Slipping Down Slopes With Lauren Peirce
Written by Max Rettig
This year, the women’s ski club team made it to Nationals. While some of their racers were hitting the slopes last weekend, Max Rettig was able to sit down with senior Lauren Peirce, a ski team rookie. Here’s what Lauren had to say about her skiing experience and her team’s road to Nationals.
Bwog: Explain your sport in ten words or fewer.
Lauren: Going down mountains on two wooden boards around gates.
B: When did you personally start skiing? Has it been a lifetime hobby or just something you picked up recently?
L: I started skiing when I was 3 years old, and began racing when I was 6. Starting early is so much easier because there’s such a learning curve. However, it is a sport that you can pick up quite quickly. Half of the team members are racers, but half are also people who have picked up skiing when they got to college, so they’ve definitely come a long way.
B: Can you elaborate on the team’s, and your own, path to nationals?
L: I started racing with the club at the beginning of the semester, but the team starts in late fall. For the actual season, there are two races a weekend, starting in mid-January. Based on how the team does in these races, we get ranked. The women’s team was ranked second. We then qualified for Regionals, with the Slalom and Giant Slalom, where the top 5 girls and top 5 boys will compete and the top 3 scores for each gender are counted. Then it comes down to team rankings: the top 3 teams for each gender make Nationals, and we got second.
B: Favorite skiing joke or innuendo?
L: Why are skiers the best lovers? We love to bump.
B: What are your personal accomplishments as a skier? What is your proudest moment?
L: I made the Junior Olympics back in high school, and in the one run I actually completed, I finished in the top 10. So I’d say that’s my proudest moment, especially since I was a weekend warrior competing against skiers who went to academies.
B: What’s the team culture like?
L: The team is extremely welcoming. Taking buses to every race and overnight is a great way to socialize, and overnight trips are great for meeting new people and making friends. There’s just a great overall sense of camaraderie. The seniors actually dress up in crazy costumes at the last race of the season, which is a lot of fun for us.
B: So where could we find the ski team on weekends?
L: We are usually in upstate New York, at Hunter Mountain. Sometimes we go to Bellayre and Windham Mountain also. All of our resorts are in the Catskills. We did go to Blue Mountain (PA) once.
B: Do you remember the hardest course you’ve taken on?
L: Middlebury Mountain (VT), definitely. The first few gates are pretty easy, but there’s a straight drop after that, which gives the course an edge. I like that challenge.
B: Cool ski lingo?
L: Straddle, cross-blocking, DNF (Did not finish), DSQ (Disqualified), DNS (Did not start), flush, hairpin, under-gate.
B: Any Olympic aspirations?
L: No, but I love watching Mikaela Shiffrin in the Olympics. I’d say she’s my role model. She really shows what you can do, especially as someone so young. Also a Giant Slalom skier.
[Note: this interview has been edited for brevity.]
Lauren Peirce via Taylor Franks/USCSA New Jersey Conference
Tags: 2nd overall is AWESOME, Alpine skiing, dressing up in crazy costumes because we're graduating soon, junior olympics aka bwog's twelfth birthday wish, mountains, skiers love to bump if ya catch our drift, snow sports, thank god someone's enjoying the snow, wooden boards on mountains now that we can understand