Another Amazing Okemo Winter Sports Season & More!
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It is hard to believe that another winter season is complete! This year has flown by, as usual, but it has certainly produced some major results in all disciplines. Through that, Okemo’s snow sports athletes have had some great experiences, anywhere from traveling to Colorado and beyond, the Marco Sullivan Speed Camp sponsored by OMARA, and competing all over New England. The dedication and determination of all of the athletes, those training weekends and those attending OMS alike, was clear and earned them not only excellent results, but also outstanding fundamental skills-based progress.  As the season comes to an end, we would like to reflect back on some of the highlights of the 2018/19 season…

For alpine, most know that the goal for many athletes is to make the VT State Championships for their age group. This year, OMS and the Okemo Competition Center had a number of U14’s competing in states, including Merina Visnic, Nina Garbarino, Kiera Laurion, Olivia Weeple, Hayden Nelson, Jillian Ludl, Tia Spenlinhauer, Abby Kelleher, Georgia Chadwick, Brooke Bergendahl, Josh Rosenberg, Michael Caruso, Christian Carretero, Gabe Dawkins, Graham Stein, Kieran Shea, Carter Robinson, Thaddeus D’Andrea, Michael Amato, Cole Firstbrook, and Owen Poodiack. For the women, the top results came from Merina and Nina, who took 3rd and 4th in the Super G and 1st and 2nd in GS! For the men, Josh Rosenberg finished 1st, along with 4th in the Super G and 2nd in the Slalom. These results granted him the title of the Overall U14 State Champ!

While the VT State Championships is a major accomplishment in itself, many of our athletes didn’t stop there. Josh Rosenberg, Michael Caruso, Cole Firstbrook, Christian Carretero, Merina Visnic, and Nina Garbarino all moved on to the Eastern Championships. Keria Laurion, Olivia Weeple, Gabe Dawkins, and Mike Amato also moved onto the VT/NY Invitational.

The race to the top didn’t even stop there though! After producing awesome results at Eastern’s, Nina Garbarino and Merina Visnic earned spots in Can-Ams in Tremblant, Ontario, and Josh Rosenberg went onto the U16 Nationals in Breckenridge, Colorado. Both of these competitions bring the best athletes from all over New England and the United States. At Can-Ams, Nina and Merina both earned some top 20 results and Nina even took 5th in the Super G! As for Nationals, Josh had a great experience and enjoyed the opportunity to race out west, against many of the best alpine athletes in the country. Not only was this an awesome way to end this season, it helped Josh experience the competition level that he will have as a U16 next season.

Our U16’s also had a great year on the hill! The OMS and Okemo Competition Center athletes that competed at the U16 Vermont State Championships were Reilly Shea, Jenna Mirabile, Maeve Esler, Sarah Bassett, Erin Kelleher, Drew Visnic, John Kelleher, Ryan Thomson, Christopher Amata, Joe Flaherty, Freddie Brogden, Brady Spenlinhauer, Brennan Hynes, Quinn Riordan, Seth Tobin, and Henry Lavion. Our top results came from Drew Visnic who won 1st place in the Slalom and 3rd place overall!

Many of our U16’s advanced onto Eastern’s, as well. This included Drew Visnic, Ryan Thomson, and John Kelleher. At Eastern’s, Drew continued his successful season with 8th and 14th finishes in the Slalom races, along with a 15th place finish in the Super G. Ryan Thomson also earned his way into the top thirty with 27th in the Super G. Brennan Hynes, Freddie Brogden, Chris Amato, and Joe Flarhety also made Eastern Finals. At finals, Brennan Hynes worked his way into the top 10, with a 9th place finish in Slalom!

Okemo’s younger alpine athletes also enjoyed an outstanding season.  Hopefuls had an awesome winter exploring the mountain and gaining confidence in their skills.  They enjoyed their races on Bull Run and Wardance, always competing with smiles! The U10s, the youngest alpine group to race intermountain, traveled Mid-Vermont competing and training at Pico, Killington, Middlebury, and Quechee. They had a successful and FUN season.  The U12s also compete in Mid-Vermont and at the last MVC race of the year, a dual SL on Wardance, were successful in winning the team trophy, “The Boot,” for yet another summer. Many U12 athletes participated in post-season events: Piche’s in NH, Meisterschaft in Southern Vermont, and the NY-VT SL Project at West Mountain, NY.  Piche’s participants were Bridget Waters, Riley Keane, Emma Van Heyst. A special shout out to Bridget for placing 3rd in the Piche’s SL. Meisterschaft participants were Maisie Kostuchenko, Cami Blount, Alyssa Lux, Fiona Rivas, Alexis Robinson, Alice Weeple, Blake Nelson, Sam Tatko, Declan Gilmore, Owen Benison, Otis Hamner, Liam Fitzgibbon, and Robert Fitzgibbon.  A special shoutout to Alyssa Lux (4th in GS, 8th in SL), Maisie Kostuchenko (5th in GS, 7th in SL), Blake Nelson (2nd in GS), Sam Tatko (6th in GS and SL), and Declan Gilmore (10th in GS). Parker Toyloy attended the NY-VT SL Project and enjoyed an awesome interstate training opportunity.

OMS and OMST snowboarders have also competed in some major competitions throughout the year. Margie Black started the season by competing in the Toyota Grand Prix in Colorado, Connor Shea and Maggie Hall competed in the Speed Nation BX event in British Columbia, and Katy Buckley, Maggie Hall, Margie Black, and Aviela Berk-Silverman all competed in the Toyota Rev Tour in Pennsylvania!

At the end of every season, the snowboard team heads to Colorado for USASA Nationals. We brought 21 athletes from OMS and our OMST weekend program this year. Nationals is held annually at Copper Mountain at the end of March and into April, in which more than a thousand snowboarders compete in different age groups and disciplines throughout the week. All the hard work and dedication to training this season certainly paid off as our athletes once again made a huge splash with 15 podiums and numerous top ten finishes! Some of the highlights of the week included eleven year-old, Caleb Kampf’s valiant effort in racing in which he took home silver medals in GS, Slalom, and BX and set him up nicely for an additional podium spot with a 3rd place overall in his age group. Sumner Orr also took home some hardware in racing with a bronze in slalom and a photo-finish silver medal in BX.  Vivian Sweet and Maggie Hall also secured two killer podiums in BX with a bronze and gold, respectively. In pipe, our older girls crushed it with silver medals for both Maggie Hall and Katy Buckley and Aviela Berk-Silverman’s clean and stylish run secured her the gold. In slopestyle, Aviela took another top spot on the podium and Maggie Hall also took home the gold in her age group.  Eleven year-old, Tommy Okesson also had a stellar performance in one of the largest age groups (75 athletes) and brought home the bacon with silver medals in both slope and pipe. We couldn’t be prouder of our Okemo snowboard athletes and the effort they put forth out at Copper. We have had 60+ podiums over the past four years and look forward to keeping the double-digit streak going in 2020!

Top Ten Finishes (18):

Connor Shea: 7th in BX
Otto Lichtensteiger: 5th in BX, 6th in HP
Eryll Brennan: 6th in HP
Margie Black: 7th in Pro HP, 6th in Pro Slope
Katy Buckley: 6th in slope
Sumner Orr: 5th in slope, 4th in Overalls

Vivian Sweet: 8th in GS

Zoe Guerrero: 4th in HP, 7th in SL, 5th in overalls

Nate Marguiles: 5th in HP, 5th in GS, 6th in overalls

Colin O’brien: 4th in GS, 4th in Overalls

Last, but not least, all of our OMS Freestyle athletes, plus several Okemo Competition Program athletes, made Nationals with some great results throughout the season. Our youngest OMS Freestyle athlete, Liam Brogden earned over ten 1st place results across all disciplines this season. Travis Blake had several 1st and 2nd place finishes throughout the season. Aiden Shea also showed great work in several skiercross events, earning 2nd in a couple competitions, along with a 3rd place finish in a slopestyle event. Our oldest OMS freestyle athlete, Patrick Young, placed in the top 3 in various events in Vermont, along with traveling to Europe to compete. Patrick competed in the British Junior Nationals, coming in 2nd in the U18 age group and 3rd overall for skiercross! He also came 4th in his first Audi Tour race and 7th in the second race, where he was up against all the boys from the Swiss Ski Cross team in the semi- final. After coming back to Vermont, Patrick had some great results in the IFSA Freeride World Tour qualifier. He had multiple top 10 finishes and a 7th place at the IFSA Smugglers Notch  2* event. This qualified him to the IFSA Junior Nationals at Jay Peak.

The freestyle team has spent the last week competing in the USASA Nationals, as well. One of our athletes favorite events is the Skier Cross and they certainly showed their skills. We had three top 10 mens finishes; Paul Gleason with 2nd, Patrick Young with 3rd, and Travis Blake in 8th. For the 8-9 girls age group, Adelyn Meyenberg took 2nd in the halfpipe and Evelyn Hickey took 4th in the halfpipe and 7th in slopestyle. For the 10-11 girls age group, Emily Ahlcrona won 6th.

To end the season, OMS and the Okemo Competition Center handed out awards to our most deserving athletes.

Okemo Competition Center Awards:

U10 Alpine:
U10 Athlete of the Year: Piper Keane
U10 Athlete of the Year: Ryan Visnic
U10 Most Improved: Katie Visco
U10 Most Improved: Mason Aframe
U10 Sportsmanship: Ethan Rosenberg
U10 Coaches' Award: Kira Smith

U12 Alpine:
U12 Athlete of the Year: Bridget Waters
U12 Athlete of the Year: Andrew Visco
U12 Most Improved: Riley Keane
U12 Most Improved: Liam Fitzgibbon
U12 Sportsmanship: Dillon Poodiack
U12 Coaches' Award: Maisie Kostuchenko

Male U14 Alpine:
Outstanding Skier: Michael Amato
Most Improved: Ben Crawford
Coaches Award: Carter Robinson

Female U14 Alpine:
Outstanding Skier (MVP): Kiera Laurion
Most Improved: Julia Musiak
Coaches Award: Samantha Mecane

U16 Alpine:
Coaches Award: Sophie Brett & Ava Dall
Most Improved: Erin Kelleher
Skier of the Year: Ryan Thomson

Snowboard:
Most Improved Rider of the Year: Nathan Marguiles
Most Improved Female Rider of the Year: Ally Van Heyst
Hardest Charger: Jason O'brien
Rider of the Year: Tommy Okesson

Freestyle:

Mogul
Mogul Skier of the Year: Niko Weaver
Mogul Skier of the Year: Gia Weaver
Most Improved Mogul Skier: Ellertson
Most Improved Mogul Skier. Jayden Malouf

Freeride
Most Improved Freeride Skier: Luke Hayden & Colin Stowell
Most Freeride Skier: Adelyn Meyenburg
Freeride Skier of the Year: Ciaran De Buy Wenniger
Freeride Skier of the Year: Shea Norris

OMS Awards:

U12 Alpine:
U12 Skier of the Year: Blake Nelson
U12 Dryland Award: Owen Benison

U14 Alpine:
U14 Outstanding Skier: Josh Rosenberg
U14 Most Improved: Mike Caruso
U14 Most Improved: Cole Doolittle
U14 Coaches’ Award: Kieran Shea
U14 Lemonade Award: Henry Roe
U14 Outstanding Skier:  Merina Visnic
U14 Outstanding Skier: Nina Garbarino
U14 Most Improved: Olivia Weeple
U14 Coaches’ Award: Emily Solomon

U16/U19 Alpine:
U16 Outstanding Skier: Drew Visnic
U16 Most Improved: Brennan Hynes
U16 Coaches’ Award: Sarah Bassett
U19 Outstanding Skier: Jillian Mirabile
U19 Most Improved: Brooke Moran
U19 Most Improved: Carver Provance
U19 Outstanding Skier: Will Beney
U19 Coaches’ Award: Jack Beney

Freestyle:
Freestyle Coaches’ Award: Liam Brogden
Freestyle Most Improved: Patrick Young

Snowboard:
Snowboard Most Improved Female Rider of the Year: Vivian Sweet
Snowboard Most Improved Male Rider of the Year: Sumner Orr
Snowboard “Knitty Gritty” Award: Margie Black
Snowboard Rider of the Year: Chris Savage

Not only did our athletes do well on the hill, they also succeeded in the classroom. One of the hardest parts of being an athlete is being able to juggle both schools and athletics, however, the students at OMS truly prove that hard work pays off, both on and off the hill.

This year’s academic awards went to:
Excellence in Science: Brooke Moran
Excellence in Science:  Jillian Mirabile
Excellence in Mathematics: Sarah Bassett
Excellence in History: Henry Roe
Excellence in English: Katy Buckley
Excellence in Spanish: Christian Carretero

Our favorite awards to give out are the Head of School and Greatest Gains. The Head of School Award is granted to a student who shows excellence in the classroom and on the hill. This student should be hard working, respectful of others, driven with the will to succeed. This year’s Head of School Awards went to Josh Rosenberg for the Middle School and Katy Buckley for the High School. The Greatest Gains Award goes to a student who tries extremely hard, making improvements, not just to their grades, but to their work ethic and attitude in the classroom. This year’s Greatest Gains Award went to Otto Lichtensteiger.

While this season is over, we are well on our way to getting ready for next year! OMS admissions are open, having already passed our priority deadline, however, there is still time to apply! For more information and to apply, click here!

For athletes, preparing for next season starts now as well.  A great way to get a jump on training for the upcoming season is attending an on-snow camp. This summer we are offering the Mount Hood Camp, June 20th - July 2nd, for athletes in all disciplines - alpine, snowboard and freestyle. Time on snow in the summer not only provides athletes with pre-season training, but gives them the opportunity to work on technical skills and receive feedback in a small group setting. Athletes can boost their skill development, while having an incredible experience that will strengthen their love of the sport and be with them all their lives.  Summer is a great time for athletes to make breakthroughs - with the warmer temps, sunshine, and absence of the pressure of impending races or competitions, attitudes are light and fun and we often see athletes accomplish new skills based goals.   Furthermore, while it may not seem like a lot of time at first, realize that for weekend only athletes the 10 +/- days on snow the athletes will get at our Mount Hood camp represents 25% of the time they will spend on snow all winter long - this is a huge chunk of time! To receive a 10% discount on the Mount Hood Camp, sign up and submit a deposit before April 15th! For more information, click here!

OMS also offers four sessions of a Summer Sports Adventure Camp as a way to get in shape while having fun with winter friends. These camps provide morning conditioning to work on strength and agility, followed by afternoon activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, and lake sports! For more info, click here!

As summer passes, mark your calendars for a September weekend of fun with the OMS Golf Tournament on September 14th, followed by Fit Day on September 15th!

Ashley Billings
Snowboard Team Update at USASA Nationals!
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Our snowboard team is currently at USASA Nationals in Copper, Colorado. They spent the first week training and competitions began this week. All of their hard work this winter is paying off because many of our athletes have finished in the top 10!

Sunday:
Caleb Kampf took 2nd in the Giant Slalom!

Monday:
Maggie Hall took 2nd in Jams Pipe
Aviela Berk-Silverman took 1st in Jr Women’s Pipe
Katy Buckley took 2nd in Jr Women’s Pipe
Caleb Kampf finished 2nd in Menehune Boys Slalom
Sumner Orr finished 3rd in Breaker Boys Slalom
Otto Lichtensteiger finished 5th in BX
Connor Shea took 7th in BX
Zoe Guerrero finished 4th in Halfpipe
Nate Margulies finished 5th in Slalom
Portia deSimone finished 7th in Halfpipe

Tuesday:
Caleb Kampf finished 2nd in Menehune BX
Sumner Orr finished 2nd in Breaker BX
Maggie Hall placed 1st in Jam’s Slope
Aviela Berk-Silverman took 3rd in Junior Slope
Lindsay took 4th in Reggie GS
Otto Lichtensteiger took 6th in Youth Halfpipe
Earl Brennan finished 5th in Junior Halfpipe
Katy Buckley finished 6th in Junior Slope

We are SO proud of all of our athletes! Keep up the hard work and enjoy the snow! To stay up to date on further results, click here!

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Ashley Billings
OMS U14's Move onto Nationals and Can-Ams!
Merina Visnic, Josh Rosenberg, Nina Garbarino

Merina Visnic, Josh Rosenberg, Nina Garbarino

Josh Rosenberg- Easterns Slalom

Josh Rosenberg- Easterns Slalom

Nina Garbarino- Easterns Slalom

Nina Garbarino- Easterns Slalom

Merina Visnic- Easterns GS

Merina Visnic- Easterns GS

It isn’t a secret that our athletes come to Okemo Mountain School because they want to compete at an elite level and reach their full potential. However, the time and dedication that has to go into making that happen is extreme and often consumes the lives of these middle and high schoolers. All of these athletes want the same thing; to be the best. Being the best comes with a lot of hard work, so when that hard work pays off, it is something to be celebrated as an athlete, a team, and as a school.

The hard work has paid off for a few of our alpine athletes in the last couple of weeks, getting them into races where they compete with the best skiers in the country. Our U14’s started by competing at the VARA Vermont State Championships, where they cleaned house and several were able to move onto the Eastern Championships. Eastern’s took place at Whiteface Mountain in New York last weekend where U14 skiers from all over the eastern region compete in Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, and Skills events. Just to make this event is an accomplishment in itself, but to place in the top 10 takes skill, talent, and hard work. Not only did one of our athletes do this, but 3 of them did!

For the men, Josh Rosenberg, who has competed at the top of the pack all season took the podium in all four events! He placed 1st in Skills Quest,1st in Slalom, 2nd in Super-G, and 2nd in GS. With these awesome runs, Josh earned himself a spot in U16 Nationals, which takes place this weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado. This means that Josh will not only be competing against the best athletes in the country, but also in the age bracket of U16’s. For an alpine athlete, competing at Nationals is the goal and Josh is on his way to making his athletic dreams come true.

For the women, both Nina Garbarino and Merina Visnic took home some hardware in numerous events. Nina placed 9th in Slalom, 5th in Super G, and 4th in Skills Quest. Merina placed 9th in the GS. Again, Nina and Merina were competing against some of the best athletes in the eastern region and did very well. This earned both of them a spot in the U14 Can-Am series in Tremblant, Ontario at the end of the week!

We wish our student-athletes luck in their upcoming races and can’t wait to see what the future holds for these dedicated young racers!

A few words from OMS Head of School, Mariel Meringolo: "I couldn't be more thrilled with our U14s and their progress this season.  Not only are they as a whole skiing fundamentally well, we are seeing incredible results at the highest levels of competition.   I know that Nina and Merina both have the drive and athleticism to perform well at Can-Ams and can't wait to cheer them on. Josh is an awesome athlete as well, but I believe his incredible mental focus and consistency gave him the edge to win U14 Easterns.  These traits will serve him well as he steps up to the next level of competition against the U16s at Nationals."

Ashley Billings
OMS Athlete's Come Home
A quick stop at Niagra Falls while competing in Canada!

A quick stop at Niagra Falls while competing in Canada!

Will on the podium at Devils Glen in Ontario with Redneck’s, Sandy and Robby!

Will on the podium at Devils Glen in Ontario with Redneck’s, Sandy and Robby!

Jack scored points in this SL at Bromont in Quebec!

Jack scored points in this SL at Bromont in Quebec!

Will on the pitch at Devils Glen in Ontario!

Will on the pitch at Devils Glen in Ontario!

Many know that the name Okemo means "All Come Home" in the Native American language of the area's original inhabitants. To those of us who truly call Okemo home, the name is all the more fitting. Recently, two of our former student-athletes, William and Jack Beney, decided it was time to return "home" to wrap up their PG training before heading off to college in the fall.  

Will and Jack came to Okemo in 2010 when their family relocated to the U.S. from France.  They had learned to ski and started their love affair with ski racing in the French Alps, but quickly found a new ski racing home in Vermont. The boys competed in the Okemo Competition Center program and then attended Okemo Mountain School for a few years before heading to high school at Burke Mountain Academy. Following graduation, the brothers enrolled in post graduate programs to continue their ski racing progression, working towards the ultimate goal of competing in elite level competition through their college years - and potentially beyond. Will is in his second PG year, Jack in his first. Feeling that perhaps "home" was the best place to support their ski racing ambitions and reinforce their fundamental passion for the sport, Will and Jack are once again racing for Okemo as PG athletes at OMS.

Being “home” has proven quite beneficial for both boys. They settled in quickly here and rediscovered the joy of going fast on snow. While generally we encourage greater attention be paid to the process than to results, it is always encouraging when results ultimately validate the process. In recent weeks, Will has earned awards at FIS races in Canada - at one point sharing the podium with Redneck Racing’s, Robby Kelly and Sandy Veitz, both of whom have competed on the World Cup circuit. While at OMS, the Beney brothers have collectively “scored” in both SL and GS disciplines at least a half a dozen times already, improving their points by significant margins. What’s more, they are laying the technical, tactical, mental and physical foundation for continued advancement of their athletic goals over the coming years while competing for their college teams.

After three successful Canadian road trips in Ontario and Quebec, Will and Jack now shift their focus back to the U.S. for the next several weeks, where together with another OMS athlete, Carver Provance, they will compete in FIS Devo Finals and FIS Eastern Cups at Sunday River, Stowe, and Burke. Will and Jack will also compete in U.S. Junior Nationals at Waterville Valley.

We couldn't be happier to have the boys back home at Okemo and we wish them well in the final weeks of racing this season!

Ashley Billings
U14 & U16 State Championships!
U14 States!

U14 States!

Josh Rosenberg- U14 Overall State Champ

Josh Rosenberg- U14 Overall State Champ

U16 Girls

U16 Girls

U16 Boys

U16 Boys

It is hard to believe that another winter season is coming to an end. We have certainly gone out on a bang with the U14 & U16 State Championships where we had many top 5 results from Okemo Mountain School and Okemo Competition Center athletes! All of our student-athletes have worked hard all winter and whether they placed competitively or not, their dedication has shown in the improvements they have made.

The U14’s competed at Stratton for the Vermont State Championships this year. Our female competitors were Merina Visnic, Nina Garbarino, Kiera Laurion, Olivia Weeple, Hayden Nelson, Jillian Ludl, Tia Spenlinhauer, Abby Kelleher, Georgia Chadwick, Graham Stein, and Brooke Bergendahl. Merina and Nina took 3rd and 4th in the Super G and 1st and 2nd in GS!

Our U14 male competitors were Josh Rosenberg, Michael Caruso, Christian Carretero, Gabe Dawkins, Kieran Shea, Carter Robinson, Thaddeus D’Andrea, Michael Amato, Cole Firstbrook, and Owen Poodiack. In GS, Josh Rosenberg took finished 1st, along with 4th in Super G and 2nd in Slalom. These results granted him the title of the Overall U14 State Champ!

We are also proud to announce that for the U14’s, Josh Rosenberg, Michael Caruso, Cole Firstbrook, Christian Carretero, Merina Visnic, Nina Garbarino made the Eastern Championships! Keira Laurion, Olivia Weeple, Gabe Dawkins, Mike Amato also made the VT/NY Invitational!

Our U16s competed at Sugarbush for the VT State Championships. Our female competitors were Reilly Shea, Jenna Mirabile, Maeve Esler, Sarah Bassett, and Erin Kelleher.

Our male competitors were Drew Visnic, John Kelleher, Ryan Thomson, Christopher Amato, Joseph Flaherty, Freddie Brogden, Brady Spenlinhauer, Brennan Hynes, Quinn Riordan, Seth Tobin, and Henry Lavion. Our top results came in with Drew Visnic who won 1st place in the Slalmon and finished 3rd overall!

As for continuing the season, Drew Visnic, Ryan Thomson, John Kelleher made Eastern Championships. Brennan Hynes, Freddie Brogden, Chris Amato, and Joe Flaherty also made Eastern Finals.

Congratulations to all of the Okemo Mountain School and Okemo Competition Center athletes for a great winter season! For complete results from any of the above races, click here.

Ashley Billings
OMS Winter Festival 2019
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Our 9th Annual Okemo Mountain School Winter Festival was a huge success, raising over $45,000! This was made possible through donated silent auction items, our campaign sponsors, and of course those who attended the event! Thank you to everyone who continues to support our school and student-athletes!

Winter Festival Campaign Donors

World Cup Crystal Globe:
The Mueller Family
Okemo/Vail Resorts

Olympic Gold Level:
The Young Family
Mary W. Davis Realty
William Raveis Vermont Properties

Olympic Silver Level:
The Dawkins Family
The Rosenberg Family
The Stein Family
The Kelleher Family
The Maggioli Family
The Lovejoy Family

Olympic Bronze Level:
The Tobin Family
The Yurkerwich Family
Dan and Diane Keating
The Nelson Family

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Winter Festival Restaurant Sponsors

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Coleman Brook Tavern
The Sitting Bull
Stemwinder
Singleton’s
Killarney’s Irish Pub
Plymouth Notch Cheese Factory
Sweet Surrender Bakery
Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co.
Goodman’s American Pie
Mama’s Handmade Italian
The Downtown Grocery
The Castle

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Winter Festival Silent Auction Donors

Bromley Mountain
Pearson Neal
Mama’s
Stemwinder
Grafton Ponds
Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa
Patrice Fortier
Vermont Flannel Company
Woodstock Inn
Rich White
The Visnic Family
Frank Provance
Manchester Woodcraft
Bobby Jones
Jet Robbins
Diane Mueller
Totem Pole Ski Shop
Heather Grier
The Boot Pro
Connor Davis
Homestyle Hostel
Chris Hurka
Hana Saydek
Knight Tubs Pools & Spas
The Cookster
Java Baba’s
Fleece on Earth
Big Eyes Bakery
The Free Range
Cavendish Canine Came
du Jour VT
Mangiamo
Neal’s
La Tavola
Harry’s
Julia Ford
Mike Cronin
Mojo’s Cafe
The Dawkins Family
Jennifer Edelstein
Deanna Mirabile
Bill Hoffman
Okemo Mountain Resort
Go With the Flow Yoga
Belinda Maggioli
The Hoffman Family
Russ Hurlburt Photography
Jen Blount
Jim Blount
Cody Larson

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Ashley Billings
Marco Sullivan Speed Camp at Okemo
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The OMS student-athletes and Competition Center Athletes spent 4 days over the MLK weekend participating in the Marco Sullivan Speed Camp, which proved to be a beneficial and fun camp for all!

First, we would like to thank everyone that played a role in making this camp happen because without the support, we wouldn’t be able to give our athletes such wonderful experiences. First, we would like to thank OMARA and William Raveis Vermont Properties for sponsoring the camp. We would also like to thank Okemo Mountain Operations and the Okemo Competition Center for setting up such a great venue for the camp.

Another thanks to Anna Goodman (Marco’s wife), for working with all the kids for the entire camp, as well. Her input on snow and in the gym added so much to this camp! Also, a special thanks to Julia Ford for skiing with us for one day of the camp and of course, we wish she was able to ski with us more! ! It’s a pretty special day when our athletes get to work with 3 Olympians on the same day. Last, but not least, thank you to Marco for taking time away from a busy schedule to come to the East and work with all of our kids for this camp. It truly was a great experience for everyone!

Now onto the details of the camp! On Friday and Saturday, all the athletes were able to get some fast freeskiing and Super-G training in, as well as practice on a speed jump and work on the two wave tracks on Wardance. We concluded the second day of camp with a Meet and Greet at the OMS Fitness Facility where the athletes were able to sit down with Marco and Anna and ask questions about their careers, as well as get some autographs! This was a great way for the kids to see what goes into making an Olympian and prove that it is possible for each and every one of them!

As we all know, we were pounded with great snow on Sunday, so Day 3 turned into a powder day! The final day of camp was moved back to the OMS Fitness Facility to have some awesome sessions focused on refining and understanding the athletic skier stance and tuck position. During the sessions, we saw some huge improvement in these skills with all of the athletes! One of the coolest parts of the day was Marco talking the kids through the Chamonix Downhill Race (that he won), while they tucked for 2 minutes and 5 seconds, about the time it takes to complete that downhill. Check out that video and all the pictures that we captured from the camp on the OMS SmugMug page.

One of the biggest takeaways of the camp for our coaches was during the Meet & Greet when an athlete asked Marco, “What have you learned most from ski racing"?” Marco replied, “You shouldn’t be afraid to have dreams and work hard to achieve them. It doesn’t matter so much if you accomplish your goals but more that you chase after them, and when you do succeed, don’t be afraid to raise the bar and try for more!” These are words that our coaches try to show the athletes everyday and words that all of our athletes should live by!

Thanks everyone for such a great camp and we look forward to seeing Marco and Anna again next year!

Ashley Billings
Panorama, British Columbia Nor Am and Boardercross Camp
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Snowboard student-athletes, Connor Shea and Maggie Hall, traveled to Panorama Mountain last week, located in the beautiful British Columbia with Coach Eddie Johnson. They competed in 2 Nor Am boardercross (BX) races and participated in a high level Snowboard Cross Camp.

The Nor Am is a Canadian FIS sanctioned BX race. Connor and Maggie competed in this high level race that was attended by both the US and Canadian teams.  Olympic athletes, Hagen Kearney, Alex Deibold, and Faye Gulini were a few of the top riders that competed in the races and attended the camp following the event. It was an excellent opportunity for Maggie and Connor to see some of the best BX riders, both competing and training. 

Following the event was the 5 day BX camp, run by Canada Snowboard.  This professionally run camp provided Maggie and Connor with the opportunity to work on all the components of a BX race.  Each day the course was changed up a bit so the athletes had new challenges to face.  This led to daily progression and problem solving.  By the end of the camp, both athletes left with new confidence in their riding. Maggie and Connor had a great time, not only improving their skills, but also getting to train alongside top level riders!

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Ashley Billings
OMS snowboarder, Margie Black, competes in the Toyota US Rev Tour at Copper Mountain
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While in CO, sophomore, Margie Black, fresh off from her first US Grand Prix last week, also competed in the Toyota US Rev Tour hosted at Copper Mountain. The Toyota US Rev Tour is a FIS sanctioned series in which there are 4 stops held at different locations across the US. The first two stops at Copper consisted of halfpipe events, and Margie competed in the pipe on Tuesday and Wednesday in the doubleheader. On Tuesday, Margie narrowly missed a top ten finish and landed in 11th place. This was an amazing result as Margie was competing against the world’s top female amateur pipe riders in which 7 out of the top ten were international riders. In her second pipe event held on Wednesday, Margie fell on her first run and landed her second (not so clean as the day before) which landed her in 17th place.

These larger scale early season events are a huge growing opportunity for OMS snowboard athletes as the FIS level events are opportunities to compete against the best amateurs in the US and in the world for that matter, as well as giving our athletes goals to work towards throughout the course of the season. With very little pipe training leading into these events, we couldn’t be more proud of Margie’s efforts at the Grand Prix and Rev Tour over the past week!

Ashley Billings
OMS Snowboard Colorado Camp Wrap Up
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The second half of our Colorado Camp went very well and Eddie and Luke couldn’t be happier with the improvements the athletes made throughout the week.

Last Sunday, they spent their last day at Breckenridge and arrived at the base with a pleasant surprise of 4+ inches of the lightest and fluffiest snow. They took the Colorado Superchair and as they reached the top of the lift (around 10,000 ft), it became obvious that park training was not going to be on the morning agenda. There was at least 8+ inches of snow as they climbed towards the top! They made the decision to go up as high as they could go and took the Imperial lift and after a quick traverse, they descended upon Peak 7 Bowl and dropped in! To their amazement, there was a foot of bottomless powder in the bowl and the kids were on cloud nine. They dipped into the trees towards the bottom of the bowl and were privy to some insane woods runs all the way back to the base. Descending a few thousand feet in deep powder is exhausting. but so worth it. They spent the rest of their time in Park Lane which offered two lofty jumps and a variety of rails for the kids to train on.

The athletes spent the remaining three days of the trip training at Copper Mountain. On Monday, Eddie spent the morning with our BX athletes working on a wide array of drills and the afternoon was spent in the park. The athletes trained in the Woodward park on Tuesday and Wednesday, which had a triple pack of jumps which graduated in size in addition to a slew of rails and an assortment of creative jibs.

With a storm rolling in on their last day, they had to cut training a bit short to beat the front coming in and headed back to the condo to pack up and head to Denver. Eddie and Luke are very happy with our group of snowboarders and the effort they put in throughout the week. They are a very cohesive group who supported each other during training and pushed it hard every day while in CO. Each athlete progressed a great deal and there is no doubt that they all are coming home to Okemo as much better snowboarders.

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Ashley Billings
OMS Snowboard Crew Checking-In from Colorado!
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The Okemo Mountain School Snowboard Team is currently halfway through their OMS West Camp, held in the early season park and competition hub of Summit County, Colorado. The park infrastructure is very much alive there this time of year and the major players; Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, and Keystone all have a plethora of natural terrain, jibs, and jumps suitable for our athletes training needs.

The first day of camp, they spent the day at Copper Mountain with a couple of early morning warm-up runs, followed by some teammate support and moral boosting for sophomore OMS snowboarder, Margie Black, who was competing in her first World Cup halfpipe event, the US Grand Prix. Margie rode quite well and stomped both qualifying runs to land her in the top 20. A great feat for a young athlete competing against the world’s best including the likes of gold medalist, Chloe Kim, and bronze medalist, Arielle Gold. It was great for our athletes to see the caliber of the world’s best halfpipe riders and gave our team and younger athletes some insight on competing at the highest level. The rest of the afternoon was followed by some park riding in the notable Woodward Terrain Park which included a wide array jumps and jibs for the athletes to train on.

The team has spent to past three days at Breckenridge and the timing could not have been better. The Breck locals have said that this is the best early December conditions that many can remember and it is without a doubt, the best they have had for our West Camp. Breckenridge is nearly 100% open and on their first day, the mountain received 4-8” of new snow. It was obvious to coaches, Eddie and Luke, that they needed to stay out of the park and show the OMS snowboarders the real mountain. They did just that and attacked every open bowl and took the kids to the top of the Imperial lift (Elevation: 12,900 feet). This was followed by the tedious traverse to Peak 7 in which they took a ten-minute hike, to some killer bowl and tree runs. Air is thin up there and exhaustion can come quickly so they decided to spend the rest of the day at “lower” elevation (10,000 feet) riding Breck’s infamous Park Lane Park.

On Saturday, the athletes trained on the jumps and rails in Park Lane and they saw a tremendous amount of focus, effort, and improvement from the team. The collective drive and energy from all the athletes was great to see.

Yesterday they headed back to Breck and were surprised to see find that the mountain had received another 4”-12” (the latter depth at the higher elevations) of the lightest snow imaginable. Although the team was physically tired from three days of intense training, it was a given that they had to head back up to thinner air and the Imperial Bowl (12,840 feet) and get a piece of the fresh goods that dropped on Breck the night before. It was well worth it! Steep, deep, and bottomless fun gave way to deep turns, tomahawks, laughs, and hoots. That is what snowboarding is all about. It’s not just the next trick, or the result, but the experience and developing a love for the sport and the mountains. Although the athletes did spend the rest of the day in the park, experiencing the mountain in its pure and awesome form- will be the memories that will last with them forever.

Ashley Billings
Okemo Mountain School raises over $25,000 with its Okemo Ski and Snowboard Swap
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This year’s Okemo Ski and Snowboard Swap raised over $25,000 for Okemo Mountain School.  The proceeds from the Swap will go towards operating costs in order to keep tuition as affordable as possible for all students.  The event was extremely well attended this year and customers seemed quite pleased with their purchases, finding outstanding deals on all sorts of new and used winter outdoor gear!

We would like to gratefully acknowledge all of volunteers who donated their time, including many of our student-athletes! We would also like to thank all of the mountain personnel who went above and beyond their normal duties to provide support to the event. Without all of the volunteers and the help of the mountain, the Ski Swap could never have been such a success.  Everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire school community!

And since it is never too soon to look to the future, mark your calendars for the 2019 Okemo Ski and Snowboard Swap: 

Equipment Drop-off: November 16th, 17th, and 20th
Swap Open for Business: November 22nd-24th 

Thank you again to everyone that helped make our 2018 Ski and Snowboard Swap such a success!

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Ashley Billings
We Are THANKFUL!

At Okemo Mountain School, our student-athletes, coaches, teachers, and faculty are all thankful to be a part of such a wonderful community, which really feels more like a family. Throughout your time with family and friends this holiday season, we urge you to think about what YOU are most thankful for!

Take a look at what some of our student-athletes are most thankful for this year!

Caleb- “I am thankful for my teachers and coaches at OMS because they make me smarter and better at snowboarding.”
Henry- “I am most thankful for my parents. Every day they go to work for long hours just to get money and they use that money on me, so I can go to school and have a good life.”
Maggie- “I am thankful for my family, friends, teachers, and of course snow.”
Katy- “I am thankful that I live in a country that gives me opportunities to get a good education and have a safe place to live. I am also thankful for my friends and family.”
Sumner- “I am thankful for everybody being okay from the house fire. I am thankful for getting to go to OMS. I am thankful for getting to go to Mexico for my Dad’s 50th birthday. I am thankful for getting to snowboard.”
Eryll- “I am thankful for my family and friends".”
Aviela- “The thing I am most thankful for this year is the support I have received after my injuries from last year and everyone helping me get back on snow as soon as possible. My friends, family and coaches have been extremely encouraging and kept pushing me to work harder and want to get healthy again. I know a lot of people have been helping me out with the process and I am extremely thankful for that!”

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Ashley Billings
Colorado Camp Wrap Up
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After 10 beautiful days in Colorado, our alpine camp has come to an end.

The athletes began their week with some pretty cold weather, but it was still nice on the hill! Arapahoe Basin was not crowded, so they took advantage getting a lot of runs and doing a bunch of drills with short segment skiing. The main focus of the camp has been ankle flexion, forward knee and hips up. They have also spent time on edging and feel on the snow. It’s really starting to pay off and the kids are starting to settle into good turns.

The last two training afternoons were slalom gates on Copperopolis at Copper. All the kids have made really good progress in their skiing and the coaches are excited to get the season going with them back at Okemo. It’s been a great camp with such a close athlete to coach ratio that the coaches feel that the kids have been able to have time to discuss and understand the concepts that they were working on. It has been huge miles for everyone!

Before going to the airport on Wednesday, the alpine campers, had a beautiful blue bird day of free skiing at Arapahoe. While they are all sad to leave, they are stoked to be coming home to snow and even more in the forecast here in Vermont!

OMS would like to thank coaches, Jet Robbins and Chris Hurka, for going above and beyond to work with our alpine athletes! Without dedicated coaches, the early season camps wouldn’t be possible.

Words from Chris and Jet- “Both Jet and I have enjoyed working with Abby, Kiera, Merina, John, Ryan, and Henry. They are all good kids and great skiers and we look forward to continuing the 2018 - 2019 season with them!”

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Ashley Billings
Colorado Camp Still Going Strong!
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The Colorado alpine campers have had a beautiful several days. The crowds at Arapahoe have settled down and the skiing has been ideal. The snow is perfect for drills and free skiing, giving them the best of both worlds. They have been really fortunate to have the weather they have, between blue bird days and snowstorms.

The student-athletes have been training Copper in the afternoons which has been excellent. The athletes are really working hard to make positive changes to their skiing, which is all we can ask for. They have been working on engaging the boot, the movement pattern inside the boot with the ankle, the motion of the knee during the entry and apex of the turn and the finish.

Day 7 was the one and only scheduled day off during the camp. The kids (and coaches) took advantage to relax a bit. The kids have been skiing a ton and working hard, so it was certainly well deserved. The boys spent some time at the Copper Woodward Barn tramping into foam pits, while the girls went shopping at the Outlets at Silverthorne.

The relaxation only lasted so long and on Saturday, day 8, they were back at Arapahoe Basin. The weather was outstanding and they opened the upper mountain; the skiing was phenomenal. They found out that the access chair Super Bee for Copper training went down in the morning and unfortunately we had an athlete that got stuck on the chair for 3 hours, but as soon as she was evacuated, was ready to begin training again! Even though the chair breakdown took away from some training, it gave the athletes more time to ski A-Basin. They have continued working on balance, stance, and engaging the boot and ankle/ knee. The coaches have been pushing the kids hard with a lot of drills and a lot of skating, but the hard work is paying off and the kids are improving their skills!

Yesterday the clouds moved in and delivered light snow all day, which made for more incredible skiing. They spent the morning drilling and getting miles at Arapahoe. Copper was using an alternate chair to access the training venue and they got to watch some of the German National team training Super-G. On hill they worked on panel SL with a focus on “going deep to the wall”, balance and outside ski pressure ,and a brushie quickness course with a focus on pole plant timing. The athletes made good progress and they will continue building on this.

The student-athletes have been having a blast and while they are enjoying Colorado, are looking forward to getting home to start skiing at Okemo!

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Ashley Billings
Colorado Camp Update
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It has still been snowing in Colorado and the skiing has been getting better and better! The student-athletes have been skiing Arapahoe Basin still, which has offered a lot of really good varied terrain which is exactly what our Okemo kids need!

The racers have started to incorporate a lot of drills into the day, coupled with full length runs. On Wednesday, they started running gates on Copperopolis at Copper in the afternoon! They were in the lane next the US Women’s Development Team, so they were able to watch some amazing skiers and get some great training runs in.

All the student-athletes have been great about getting their homework done at study hall, doing their tuning, and getting to bed at good hour. A couple more days of freeskiing and training and they will have a well deserved day off!

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Ashley Billings
Carver Provance Makes 2018 VARA Team
2018 VARA Team

2018 VARA Team

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On Saturday, November 3rd, Okemo Mountain School, student-athlete, Carver Provance, was inducted onto the 2018 VARA Team. This year’s gala was at the Stoweflake Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont. The team is picked based on the previous season’s results and is a way to recognize Vermont’s top alpine athletes.

Also, to make the 2018 VARA Team, is OMS alumni, Carolina de Buy Wenniger. Carolina is now at Waterville Valley Academy completing a PG year to continue her ski racing career. Lydia Kelleher, another OMS alum, also made the list! Lydia is now a senior and finishing out her final year at Waterville Valley Academy, as well!

Carver, Carolina, and Lydia have continuously showed their athletic abilities throughout their time at OMS and we are so proud to be a part of their journeys in the world of alpine racing!

Ashley Billings
Colorado Alpine Camp- Days 1 & 2!

Our Colorado Alpine Camp athletes have made it out west!

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The athletes and coaches packed up and left at 4am on Saturday! They had a smooth travel day and made it through the airports with all of their gear!

They began their first skiing day bright and early on Sunday. The athletes began their day with a morning jog to the Woodward building for a warmup while Coach Jet even made some delicious breakfast sandwiches. Then everyone packed in and headed to Arapahoe Basin in a snowstorm, which had them grinning from ear to ear! The coaches got the kids to the mountain safe and sound in the snow.

Then the skiing began! The skiing was really nice and the surface was awesome. However, they weren’t the only ones with the ski bug and the lift lines were pretty long. That being said, it worked out well for first the day on snow. Everyone got in enough runs to empty the tank. All the kids were skiing short swing Sl turns on GS skis; a real challenge but one that will pay off. John and Ryan worked on rolling ankles and femur rotation, Merina was focused on skiing in a balanced position, and Abby, Kiera and Henry challenged themselves by skiing several runs on one ski.

After training, the kids went out to dinner, tuned their skis, and had study hall. The student-athletes show their dedication with these long days and everyone was certainly ready for bed!

Arapahoe Basin got another 8-12 inches of snow last night and the kids are ready to go again today!

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Ashley Billings
Coaches Pre-Season Training

Okemo Mountain School coaches are getting ready for student-athletes to arrive on Monday, October 29th! In preparation, they completed two informative clinics yesterday to gain more knowledge about how to keep our athletes safe and healthy on and off the hill.

Shelley Davis with Stop the Bleed

Shelley Davis with Stop the Bleed

Warming up with Noah Labow

Warming up with Noah Labow

One of the clinics was Stop the Bleed, “a national campaign to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives”. The clinic was presented by Shelley Davis, the mother of alpine U-16 athlete, Jonathan Davis, who had a horrific fall, resulting in the ski’s edge cutting his hamstring, lateral quadricep, IT band and femoral artery. Without trained coaches, Jonathan could have lost his leg or worse. After the accident, Shelley was trained in Stop the Bleed, and now makes an effort to educate as many coaches and athletes as possible. Shelley also receives support from the Kelly Brush Foundation and UVM to keep the Stop the Bleed initiative going.

Click here for more information on Jonathan’s accident and Shelley’s journey to help others.

Our OMS coaches also received a training, sponsored by OMARA, from Green Mountain Academy’s Head Freeskiing Coach, Noah Labow, on the importance of trampoline safety. The coaches practiced warm-up techniques to use with student-athletes prior to using the trampoline, along with ways to use the trampoline to as a workout and to work on proper form and technique that can be correlated on the slopes. Needless to say, we can’t wait for dryland training to begin!

Trampoline Safety Clinic with Noah Labow

Trampoline Safety Clinic with Noah Labow

Ashley Billings
OMS Welcomes Roger Kimball as Head Men's FIS Coach
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Okemo Mountain School is thrilled to announce the hire of Roger Kimball, Head Men's FIS Coach, for 2018-19. In addition to coaching Men's FIS, Roger will also work collaboratively with all U16 and U19 athletes, men and women, and their coaches.

Roger is a US Ski and Snowboard Alpine Level 400 Coach and active USSS Coaches' Education Clinic Leader. He is coming to us from Tri-State where he was chair of their U16 committee and most recently coaching U16/19s at the Berkshire School. Prior to this he was Program Director at Berkshire East where he was instrumental in bringing back FIS racing to the venue. Roger also serves currently on the Eastern Development Committee and just wrapped up serving on the Eastern Children's Committee. Roger brings a wealth of ski racing knowledge from his professional experience, as well as his own personal alpine ski racing experience.

Additionally, Roger brings academic strengths as well and may teach some upper level science and math if needed! He has a BS in Chemistry with a French Minor from UNH, as well as an MBA from Columbia Business School. Roger comes highly recommended by Kathy Okoniewski from USSS and Gar Trayner formerly of KMS, now USSS, and we look forward to having him!

Roger shared the following regarding joining the team at OMS: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining Okemo Mountain School. There is an obvious culture of teamwork here among the coaches and staff across both the school itself as well as the mountain. The new fitness facility at the school is simply awesome. It is already empowering the kids and is stimulating all kinds of creative thinking around athletic development. I'm honored to be a part of this community and I'm looking forward to contributing to the positive momentum. I'm already enjoying making winter preparations with my colleagues and, of course, I can't wait to start making turns with the athletes!"

Ashley Billings