Student by day, skiier by night
March 2, 2011
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During the winter, it is common to take a ski or snowboard trip to Whitetail, Liberty, Vail or even Canada. But junior Lauren Meeker takes a trip to Whitetail around four to five times a week during the ski season. She is part of their race team.
Meeker’s always loved skiing since she started at age four- her parents both skied before and her father was a ski instructor in Switzerland. But, just last winter, Meeker decided to take it to the next level.
“I wanted to become a better skier and racing is the best way to do that.” However, there were significant changes between recreational skiing and racing. “It’s totally different. You have to turn where the course tells you to rather than just where your comfort zone tells you to, “ said Meeker.
The first year on the race team, Meeker was determined to make up lost years, since other kids on the team had started racing much earlier. “You have to be so devoted to be a good racer,” said Meeker.
Her coach that first season said she “improved 360 degrees.” She now races in the top group, J-1 in the slalom and giant slalom (GS).
Every weekend and about two times during the week, she makes the trip up to southern Pennsylvania to practice with her team.
“I don’t know how Lauren does it. I would at least be really sore if I skied every weekend,” said close friend Elizabeth Meiser. Meeker also had to give up indoor travel soccer and other leisure activities for skiing. She also says it’s “hard to balance school and everything else.”
However, Meeker says the sacrifices are all worth it. She plans to ski in college for a club team.
When asked her favorite part of racing, Meeker responded, “How fast you can get going…it really is almost like flying.”