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Westminster Olympians

2010 Westminster's Olympic Hopefuls

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Did you know that Westminster College is the Official Provider of Educational Services to more than 35 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team athletes?  The following 14 Westminster student-athletes were named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team: Lacy Schnoor, Jana Lindsey, Heather McPhie, Ryan St. Onge, Dylan Ferguson, Bryon Wilson, Liz Stephen, Torin Koos, Morgan Arritola, Leanne Smith, Graham Watanabe, Zach Lund, Megan McJames and Kaylin Richardson.

Learn more about Wesminster's student-athletes below:

 

Morgan Arritola Morgan Arritola - Cross-country

Click here for the Olympic Cross-country schedule and results.

Update: On February 25, Arritola was on the U.S. team that placed 12th in the Ladies' 4x5 km Relay Classic/Free at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

On February 19, Arritola placed 38th in the Ladies' 15 km Pursuit at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

On February 15, Arritola placed 34th in the Women's 10 km Free at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

On February 5, Arritola placed 23rd in a World Cup event in Canmore, AB.

On January 6, Arritola placed 7th in the Women's 20K Classic at the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. Arritola qualified for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. She is one of eight cross country skiers who will represent the U.S.

Cross country racer Morgan Arritola left soccer in high school to ski and she's churning her way toward the same goal - i.e., elite success - but with a different World Cup. As far as her coaches are concerned, in 2009 Morgan bridged the gap between her strong performances as a junior and where she needs to be this coming February in Vancouver. She finished fifth in the pursuit race at U23 World Championships in France prior to a 22nd place finish in the 30K freestyle event at the FIS World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic. Morgan is training well and is gearing up for strong performances for 2010.

Arritola is a freshman at Westminster.  She is from Ketchum, Idaho.

 Dylan Ferguson

Dylan Ferguson - Freestyle

Click here for the Olympic Freestyle Skiing Schedule and results.

Update: Complications from a recent appendectomy will keep Ferguson from joining his Olympic teammates in Vancouver.

On January 26, Ferguson was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team.

On January 24, Ferguson secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, placing 17th overall and second among Americans in the freestyle ski aerials at the Nature Valley Freestyle World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

On January 22, Ferguson placed 17th at the 2010 Nature Valley Freestyle Cup.

On January 10, Ferguson placed 7th in World Cup Aerials competition in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

On December 24th, Ferguson reached a 2nd place finish at Olympic Trials in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. "I'm not disappointed at all. I landed two of the best jumps I've done all year and that's awesome for me," Ferguson said.  He now continues his training with hopes of making the team that will represent the United States in Vancouver.

Multi-talented Dylan Ferguson is spearheading the next wave of American aerialists, using hiking to strengthen his legs and improve technique. The goal is to move beyond a Junior World Championships aerials medal with success on the World Cup...and beyond.

Ferguson took a huge stride forward adding a full double-full full to his arsenal. He had his best World Cup result of the season at the 2010 Olympic venue where he was eighth. He also had a stellar World Championships in Japan in March, 2009, where he qualified for the finals and finished seventh. He is now looking to once again add more difficult jumps to his competition routines and he is in contention for an Olympic spot in 2010.

Ferguson is a sophomore at Westminster.  He is from Amesbury, MA.

Torin Koos

Torin Koos -Cross-country

Click here for the Olympic Cross-country schedule and results.

Update: On February 24, Koos was part of the U.S. team that placed 13th in the Men's 4x10 km Relay Classic at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

On February 22, Koos and teammate Andrew Newell placed 9th in the Men's Team Sprint Free at the 2010 Olymic Winter Games.

On February 17, Koos placed 36th in the Men's Individual Sprint Classic at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Koos placed 11th in a World Cup event in Canmore, AB on Feb. 6.

The son of a former U.S. biathlon skier, two-time Olympian Torin Koos started skiing early growing up in Washington state. Racing "was a natural progression." He skied and ran cross country, plus track and field for the University of Utah and, given a World Cup start when another athlete was sick in 2001, Koos made the most of his debut, finishing 12th in a sprint. He hasn't missed an Olympics or World Championships since then as he became the first U.S. Ski Team racer fully committed to sprinting.

Torin had a solid 2009 season and was in top form heading into the World Championships with an eight place just six days prior. Unfortunately, at Worlds he fell out of the start gate and the rest is history. But, according to coaches, we never really got to see him at his best. For 2010 he is focused on his double poling, and has added a bit more speed training early in the summer. Look for him to come out firing and have the training background to hold it through the season.

Koos is a Westminster graduate student from Leavenworth, WA.

Jana Lindsey

Jana Lindsey - Aerials

Click here for the Olympic Freestyle Skiing Schedule and results.

Update: On February 20, Jana Lindsey placed 17th in the Ladies' Aerials qualification.

On January 19 Lindsey was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Ski Team.

Olympic aerialist Jana Lindsey was a gymnast as a youngster in South Dakota and she's put that background to good use on skis. She won the junior national aerials title and she's made major strides after knee surgery to prove herself a World Cup contender. Jana had one of the best seasons of her career when she increased the degree of difficulty in her competition moves, resulting in a career best fifth-place finish at the World Championships in Japan. She then capped off her season with a victory at the U.S. Championships. Now her focus turns to the year ahead as she looks to be on the podium in 2010 leading up to Vancouver. Recently, Lindsey competed at the 2010 Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid, NY. She placed 8th in Aerials and competed at the 2010 FIS freestyle World Cup and placed 16th in aerials. She also recently finished 4th at FIS Freestyle World Cup in Changchun, China and finished 5th at the Olympic trails in Steamboat Springs, CO.

Lindsey is a sophomore at Westminster and is a communications major. Lindsey is from Blackhawk, SD.

Zach Lund

Zach Lund -Skeleton

Click here for the Olympic Skeleton Schedule and results.

Update: On February 19th, Lund placed 5th in the Mens' Skeleton at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Lund was just named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Skeleton Team

Zach Lund made a flip from feet-first to head-first in 1999 after deciding to switch from the sport of luge to the sport of skeleton.  Shortly thereafter, Lund claimed two America's Cup titles in 2002 and 2004, and slid to a top-10 finish at every World Cup race in the 2005 season.  Lund fought back after serving a suspension for the banned substance finasteride, a drug that has since been removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list,  and claimed the overall 2007 World Cup title.  He won five medals, four of them gold, and currently owns two track records after smashing the previous records in Cesana and Königssee.  In the 2007-2008 season, Lund placed sixth at the World Championship in Altenberg and ranked 3rd in the World Cup standings.

Lund is a senior Aviation student at Westminster.  He is from Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Megan McJames

Megan McJames - Alpine
Click here for the Olympic Alpine Skiing schedule and results.

Update: On February 25 Megan McJames placed 32nd in the Ladies' Giant Slalom.

McJames was just named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team.

Megan McJames started 2010 with a 1st place win on January 2 at the NorAm Cup slalom race at Val Saint-Come. McJames put together two solid runs to have the fastest time of the day. She recently placed 39th at the 2010 Audi FIS World Cup in Switzerland on January 29, and 21st at the 2010 Audi FIS World Cup in Italy on January 24; she was the second American to place.

This alpine skier is no stranger to the World Cup circuit. She has competed in the 2009 World Cup, where she placed 14th in Soelden. She was also the NorAm overall, super G, and giant slalom champion by the end of the 2006 season. McJames received a few podium finishes and a second in GS at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships. McJames began skiing at 2 at Alta, and joined the Park City Ski Team at eight. She competed in the 2005 Junior World Championships and in her first World Cup in 2006. For more on McJames, visit www.meganmcjames.wordpress.com.

McJames is a freshman at Westminster. She is from Park City, Utah.

Heather McPhie

Heather McPhie - Freestyle
Click here for the Olympic Freestyle Skiing schedule and results.

Update: Heather McPhie recently finished 18th at the Olympics in the Ladies' Moguls competition on February 13.

McPhie qualified for the Ladies' Moguls Finals placing 3rd on February 13.

McPhie was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Ski Team on January 16. She celebrated her first World Cup victory at the 2010 Visa Freestyle International - Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge at Deer Valley on January 14, and placed 2nd on January 16.

The season has started off well for McPhie. She placed 4th at both World Cups in Calgary, to make her the  top US woman to place in the competition. She placed 6th at the 2010 Olympic Trials and came back from winning the Europa Cup in Finland. She placed 6th and 7th respectively at the season's first World Cups. She recently placed 3rd at the 2010 Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge at Lake Placid January 21.

Former gymnast McPhie came late to moguls skiing but she's been making up for lost time. Back-to-back NorAm moguls championships showcased her talent in the bumps and set the stage for World Cup success. Known by her coaches as one of the hardest working athletes in the program, McPhie is pacing herself well for consistent success heading into the Olympic season. She has been NorAm champion for the past two seasons running. She competed in her first World Cup in 2006 and placed 8th in moguls in the 2007 World Ski Championships.

McPhie is a junior at Westminster. She is from Park City, Utah.

Ryan St. Onge

Ryan St. Onge - Freestyle
Click here for the Olympic Freestyle Skiing schedule and results.

Update: On February 25, Ryan St. Onge landed 4th place in the Men's Aerials Finals.

On February 22, St. Onge qualified for the Men's Aerials Finals placing 2nd. The Men's Finals competition is scheduled for February 25 at 6 p.m.

St. Onge was named to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Ski Team.

He recently placed 23rd at the 2010 Nature Valley Freestyle World Cup at Lake Placid on January 22, and placed 26th at the 2010 Visa Freestyle Int'l in Park City on January 15. He placed 25th in the  2010 FIS Freestyle World Cup (Aerials) in Calgary on January 10. He was the 3rd American to place in the men's category in Calgary.

World Champion Ryan St. Onge started off the 2010 season solid with a 3rd place finish at the recent Olympic Trials in Colorado. He also competed at the FIS Freestyle World Cup aerials opener in Changchun, China, in December, but barely missed making the finals.

St. Onge made the US Ski Team at 14 years old. He broke the top 10 barrier twice before making a splash at the 2009 Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort with another World Cup win. St. Onge has had a successful career and competed in his first World Cup in 1999, received the gold medal in Worlds in 2009, took home the NorAm Aerials crown in 2001, and competed in the 2006 Olympics.

St. Onge is a sophomore at Westminster and is a business major. He is from Winter Park, Colo.

Kaylin Richardson

Kaylin Richardson - Alpine

Click here for the Olympic Alpine Skiing schedule and results.

Update: On February 18th, Richardson placed 17th in the Ladies' Super Combined at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Kaylin Richardson followed her older brothers into ski racing as she grew up in the Minneapolis area. Today, she’s a U.S. champion and has skiers chasing her as she moves double-time toward the front of the World Cup parade in a couple of events, not just slalom any more. Richardson really loves Alaska. Despite a 2009 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships that saw 108 inches of snow and volcanic eruptions, Richardson sliced the competition yet again at Alyeska to win her second U.S. downhill title. Her first was in '07 at - you guessed it - Alyeska. It was her first full season back to racing full-time and while she found herself on the wrong side of the top 30, she regained the confidence she needed to keep charging and charge she did through the final months of the season. In between February and April, Richardson landed on NorAm and FIS race podiums in every discipline including a pair of slalom victories and that oh so sweet U.S. downhill title. Richardson is headed to a potential second Olympic Team in 2010. Most recently, Richardson placed 22nd at the World Cup in Val d’Isere, France and 55th at the women's slalom at the 2010 Audi FIS World Cup in Flachua, Austria.

Richardson is freshman at Westminster. Richardson is from Edina, MN.

Lacy Schnoor

Lacy Schnoor - Aerials

Click here for the Olympic Freestyle Skiing Schedule and results.

Update: On February 20, Lacy Schnoor qualified for the Finals in the Olympic Ladies' Aerials competition placing 6th overall. On February 24th, Schnoor placed 9th in the Ladies' Aerial Finals.

On Christmas Eve, Schnoor flipped and twisted her way in to a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, at the Olympic Trials in Steamboat Springs, CO. At this "winner take all" event, Schnoor placed first, making her the first Westminster athlete to secure a spot on th 2010 Olympic aerial team. She also recently placed 10th at the 2010 Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid, NY.

Lacy Schnoor was a gymnast until an Olympic outreach program showed her the opportunities to be an Olympic aerialist. She's still new to the sport, but her gymnastics upbringing and her passion for aerials are a good combination in keeping her moving toward the World Cup. Exhibit A: 2005 U.S. aerials gold medalist.

Schnoor had one of her best seasons ever on the World Cup tour in 2009 as she added two more top-10 results to her resume, as well as a career best seventh place at the World Championships in Japan. Schnoor finished her season with a third place finish at the U.S. Championships. She will be looking use her newfound success to push her as she makes a bid for one of the coveted Olympic spots in 2010. Most recently, Schnoor finished 9th at FIS Freestyle World Cup in Changchun, China. In addition to her recently success at the Olympic trials, Schnoor competed at the 2010 FIS freestyle World Cup and placed 18th in aerials.

Schnoor is a sophomore at Westminster and is a marketing major. Schnoor is from Draper, UT.

Leanne Smith

Leanne Smith - Alpine

Click here for the Olympic Alpine Skiing schedule and results.

Update: On February 20th, Smith placed 18th in the Ladies' Super-G at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

On February 18th, Smith placed 21st in the Ladies' Super Combined at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Conway, NH issued a proclamation, designating February 5th as "Leanne Smith Day."

On January 31st, Smith placed 29th at the 2010 Audi FIS World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Smith has been named to the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team.  She will compete in the super-combined, which incorporates a downhill run and a slalom run.

Smith recently competed at the 2010 Audi FIS World Cup in Cartina d'Ampezzo, Italy. She place 20th in the Women's Super G.

Leanne Smith followed her older sister into skiing, latched onto racing and has kept shaving microseconds from her time. A NorAm champion and topflight junior skier, she inked a spot on the World Cup elite after finishing 23rd in her career first World Cup start, which also happened to be the first downhill of the 2008 season. For this Granite State firecracker, 2010 is center target. Smith picked up directly from where she left off in her breakthrough '08 season scoring consistently on the World Cup until a late January downhill crash in Cortina, Italy tore her ACL. But Smith stuck to her rehabilitation program and was back on snow for summer camping in the Southern Hemisphere and already looking forward to her first start in Lake Louise and a potential slot on her first Olympic Team. Recently, Smith competed at the Audi FIS World cup in Haus Im Ennstal, Austria. She place 33rd in the Woman's Downhill and 32nd in the Women's Super G. Smith also recently placed 19th at the World Cup in Val d’Isere, France.

Smith is a sophomore at Westminster. Smith is from Conway, NH.

Liz Stephen

Liz Stephen - Cross-country
Click here for the Olympic Cross-country schedule and results.

Update: On February 15, Stephen placed 50th in the Women's 10 km Free at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

On January 19, USSA officially named Liz Stephen to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Cross Country Ski Team.

Stephen recently placed 5th in the Women's 20K Classic at the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships on January 6th in Anchorage, Alaska.

Once an alpine skier and cross country runner, it’s no surprise Liz Stephen discovered her passion for cross country skiing. Stephen began skiing early in life and was a promising alpine skier, but lost her passion for alpine racing - but alpine’s loss was cross country’s gain. When she was 18 years old, Stephen tied for her first US ski championship.

Stephen stacked yet another personal best season on top of her last by placing fourth in the U23 World Championships just before capturing 15th and 17th at the 2009 FIS World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic. She rounded out the season winning the skate team sprint and the 15K pursuit, as well as the 30K classic. Her focus remains on the prize ahead as she is wired for her chance to compete in her first Olympic Games.

Stephen is a freshman at Westminster. She is from East Montepelier, Vt.

Graham Watanabe Graham Watanabe - Snowboarding

Click here for the Olympic Snowboarding schedule and results.

Update: On February 15, Watanabe placed 18th in the Men's Snowboardcross in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

On January 21, Watanabe locked in his spot on the 2010 US Snowboard Olympic team, placing second at the snowboardcross World Cup in Stoneham, Quebec. "It's a confirmation of everything I have worked for," Watanabe said. "Making it to the Olympics is a difficult task, especially with a team like ours, and achieving that goal is a big step in achieving a bigger goal in my snowboarding, which is to be the best I can be."

Watanabe recently placed 9th at the 2010 LG FIS Snowboard World Cup in Switzerland on January 15. Prior to that, he placed 20th at the 2010 LG FIS Snowboarding World Cup in Austria on January 10. He was the 4th American to place in the men's category.

Graham Watanabe placed 8th at the Visa U.S. Snowboardcross World Cup at Telluride Resort in Colorado on December 19. A member of the US Alpine Snowboarding Team since 2000, Watanabe has a background in racing, but switched full-on to snowboard cross (SBX) the year it became an Olympic sport. He won the opening SBX event in Chile to become the first American man ever to win a World Cup SBX. After a remarkable season, he gained the chance to compete in the 2006 Olympic Games. In 2009, Watanabe had three World Cup Top 10 finishes and 2nd place finish at the Snowboardcross Championship Series at the US Snowboarding Grand Prix. He also earned a silver medal at the 2009 winter X-Games. Watanabe began snowboarding because of the influence of his dad, who is the VP of Scott Motorsports.

Watanabe is a sophomore at Westminster and is a business major. He is from Sun Valley, Idaho.

 Bryon Wilson

Bryon Wilson - Freestyle

Click here for the Olympic Freestyle Skiing Schedule and results.

Update: Wilson has won a bronze medal in Men's Freestyle Moguls at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Wilson recently placed 16th making the Finals at the 2010 Visa Freestyle International - Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge at Deer Valley on January 14. Prior to that, he placed 16th in the 2010 FIS Freestyle World Cup in Calgary on January 9. He was the 3rd American to place in the men's category.

Bryon Wilson has had quite an exciting season. With two second place World Cup finishes, he is poised to make the 2010 Olympic team with the strongest results of the U.S. men. He is also a newly appointed member of the US Freestyle Ski Team’s "A" team roster.

Wilson started skiing at age three but didn’t crossover to freestyle until he was 12. Wilson competed in his first World Cup in 2007 where he had three Top 10 finishes, and he became National Mogul Champion in 2009. In addition to being a talented skier, Wilson is also an award-winning wood carver. Visit Wilson’s website at http://www.wilsoncarvings.com/.

Wilson is a freshman at Westminster and is an art major. He is from Butte, Mont.

Click here to learn about additional USSA athletes at Westminster College.

Photo credits: Mike Schirf, Jen Desmond, Tom Kelly, Jonathan Selkowitz, Don Cook