with understanding the rules for that group prior to arrival. She always greets her officials and coaches with a smile along with welcoming families and helping resolve their issues

During the Holiday Training Block all U12 families should have received their own copy of the Far West Development Initiative book from their Program Director or Head Coach. 

What is the Far West Development Initiative?
Mission: Support collaboration of divisional programs and coaches in the development of successful Far West ski racers, with the goal of being the best Division in the Nation.

The purpose of the Far West Development Initiation book is to be a valuable resource for each athlete/parent/coach. In it are the fundamentals of ski racing - the absolute basics that even the best World Cup racers come back to refine. It is a visual guide to see how the fundamentals are executed at the highest level. The guide is desgned to be used by the athlete and parent. At the rear of the manual are key concepts that are illustrated by photos.  A seperate 'Coaches Pocket Guide' was also developed to allow the coaches to use these key concepts and visuals on the hill, too!

The guide is designed to help the athlete, and includes a 'Parent's Corner' too.  A section devoted to parents on 'How to support your athlete', information on equipment needs, plus the National/Regional and Divisional Structure. A glossary of terms that the programs of the Far West agree will help all coaches, athletes and families speak in the same terms as athletes develop.

The book is a colaboration of Far West Program Directors and Head Coaches along with experts in the field to bring the best Development Initiative Book to each and everyone of you!

Is it avaialbe and usable by age classes outside of U12? Absolutely!
The Far West Development Initiative book is a valuable resource for all age classes and can be purchased on the Far West website by either visiting the FWDI tab across the top bar of the Far West website, or by clicking on this FWDI link.

This Development Initiative provided to each U12 family and U12 coach was funded by private donations as a valuable resource in the progress of each athletes journey in ski racing. If you would like to donate towards the Far West Development Initiative please click here.
Far West Skiing is a 501c3 California not for profit organization and all donations are tax deductable.

Questions about the Development Initiative? Contact the Far West Skiing Office, luc[email protected]


Mission Statement

Promote the skiing development of young athletes from all clubs in the Far West with the objective of placing elite competitors onto the US Ski Team. 'Alpine Athlete competencies' as developed by USSA will be used as a guideline.

  • Promote alpine competition in Far West from entry level, club level and elite level.
  • Provide financial support to athletes, coaches and development projects.
  • Maintain a structure that will support the needs of Far West clubs, athletes, coaches and general membership.

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