Enjoying the wonders of winter sports


Junior Sam Fee takes boardercross very seriously and qualifies for nationals every year. Her dream college is in Colorado, so she can be close to a mountain and easily escape to the hills with her snowboard. Photo used with permission from Sam Fee

Junior Sam Fee finds a way to escape school stress through boardercross, a snowboarding sport she started in fifth grade. Fee finds refuge in a sport where she can not only compete, but also look out at the beautiful mountains and appreciate the beauty of the earth. Her love for snowboarding has encouraged her to excel academically in order to fulfill her dream of going to college in Colorado.

During boardercross competitions, four to six racers compete to make it down the slope fastest while going around obstacles called rollers. Relying on the snow, the season varies in length, but usually lasts during the months of January and February. Competitors are required to wear a helmet, mouth guard, and usually goggles during their races.

Although boardercross is more popular among boys than girls, Fee’s outstanding performance and many years of practice have made her a better snowboarder than many of her male counterparts.

“I started off as a skier and then saw my brothers snowboard,” Fee said “I gave it a try and now I’ve been snowboarding for nine years and racing for six,”

Fee currently is on a combined boardercross team with St. Catherine’s Academy and Catholic Central High School, where she is the only female captain. In fact, there are 31 boys and only six girls on the team. Despite being one of very few girls, Fee is the fastest on the team. Unfortunately, they have tough competition with other schools further north, who live closer to ski hills and have better practice conditions with more snow. Most of her team’s races are at Mt. Brighton, where Fee also works teaching younger kids to snowboard.

“I’m lucky to have found a sport I’m passionate about,” she said.

Junior Marina Lamphier also participates in a unique sport: cross-country skiing. Similar to Fee, Lamphier started with downhill skiing and tried out cross-country skiing for the first time last year.

“When the ski hills aren’t open early in the morning, it’s the perfect time to go cross-country skiing,” Lamphier said.

During their vacations up north, Lamphier cross-country skis through the wooded trails of Nub’s Nob with her mom. There are usually beautiful sights, between the snow covered terrain and breathtaking mountains, which is the draw for most cross country skiers. However, it can be a tough workout because sometimes they have to trudge through the snow. Eventually, they reach the reward.

“My favorite part is when it’s finally downhill after a tough uphill climb,” Lamphier said.