Season Recap by Brad Wall ’97, Athletic Director

It is challenging to recap a season as anticlimactic as this one, just as athletes were peaking to compete in Championship events, the world shut down and in the blink of an eye, there was no more racing.

Despite the disappointing end to the season, there is much to be proud of. This year marked the first for the BMA E-Team. This program exists to bring together top emerging talent in the U.S. and cultivate a Top Gun like atmosphere that will accelerate the development curve for athletes trying to close the gap between high school/college skiing and true competitive international racing. We are excited to push ahead for next year and have tremendous interest from highly qualified athletes.

There are international markers that we can point to as a program and show progress.

By the numbers:

  • 3 athletes selected to compete in the FIS World Junior Championships (1 in 18-19)
  • 752* women’s NorAm Cup points scored (194 in 18-19)
  • 7 female athletes scoring points in NorAm Cup events (3 in 18-19)
  • 211* men’s NorAm Cup points scored (84 in 18-19)
  • 6 male athletes scoring points in NorAm Cup events (3 in 18-19)
  • 2 athletes selected to compete in the Youth Olympic Games
  • 2 U16 athletes selected to represent USA in the OPA Cup (FIS International Children’s Race)

*An incomplete season with NAC finals canceled

One of our athletic goals this year was to increase the athlete’s expectations and results. The coaching staff was charged with helping the athletes raise their level of self-belief and to aim higher. While we have work to do, the summary above shows that we are moving in the right direction.

It was also exciting to reinvigorate and embrace the BMA Junior Program. It was great to see strong leadership, good coaching and deliberate programming in the Junior Program this year. Several Junior Program athletes have been accepted and will start at BMA in the new school year. We are optimistic that the Junior Program will be a successful BMA feeder program moving forward, giving the academy influence over the full span of an athlete’s technical development from a young age which is exciting.

Overall this year saw a heightened level of professionalism and urgency from the athletes which lead to better technical skiing and ultimately faster skiing. While many athletes and staff feel robbed of the end of their season, I am encouraged by the way they have shifted gears and are looking ahead, and working hard toward next year.

Spring Athletic Update by Darrell Gray, High Performance Director

Just like a snap of your fingers, our season is over. Wait, check that, not only is it over, we now have 48 hours to pack up and head home. The questions started coming fast. How long will we be gone? What should I take home? What are we going to do at home?  Lots of questions, not a lot of answers, but a great time to get creative.

Four weeks into what we are calling our Spring Outbreak and it is amazing how we’ve adjusted.  Canvas is our platform for online classes, so we created a class for our physical training optimistically named Workout of the Day: March – April. Each evening a new WOD is posted for the next day’s training.

The first goal was to stay busy and keep up the physical work as we reset our minds towards a new season. The training started with simple but effective bodyweight work and has become a bit more varied with external loading as the student’s home/garage/backyard gyms are outfitted. While waiting for equipment delivery it’s amazing what a Burkie can come up with when being creative is the only way to get something done. Rice bags became kettlebells, clothes hampers repurposed for deadlifting, logs and tires transformed into barbells and bumper plates! 

I’m an optimist and believe that this early, abrupt transition can turn out to be a good thing. Ski racing is physically very demanding. The high rep / low load work is quite good for the body after the season’s bumps and bruises. With the right attitude and work ethic, we can come out of this spring stronger and fitter than ever. Ready for the next opportunity to get back to snow.

Student Contributors

Patrick Byron ‘22
After my departure from school on March 13, I immediately began to think of how difficult school and training would be at home. At Burke, you have all your peers to motivate you and a training hill to look up at and know what you are working for. Here in New Jersey, I have nothing and no one motivating me to achieve the goals I want on snow. Now, this does not mean that the work is not being put in. My coach Brad Wall made a great analogy of the situation we are in today. He said to look at this as a race day with crappy weather and snow conditions. You can stay focused and perform well, or you can let the circumstances suck you down and walk into the van knowing you could have done more. That is exactly what I am doing, and I hope we all are. We should take this time that we have to become better athletes and when next season comes around, it will pay off.

Nick Czarnik ‘20
Working out at home has been a different experience. It feels as if it should be the same as working out in the summer, but this time working out feels so restricted. With all that is going on in New York, every day becomes more difficult to get out and every day I find myself spending more time in my home gym. It is in these times that I find regularity and structure when everything around seems so different and distant. Working out feels different, but it is also the only same thing in my daily schedule. It’s the only true aspect of my day that ties back to life at Burke. If I leave Burke learning one thing it would be this: You can work out at any time and anywhere with anything you have as long as creativity is right in the centerfold with Type 2 Fun.

Zoe Heinrich-McMullen ‘22
When Willy first sat us all down in the RBC to tell us we would all have to vacate campus and leave for 45 days, I was beyond sad. I had let go of the fact that the season had been canceled because at least I was going to be able to go through it with my best friends, and then I was told all my friends were going to be leaving me, and I would once again be alone in East Burke. My first thought was: How am I supposed to do van runs without Riley McHugh, my running buddy? The next thought was: How do I push myself without BMA with me?

I originally thought our workouts would be similar to the summer training where we are pretty much on our own program, with Bridge as a guideline. But over the course of the last three and a half weeks, I have experienced a truly unique way of training with my team. It has been awesome to watch what everyone else is doing, and still be able to push myself with them. At the same time it has been hard not seeing my favorite people every day, but knowing that I am struggling with those same people makes everything a little bit easier.