Bates College women’s ski coach Becky Woods, who chairs the Maine Ski Hall of Fame selection committee, has released the names of the Class of 2017.
These eight Maine skiers represent a broad spectrum of the sport, as competitors, coaches, area management and inspirations for all Maine skiers. The Hall of Fame, created in 2003, was set up to recognize Maine skiers who have made a significant contributions or brought distinction to Maine skiing, whether as athletes, coaches, instructors, builders or volunteers. The Class of 2017 will be the 15th to enter, and will bring the total of skiers recognized to date to 128.
Each year a program book is produced with a 500-word biography for each inductee, and these programs can be viewed on the website www.skimuseumofmaine.org. Here are this year’s inductees:
Karen Hunter Korn — Growing up in Bangor, Hunter Korn joined the Sugarloaf freestyle program in 1975-76 at age nine and began competing in local competition. Success followed quickly. She won the J -2 combined championship in 1981 (first in ballet, first in moguls, fourth in aerials, and eighth in overall combined) at age 14. From 1983-93, Hunter was a leading freestyle contender as a member of three World Championship teams. In her five seasons on the U.S. World Cup team, she achieved five podiums, 12 top-five finishes and 28 top-ten finishes.
Chip Cochrane — After turning in a 15th-place finish in his first FIS Can-Am (Now Nor-Am) downhill at Sugarloaf at age 15, Cochrane moved quickly up the ladder. He raced Europa Cup in 1976-77, earning a spot in the U.S. Ski Team’s development team in 1978. In 1981, he raced on the World Cup. Following an injury, he turned to coaching and has complied an impressive record of turning out successful racers at CVA, including Bode Miller, Kirsten Clark and Forest Carey.
Ed Rock — Rock came to Maine in 1983 to take over as general manager at Shawnee Peak and inherited a multitude of problems. The first was a hastily installed snowmaking system that had to be almost totally rebuilt, something he achieved during one of the rainiest summers in memory. In 34 years on the job, Rock has overseen adding and replacing lifts, building trails, boosting snowmaking and most of all recovery from a devastating ice storm. His success reflects how he built a dedicated staff that was willing to get to the mountain after the ice storm when many had no power at home.
Bruce Miles — After beginning to teach skiing at Sugarloaf in 1968, Miles earned PSIA certification in 1970, went on to train UMF students, taught skiing to military personnel in Garmisch, Germany, and achieved lifetime status with PSIA. He has coached, worked as an official, and served the Sugarloaf Ski Club and CVA in several capacities. As a fund raiser he led the way to the building of the new competition center at Sugarloaf.
Steve DeAngelis — In more than 33 years coaching skiing at Maranacook High School, DeAngelis has compiled one of the most impressive records in high school sports anywhere in Maine. His teams have 11 conference titles and 28 state titles, and he’s consistently attracted more than 10 percent of the student body to his teams each season, thus helping to mold hundreds of skiers over his career.
David Chamberlain — An All-American Nordic skier out of Bates College, Chamberlain joined the professional cross country ski tour as a member of the Subaru and Fischer Ski team. During his professional career, he represented the United States at three World Championships and won the overall tour championship twice. He was a skiing guide for United States blind skiers at the 2014 Winter Paralympics.
Dick Taylor — At Dartmouth, Taylor captained the ski team in 1959, and in 1960 won the national 30-kilometer championship. In the Army, he trained for Biathlon, placing 11th in the World Biathlon Championships and sixth in World Cup in 1961. He went on to captain the U.S. Olympic Nordic Team in the 1964 Olympics, skiing in the 15-, 30- and 50K events. Following a stint coaching the U.S. Team, Taylor returned to Maine to teach and coach at Gould Academy, where he passed on his skills to a generation of young Nordic skiers.
Ralph Ostlund — Most skiers make their mark in the sport in their early years, but taking a pair of trains to school made it impossible for Ralph Ostlund to go out for his high school team in New Sewden. While he skied about the time he learned to walk, he got away from the sport. In 1973, at the age of 50, he quit smoking and returned to skiing and running. He skied cross country races of all lengths and piled up the medals, but most important he passed along his love for the sport organizing races in small towns and worked at school carnivals, local races and other events in Aroostook County. He made his mark inspiring younger racers even as he beat them on the course, increasing his schedule of races after he retired at 65.
The Maine Ski Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be inducted at the annual banquet at Sunday River’s Grand Summit Hotel on Oct. 28. Watch for the details on how to register for the banquet, which is by reservation only on the website www.skimuseumofmaine.org
One final note: While we expect Sugarloaf and Sunday River to stay open past Easter, most other Maine areas will be closed after this weekend. Mt. Abram has extended its season through April 8 with all the snow and good cover. Be sure to check from now on.
See you on the slopes.