Centaur pg 1 2-13-20

caption, page 7:

Finishes Run
Woodstock Academy sophomore Eliza Simpson finishes up a run at Mt. Southington last week where she qualified for Team Connecticut.  Photo contributed by Woodstock Academy.

Centaur skier
Team CT
Eliza Simpson is a team-of-one this season.
The Woodstock Academy sophomore is the only girl competing in Alpine skiing for the Centaurs in this first year of the program.
Thus, she gets to concentrate on individual goals.
One of the first for Simpson was to make Team Connecticut. Early last week at Mt. Southington, she accomplished that.
She finished eighth in the second “shootout” or qualifying round held by the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League for Team Connecticut and will be one of the 12 who will represent the state in the Eastern Region championship.
“It’s really special. It’s something I really wanted to do at the beginning of the season and I’m so glad that I did it,” Simpson said.
Simpson did well in the Giant Slalom qualifying run on Jan. 27 and finished it off with an eighth-place finish in the Slalom competition last week.
The Eastern Region championship takes place beginning on March 7 at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire.
Team Connecticut will be taking on teams from Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland/Virginia.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said Woodstock Academy coach Kevin Brody.
Brody said one thing that makes it even more difficult is that athletes like Simpson and junior Zach Brody, his son, are used to racing on the USSA ski circuit.
The length of courses that Zach Brody and Simpson are used to tend to be three or four times the distance than the one the CISL competitions are held on at the smaller Mt. Southington.
“It’s very much a sprint course,” Kevin Brody said.
Fast race.
Different style.
“It’s a different strategy,” Kevin Brody said. “and USSA racers aren’t exactly used to it. Eliza making it, and Zach being on the cusp, is excellent.”
Simpson said while the style and strategy may be completely different, she has found it to be very much to her liking.
“I like the sprint style better because you can throw everything into 30 seconds instead of having to deal with 80 seconds. Everything counts, flat out,” Simpson said.
Simpson is used to racing athletes from Northern New England.
She is generally in the mountains Vermont on weekends.
So, coming back to Connecticut was a little bit of an unknown for her.
“We didn’t know what the competition would be. I thought it would be a little less competitive, but I didn’t know I would be doing this well. It’s been amazing. Everyone is super nice. We’re all just learning from one another and everyone is improving,” Simpson said.
While Simpson found the competition to be a little easier than she expected, Zach Brody has had the opposite experience.
The junior has been a bit surprised by the amount of competition he has run into.
Zach Brody is the first alternate for Team Connecticut in the boys.
“Zach thought he was going to walk in and do very well, which he has, but he has realized that there are a lot of good racers in Connecticut even more so than Massachusetts,” Kevin Brody said. “It’s a good thing. Now, he knows he has a challenge and he knows what he needs to work on for next season.”
Simpson followed up that qualifying performance with an 11th place finish among 190 girls Feb. 5 in a CISL meet that included Amity, Fairfield, Farmington, Hopkins School and Pomperaug.
 “It was a little slick,” Simpson said. “I thought my first run that I had disqualified myself because I went around the start gate the wrong way, but I later found out that I didn’t. I was a little nervous after that, but my second run was pretty good.”
Zach Brody finished 12th out of over 200 boys in attendance for the meet.
The Centaurs don’t qualify to compete as a team since teams must have six skiers.
Woodstock Academy has only five skiers as an early-season injury has left it one short all season.
Senior Stu Edgren finished 42nd, Davis Simpson was 48th.
Ben Douglas and Caleb Anderson were further down the list but both lack experience when it comes to racing.
“A lot of these families only ski a handful of days a year, but Caleb is now on the snow five days a week. That’s what you makes you better. Ben, through the team, is also becoming friends with Davis and they have been doing a lot of skiing together,” Kevin Brody said.
The Centaurs have one more regularly scheduled meet and Eliza Simpson has a goal going in.
“I want to finish really well. I want to finish in the top three overall, not just among the small schools,” Eliza Simpson said with a smile.
The Centaurs will be challenged by the likes of Danbury, Glastonbury, Guilford, New Canaan, Notre Dame-West Haven/Oxford, and Southington Feb. 12.
The season comes to a close for Eliza Simpson and Zach Brody with the CISL championship races on Feb. 25.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


RocketTheme Joomla Templates