LIVERMORE FALLS — On the slope, speed and power, are integral pieces that when in rhythm can produce top quality results but can also spell falls and heartache.

Last winter, as a freshman, skiing for the Spruce Mountain Alpine team, Stephen Sylvester experienced some of both, giving way to a pair of fantastic races when it mattered most, at the Mountain Valley Conference Alpine ski championships.

Sylvester won the slalom title, at Titcomb Mountain, nailing a combined two-run time of 1:20.93. He was second in the giant slalom championships at Black Mountain, posting a time of 1:44.33.

“I like to go fast, sometimes I crash,” Sylvester said. “My ski coach, over at Black Mountain, today, told me to slow down and take wider turns.”

Sylvester has enrolled in extra training sessions at Black Mountain this winter, making an effort to improve on his technique and skills. His coach at Black, Mark Thibodeau, who is the Program Director of the Chisholm Ski Club Alpine Program is encouraged by Sylvester’s attitude and desire.

“Stephen is a smart kid, who has strong ability and listens to what we are telling him,” Thibodeau said. “He likes to go fast and we are trying to get him to use the mountain to his advantage by skiing a better race.”


“I think it is something he can do and he should have a very good season,” he added.

After a reasonable amount of success at the middle school level, Sylvester, skied the high school race course and Kents Hill to become comfortable with the next level. That preparation helped during this initial season at the high school level.

“I did a lot better than what I thought I was going to do (as a freshmen),” Sylvester said. “Because I had been training over to Kents Hill.”

His win at the MVC meet was his first win of the season and came on a new pair of ski’s and one training session.

“I broke my old pair of ski’s just before the MVC’s and had one practice on the new pair.” Sylvester said. “Practiced on them once and did really good.”

Sylvester’s goal for this season is to continue to train hard and improve on what he has already accomplished. His approach to racing is, to go all out while doing the best you can, following a philosophy expounded by Ken Jacques, his coach last season at Spruce Mountain and the slogan for the Ski Depot in Jay, “If you ain’t on the edge, your taking up too much space.”

“I push it hard in practice and crash a lot but in a race you need to know how far you can push yourself,” Sylvester said. “If you push yourself a little to far you crash but if you know how to push to the limit or a little bit past what you think you can do, you’ll go faster.”

Stephen Sylvester is the defending Mountain Valley Conference Alpine ski champion.

Stephen Sylvester stands beside the ski racks he recently made for Spruce Mountain fulfilling part of his goal to reach Eagle Scout.

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