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Ski Racer Spotlight: Sarah Coombs

For first year U19 New York Ski Education Foundation (NYSEF) ski racer Sarah Coombs, it’s all about balance. Sarah has managed to find balance between school, ski racing and friends and family that enables her to enjoy all of these things and thrive. As a U16 ski racer in 2017, she had 17 top 3 results. The highlights of her 2016 and 2017 ski racing seasons are:

  • 2nd in both GS races and 3rd in SL at NY State Championships in 2017
  • Top 10 in SL at Eastern Championships and 15th in SG in 2017
  • 2nd at the Silversmith SL (one of the oldest ski races in the east) in 2017
  • NY State High School Champion in 2016, 1st in GS and SL and the only skier to do so at Saratoga High School as a freshman

This year, as a first year U19 ski racer, Sarah Coombs will be racing both USSA and FIS. She is in New Zealand for summer ski camp at Roundhill Ski Area right now. While in New Zealand, she will get her first 3 FIS starts of the year (2 GS and 1 SL) at Cardrona.

Thanks to the new Director of Alpine Skiing at Northwood School, Terry DelliQuadri, this year Sarah and her teammates will be attending two ski camps before their scheduled season begins. They will be going to Austria in October and Colorado in December for some more intensive training. Sarah is excited to see what DelliQuadri brings to the east coast and is looking forward to being coached by him.

Ski racer Sarah Coombs on top of the podium at her first slalom race of the year at Gore Mountain. As a U16 she was first in SL and Overall.

Ski racer Sarah Coombs on top of the podium at Gore Mountain. U16 1st Place Overall. This was her first race of that season.

Balancing school and ski racing

Sarah not only strives for excellence on the mountain, but in the classroom as well. She is on the Dean’s List and High Honor Roll at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY. After high school, Sarah would like to go to a D1 school for skiing and environmental science. She doesn’t have a ‘first choice’ yet, but has been looking at Dartmouth, Brown, University of Colorado, University of British Columbia and McGill. Education is very important to Sarah, so going to a good university is her top priority before skiing.

NYSEF Ski Racer Sarah Coombs enjoys rock climbing

Sarah Coombs climbing a site called Pitchoff in the Adirondacks close to her school and home.

Balancing free time

In her free time Sarah Coombs loves to be outdoors. She started rock climbing at summer camp at the age of 9. But when she stopped going to that camp she no longer had the opportunity to climb. Then when she switched to Northwood School her English teacher Don Mellor, who is an avid climber, pulled her back into the sport. She loves it mainly because she gets to be outside and gets to be one with the earth. She says “it is a really great fear factor [training] because skiing has so many [fear factors] it helps me to conquer my fears during the ski season.” Sarah also plays tennis and golf and road bikes and hikes. She just loves being outside.

When she is not outside, Sarah loves to cook. She especially loves to cook with her family because they are all really good cooks. She has always helped in the kitchen since she was little and now it is starting to pay off. She is always the cook on ski trips. Sometimes it’s just for her room, sometimes it’s the whole team! She says she loves cooking because, “food always brings people together, even after a long or disappointing day.”

Additionally in her free time, giving back to the ski racing community is a priority as well. Sarah believes sportsmanship is important and is always there to support her teammates and competitor friends. In the winter, Sarah volunteers with her ski program by helping coach younger athletes or helping out in the office. In the summer, she volunteers at various NYSEF fund raising events.

Back in Black

Traditionally, on the way to the ski hill, Sarah and her dad would blast rock music like AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to get motivated for the day. Now Sarah loves wearing all black or dark blue because it makes her feel fast. So her personal motto is “Back in Black”. We think Sarah looks great in her Arctica Racer GS Speed Suit in Charcoal and are thrilled she loves her Arctica race suit. We can’t wait to see what this coming year holds for Sarah (no doubt it will be great!)

Ski racer Sarah Coombs loves her Arctica GS Speed Suit.



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