Alex Simon on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks near Lake Placid at the U16 state competition on Feb. 26.
Courtesy of David Simon
Alex Simon on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks near Lake Placid at the U16 state competition on Feb. 26. Courtesy of David Simon

For most Blind Brook ski team members, the race season only consists of the few meets for the school, and the rest of the season involves skiing for fun. However, for freshman Alex Simon, ski racing takes up all of his winter weekends. Not only has he been skiing since he was four, but he’s been participating in a competition team program since he was seven years old. He recently skied in sectionals for the Blind Brook team, the only member to do so, and placed 16th for giant slalom and 21st for slalom out of 53 racers, an impressive feat for a freshman.

“Racing for Blind Brook High School has been an interesting experience because not only do I get to race against some of the athletes from the NYSSRA [New York State Ski Racing Association], but also racers from weekend programs in Massachusetts or Vermont,” said Simon. “I was happy to make it to the Section 1 High School Championship as a freshman and my next goal will be to qualify for the High School State Championship.”

Simon was first put on skis by his parents at age four and started skiing with the Hunter Mountain Competition Team at age seven, competing in the age group with all participants under nine years old. The program groomed skiers for either racing or freestyle and focused on drills and mountain skiing techniques. When he was nine, he moved into a different age group and became a member of the United States Ski Association (USSA) and New York State Ski Racing Association. He continued to ski in this age group until he joined U14. As a racer in the U14 age group, he qualified to participate in the state championships twice and for the New York-Vermont Project at Stratton Mountain.

Currently, Simon competes as the youngest member of the U16 age group due to his late birthday. He races against ski teams from other mountains, like Windham, Whiteface, and Gore, and also racers from the Northwoods School ski academy program at Lake Placid.

Although he is only able to ski on weekends, unlike some of the others he competes against, Simon still tries to supplement his training whenever possible. When Tuxedo Ridge was open, he’d typically train there once or twice a week after school. On top of all this, his family usually takes a ski trip out West once a year, either before or after the race season.

On Feb. 25 and 26, Simon competed in the U16 New York State Championships. Even with a near fall in the giant slalom race, he won the “Hard Charger” trophy, which he earned by moving up the most spots from his original seeding position.

“Alex is a great, aggressive ski racer and he’ll be fun to watch over the next few years,” said Blind Brook ski team coach Nazareth Flory.

Keep in mind that Alex is still only a freshman and will hopefully continue to bring great success to the Blind Brook ski team as well as continue in his sister's footsteps. Sarah, a senior, was a captain of the team this past season. She also qualified for sectionals but was unfortunately unable to attend.