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Chris Hennessy

Casey Blatz '26 racing at the 2024 NEPSAC Class A Championships. Blatz finished 10th in the Boys Giant Slalom. (Photo: Risley Sports Photography) 

Berkshire School’s Alpine Ski teams both finished in 7th place at the New England Championships held February 14 at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. The depth throughout the Bears’ lineup propelled the team to the finish despite a few crashes from top skiers along the way. Head Coach Patrick Donovan summarized the season saying, “In our league races, we had lots of individual podium finishes this year, along with team finishes in first, second, third, and some top-fives, too.” The NEPSAC championships were no exception: Berkshire managed 7 top 25 finishes in the Class A final, including a 10th place finish from Casey Blatz ’26 in the Boys Giant Slalom. Blatz says, “[We] had great success over the course of the winter. I could see that as the season went along, our team as a whole improved significantly. Everyone showed up on time, and when it was time to ski, everyone used that time to improve their ski abilities and it paid off.” 

The Bears benefited from their dry land and ski training regimens throughout the season, according to Donovan. “We intentionally build practice plans that help athletes progress through different skill sets and technical and tactical approaches to ski racing. Our aim is to stack training days into chunks to work towards growth and development.” Donovan said the team benefits from a great partnership with their home slopes. “Like all areas, unfortunately, we are not immune to climate change and do feel the impact of this regarding conditions. But, we are grateful for our partners at Catamount Mountain Resort and The Catamount Alpine Race Team, who work tirelessly to provide the best training environment they can for racing.”

Both the Boys and Girls Alpine Ski teams finished 7th at the 2024 NEPSAC Class A Championships

Donovan believes the winter laid the groundwork to a successful future. “Both teams have great depth at each grade level, including a number of ninth and tenth graders who were regular scorers for our varsity teams. We had lots of team first energy this year, and I am excited to see this continue as we move into next season,” he added. 

Blatz is looking ahead to the 2024-25 season as well.“I am most looking forward to seeing the progression of our team and to see everyone keep on building their skiing abilities and potential. I'm excited to keep on building team skills and strategies so that going into next year, we could finish even higher and potentially win some races as a school.”