- 2017 - Non-public State Champions
- 2016- Non-public 2nd place
- 2015- Overall 2nd place
- 2014- Overall State Champions
- 2017- Overall 3rd place, Non-public 2nd place
- 2016- Overall 3rd place
- 2015- Overall 3rd place
- 2017- 2nd place overall
- 2nd place overall
The Blair ski team competes against the 22 schools that comprise the New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (NJISRA). Each race features six to eight teams competing in slalom or giant slalom. The season begins in November with dry-land training and continues through the end of February with racing and gate training.
Our preseason dry-land training begins when the fall athletic season concludes, usually two weeks before Thanksgiving. Practices generally last about one-and-a-half hours and consist of stretching exercises, running, plyometrics, leg strengthening exercises, calisthenics and a cool down. For variety, we sometimes play soccer or ultimate Frisbee.
Our on-snow season begins with our December winter break trip. In past years, we have traveled to Okemo and Stowe in Vermont, and, most recently, to Deer Valley in Utah. The ski racing season runs from early January to late February or early March. During that time, we compete in three NJISRA slalom races, three giant slalom races, a JV state championship race, the varsity state championship giant slalom and slalom races, and the individual Race of Champions races. During a typical week, we will practice on snow two afternoons, tune skis and/or watch video of our progress two days, and race one evening.
How many people comprise the Blair ski team?
The Blair ski team has had around 20-28 students in the past few years. Boys and girls train and compete together, although there are separate boys’ and girls’ races on each race night. There are six varsity spots and six JV spots each for the boys’ and girls’ teams, and skiers have the ability to race in a third division, typically called x-men or x-women.
How good are the skiers who try out for the team?
Most team members have had at least six years of skiing experience before coming to Blair, and about half have had prior racing experience. All candidates must be able to aggressively ski nearly any trail, on any mountain, under nearly any condition.
What does each team member need to provide?
Team members must provide their own racing skis, boots, poles, clothing and helmet, but we will also attend ski shops in the preseason to order equipment. Although the School provides coaching, transportation and a large portion of the race fees, team members must pay for lift tickets and pay a portion of the race fees for the year.
Who are the coaches?
Math department faculty member John Padden has been coaching the Blair ski team since 2008, and he has been head coach since 2013. Mr. Padden began ski racing at Shawnee Mountain as a child. He competed through middle and high school at Shawnee Mountain, four years at the collegiate level at Rutgers University, and after college in IFSA skier cross races. Prior to coming to Blair, he coached the Shawnee Mountain Race Team for two years. At Blair, John teaches algebra 2 and BC calculus, and serves as an assistant coach for boys’ 3rds soccer.
Rob Anthony joined the coaching staff of the ski team in 2013 after leading the Blair hockey team for many years. He is a member of the math department faculty, teaching calculus and algebra 1.
If you have any questions regarding the Blair ski team, please feel free to speak with Coach Padden during a campus visit or send him an email.
Meet Coach PaddenJohn Padden joined Blair's mathematics department in 2008. In addition to teaching BC calculus and algebra 2, he is also the head coach of the varsity ski team. John completed his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and music at Rutgers University in 2003 and earned a master of education degree specializing in counseling psychology from Rutgers' Graduate School of Education in 2011. Following his undergraduate work, John was a math teacher at the Institute for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders, where he worked on the hematology/oncology floor of The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Concurrently, he spent four years working as a math tutor specializing in the SAT, SAT2, ACT and subject preparation.
Meet Coach Anthony
Rob Anthony arrived at Blair in 2002 after teaching for three years at public schools in New York, Hawaii and North Carolina, and five years at Escuela Campo Alegre, a private international school in Caracas, Venezuela. Robin received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo in 1993 and earned his master’s in education at The College of New Jersey in 2002. During his years at Blair, he has taught a variety of math courses, including algebra 1 and algebra 2 honors, pre-calculus and pre-calculus honors, and senior calculus. During his tenure, Robin has been housemaster of West Hall and South Cottage and assistant housemaster of Insley Hall. He currently resides in the Ciancia House with his wife, Rhonda, and their three boys, Elijah ’20, Ethan and Joshua.
Meet Coach Merrifield
Rob Merrifield, appointed in 1981, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in environmental studies. He spent the following year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill taking a variety of graduate courses in ecology and botany. From 1979 to 1981, Rob worked as a naturalist, leading outdoor educational camping trips throughout the Southeast for a small, Savannah-based school called Wilderness Southeast. At Blair, Rob teaches biology and environmental science and coaches the ski team. He lived and worked in Mason Hall dormitory for many years and, most recently, has been serving dorm duty in West Hall. Rob is the faculty advisor to Earthshine, the student environmental club, and is co-chair of the School's Sustainability Committee. Off campus, he is a member of the Blairstown Enhancement Committee. Rob and his wife, Sharon, have raised two children at Blair, Rebecca '10 and Graham '14.
|1/10||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Canc.|
|1/20||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Canc.|
|1/23||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Canc.|
|1/30||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|
|2/13||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|
|2/24||GS State Championship @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|
|2/27||SL State Championship @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|
|1/20||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||4:45 pm||Boys' Varsity: 2nd place; Girls' Varsity: 2nd place; Girls' JV: 1st place|
|1/21||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Boys' Varsity: 2nd place; Girls' Varsity: 2nd place|
|1/26||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Boys' Varsity: 1st place; Boys' JV: 2nd place; Girls' Varsity: 9th place; Girls' JV: 2nd place|
|1/29||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Varsity Boys: 2nd Place; Girls' Varsity: 5th place|
|2/4||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|
|2/8||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||TBD||5:00 pm||Girls' Varsity: 3rd place; Boys' Varsity: DNF|
|2/9||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 3rd place; Boys: 1st place|
|2/17||JV State Championship||Away||5:00 pm|
|2/23||NJ State Team GS Championship||Away||11:00 am||Boys: 4th; Girls: 2nd|
|2/26||NJ State Team SL Championship||Away||11:00 am||Boys: 2nd; Girls: 2nd|
|2/27||Race of Champions GS/SL||Away|
|3/5||Eastern HS Regional Champs||Away|
|1/9||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||4:00 pm||Girls' Varsity: 1st; Girls' JV: 1st; Boys' Varsity: 2nd; Boys' JV: 2nd|
|1/10||GS Festival Race||Away||3:00 pm||Girls: 5th place; Boys: 4th place|
|1/13||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||4:00 pm||Girls: 1st place; Boys: 2nd place|
|1/15||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|
|1/23||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 1st place; Boys: 3rd place|
|1/30||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 1st place; Boys: 2nd place|
|2/4||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 3rd; Boys: 6th|
|2/11||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 2nd; Boys: 2nd|
|2/12||JV Festival Race||Away||5:00 pm|
|2/23||NJ State Team GS Championship||Away||Girls: 2nd place; Boys: 4th place|
|2/26||NJ State Team SL Championship||Away||Girls: 2nd place; Boys: 4th place|
|3/1||Race of Champions GS/SL||Away|
|1/13||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Postponed|
|1/15||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 1st place
Boys: 2nd place
|1/21||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Postponed|
|1/22||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Postponed|
|1/24||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||TBD||5:00 pm|| Girls: 1st place
Boys: 3rd place
|1/27||GS Race @ Mt. Creek South||TBD||5:00 pm||Girls: 1st place
Boys: 2nd place
|1/30||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||TBD||5:00 pm||Girls: 1st place
Boys: 2nd place
|2/5||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Postponed|
|2/7||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm||Girls: 1st place
Boys: 2nd place
|2/11||JV State Championship||Away|| Girls: 2nd place
Boys: 4th place
|2/12||SL Race @ Mt. Creek South||Away||5:00 pm|| Girls: 1st place
Boys: 2nd place
|2/24||NJ State Team GS Championship||Away||3:30 pm||Girls: 1st place
Boys: 5th place
|2/25||NJ State Team SL Championship||Away||2:00 pm||Girls: 1st place
Boys: 5th place
|2/26||Race of Champions GS||Away||4:00 pm|
|2/27||Race of Champions SL||Away||3:30 pm|