Coaching Staff

Alpine:

Scott Smith–Head Coach U19 and U16 Race Coach

Scott grew up skiing at Killington.  He was on the United States D Team in 1979,  12th in the US National Slalom in 1980 and skied for the University of Vermont Carnival Team.  He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1984 with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and a MBA in Finance from the University of New Hampshire in 1987.   He coached various levels at Ski Runners from 2002-2010, moved to U18’s at Killington Mountain School in 2011 and then to U16’s at Stratton Mountain School in 2012.  He then returned to Suicide 6 and has been the Head U18 coach with Woodstock Ski Runners for the the past two years.

Stephanie Abrell--U19 & U16 Race Coach

Stephanie hails from Brownsville VT and grew up skiing for S6. While participating in Woodstock Ski Runners she was the #1 Mid-Vt woman and #1 Club skier for four years straight. She is a three time Rolex Junior Olympic overall Champion and SG champion. In 1996 she received Racer Of the Year and was named to the Top 10 Spyder Team for three year’s running.  Along with receiving the VARA Ginny Hunt Award, she collected many more accomplishments throughout the years.  In 1998 she graduated from Burke Mt Academy. In 2014 Stephanie made ski bum history by being the first women to win a Stowe Ski Bum Race in its 41 year history. She has been coaching at Ski Runners since 2012.

Justin Lille-Alpine Program Director-U14 Race Coach

Justin raced at Cardigan Mountain School and Kimball Union Academy. He graduated from UNH with B.A. Psychology. He is an elite cyclist and has competed at the national and international level. He coached at Ford Sayre in Hanover, NH for 5 years and 3 years with WSR. He lives on and farms Lillie Brook Farm in Rockingham, Vermont.

Contact Information:  JDLillie@hotmail.com

Chris Adams– U14 Coach

Chris grew up ski racing at Mt. Southington in Connecticut. He played NCAA lacrosse at Gettysburg College, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English. After college, he returned to skiing, first working in ski shops and then working for Volkl skis and Marker bindings. Chris is currently the Volkl-Marker Promotions Director, where part of his responsibilities are to work directly with the US Ski Team. He has previous coaching experience in skiing and lacrosse.

Cheyenne Wood —Head U12 Coach

Most people in Vermont can’t wait for the summers. I live for the winters.

To me there is nothing better than spending the day on the slopes watching my kids and their friends’ bomb around the mountain. Their self-confidence grows with every turn. Skiing is a great way to let out the leash on our kids. They get the feeling of freedom, zipping around the mountain, and we can still be close enough to pick them up when they fall. I enjoy every aspect of teaching kids. I consider myself lucky that I can share my passion for skiing with younger generations.

I kicked off my coaching/ teaching career at Ascutney Mt. in the early 90’s, teaching never-evers. I eventually worked my way over to help run the racing program. After two winters, I decided to try my luck out west. Being a ski bum was fun and a “must-do” for any serious skier, but eventually, it was time to move on. Arriving home I took the reins of the Hartford High School Ski team. Soon, a job opened up for me to coach my other love, soccer. I stopped coaching at Hartford and have been coaching soccer at Woodstock Union High School since 97’.

The 2009/2010 ski season was my first year back teaching skiing to the little guys; I had almost forgotten how much I missed it. The purity of their fun is infectious. I used to race and throw myself off of cliffs. I used to ski under a full moon down Loveland Pass. I used to spend days up in Tuckerman’s Ravine. I used to live to ski for me, now I live to ski with the kids.

Contact Information:
cheyjessie@gmail.com

Skip McKee — U12 Coach

Skip made his first turns at Pinnacle Ski-Ways in Randolph, VT in the 70’s. Being a (Connecticut) flatlander, he relied on a family full of Vermonters for ski housing and access to quality turns. From Pinnacle, Skip moved over to the Mad River Valley until kids came along and Suicide 6 has been our home ever since. Skip, his wife Meg and their girls, Ella (12) and Maggie (10) live in Westwood, MA and ski at S6 every season. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Woodstock Ski Runners, Dedham Country Day School and Horizons at DCD. Skip races GS in the Masters Program at Nashoba Valley all winter long.
Contact info:

Dave Steele – U10 Race Head Coach

My parents 1st date was going to see one of Warren Miller’s very 1st ski films thus being in the Steele Family meant you skied.

I started skiing at the age of 3 at Round Top in Plymouth, VT with my parents since they worked there on weekends to support their habit.

My love for skiing started in the 1st grade with the Ski Runners Friday program at Mt Tom and then progressed on to Suicide 6 in 2nd grade where I was introduced to the Race team. I raced for Ski Runners / Suicide 6 all through Elementary & High School and was fortunate enough to have great coaches (Tom Hasson, Bill McCollum and Janice LeBaron to name a few). They made the sport fun and taught us to love all aspects of skiing and competition thus it is my goal and commitment to continue that tradition. I continued my racing career at Castleton College for 1 more year and then was introduced to Freestyle / Mogul skiing by a Woodstock Alumni and US Freestyle team member Chuck Martin. I was so hooked after the 1st day of skiing VW sized moguls with Chuck I decided to switch it up and joined Castleton’s Freestyle team.

Today I am on the Ski Runners Coaching staff and love being able to give back to the program that
gave so much to me. I still have fun racing in the Whaleback night league series and
entering “open” mogul competitions BUT mostly I enjoy skiing with my family and the Ski Runners crew. I love encouraging the kids to ski the whole mountain and perfecting their skills by hitting some gates Jumping into a mogul line and then catching some fresh snow in the tree’s. My goal is to help each child meet their goals, whether it be to entering into the competitive programs (Racing or Freestyle) or enjoying the recreational side of skiing. My #1 Rule, Smile and HAVE FUN!!!!

Contact Information:
H (802) 457-4403 C 339-205-8353

Ralph Kurash–Head U12 & up All Mountain Team Coach

Rob Parker–Head Alpine Devo Coach

Rob is beginning his 9th season as a Ski Runners Coach, from 2010 – 2012 he served as the head Ross Coach and has worked with the All Mountain program for the past two seasons. Originally from southern Connecticut, Rob is PSIA certified and a USSA licensed coach. Rob has worked as an instructor for the Killington/Pico, Okemo and Suicide Six ski schools and you may still see him moonlighting over at Killington on occasion. Rob very much enjoys teaching and helping the Ski Runners kids create a strong foundation in their skiing as well as learning the nuances of skiing trees, powder and the whole mountain. Off the mountain, Rob works as the Director of Racquet Sports for the Conanicut Yacht Club in Jamestown, RI and as the Platform Tennis Professional at the Quechee Club and Norwich Racquet Club. In addition, you may catch Rob playing guitar in one of the VT, NH or RI nightclubs with his acoustic duo group, Ruby Street.

PH – 802-356-3189
Email – s6devoteam@gmail.com

Jason Merrill–Mountain Coordinator–Devo/All Mountain Coach

Biria StJohn–Assistant Coach U12 & U16

Biria grew up skiing at Suicide Six starting 1976 when he moved from Connecticut.  He went to the one-room school house at the edge of the S6 parking lot and walked over after school to train and race.  Biria eventually went away to school and raced for Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in Deerfield Massachusetts, but came home to race for S6 on the weekends. Biria went on to the University of Vermont, where he raced for the UVM team for three years, two of which UVM captured the National Championship.  Biria now resides in Boxford Massachusetts with his wife Elaina and three kids, William (U-16), Nolan (U-14) & Caroline (U-10).  He maintains a second home in Pomfret and coaches on the weekends and over holidays.

Elaina St. John–Assistant Coach 

I grew up in MA, learning to ski at a little hill called Nashoba Valley in an afterschool program much like the S6 Friday program. That afternoon program got me hooked on the sport. Since I didn’t hail from a family of skiers, I had to seek it out on my own. I went on to race in high school, both alpine and Nordic, as well as tag along with any friends and family that were skiers.
I ended up at UVM and had the good fortune to ski at Stowe for 4 solid years. It was there that I met Biria and although we live in MA, Vermont holds a special place in our hearts.
I have enjoyed coaching at S6 for the past few years. I have 3 kids in the racing program and I love the community that S6 offers.
Even though race schedules are very demanding for three Racers, Elaina still helps whereever she can.

Lily Ford–Special Coach

Lily started skiing at Okemo as the youngest of the four Ford children.  She raced in Mid-VT until she was a J3.  Lily attended Holderness where she raced on the FIS team and competed on the Eastern Cup Series.  Currently she competes for UNH on the lacrosse team and coaches at S6 during her semester break. We hope to coerce Lilly into helping again in 2016-17!

Nordic Runners:

Gretchen Czaja– Nordic Runners Head Coach 

7th and 8th Grade Coach

I began skiing when I was 10 years old. My parents loved to ski and took my sister and me out on a lot of ski adventures. I began taking lessons at our local Bill Koch Ski League and quickly began racing. Through middle school, high school and college, skiing was always part of my life. I was fortunate enough to ski four years at the University of New Hampshire and post college for the Rossignol Regional Team competing in ½ marathons.

After having my daughter Ada, my focus has been on developing and expanding our Nordic Runners program. This is my 7th year with Nordic Runners and 5th year as head coach. I love how our team has continued to grow into an amazing Nordic ski community. My goal for our skiers to develop their lifelong love for the sport and to support each skier at whatever level they want to achieve! I am looking forward to another great season with our team!

Contact Information:
gretchenczaja@gmail.com
H (802) 291-0451

Team Norway (Grades 3-6)

Head Coach-Gretchen Czaja  woodstocknordic@gmail.com

H (802) 291-0451

Volunteer Coaches-TBA

Tessa Westbrook- Team Lollipop Coach (Kindergarten-2nd grade)

Tessa grew up cross-country skiing in the hills of South Pomfret, Vermont. Skiing on the weekends with her family, and participating in the Friday Ski Runners program, gave her the basics required of the sport, and by age ten she was racing for the local Bill Koch Ski League. With success at a young age she was compelled to continue a competitive career in ski racing, and decided to attend Stratton Mountain School. She became a Junior National Champion, as well as a member of the World Junior Team. After graduating from SMS in 1995, Tessa trained and raced for two years before starting her collegiate racing years at the University of Vermont. From 1997-1999 she dominated the carnival circuit and became a NCAA All-American. She also qualified to race for the US Ski Team at the World Championships in 1999 and 2001. By 2002, Tessa qualified and was a member of the US Olympic Team where she competed in the skating sprint in Salt Lake City, Utah. After the Games, Tessa decided to retire from her own racing career and began coaching elite level cross-country skiers in Sun Valley, Idaho. In 2011 Tessa and her family returned to Vermont and have settled in Pomfret. She has been coaching with Nordic Runners since her return. Skiing continues to be Tessa’s passion and she has found coaching to be a way she can share her passion with others.

Contact information:
tesswestbrook@gmail.com

Kirk Kardashian–Asst. Coach -Team Lollipop

Kirk Kardashian lives in Woodstock with his wife, Kate, and three children (Agnes-9, Brian-6, and Ursula-6mos). He is an avid cyclist and skier, and works as a writer at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Contact Us

Woodstock Ski Runners
PO Box 171
South Pomfret, VT 05067
(802) 457-2971
office@skirunners.org

Mission

It is a proud tradition and an ongoing mission to instill a life-long passion for on-snow sports for the children of our community. By providing a FUN, supportive, family-oriented environment we ensure access to both introductory and competitive programs in Alpine, Nordic and Free Ride disciplines.

Refund Policy

No Program fee refunds will be granted after January 1, 2015. Prior to that there is a $25.00 handling fee. There will be a $25.00 handling fee for all returned checks. Partial payments are not permitted

Privacy Policy

Woodstock Ski Runners is committed to providing the highest level of security and privacy regarding the collection and use of our online registrants’ personal information, as well as that of all visitors to our web site.

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