Cape Cod Skier Finds Success at Proctor Academy

Proctor senior Kerry Daigle was set to compete in the U.S. Alpine Championships before a season ending anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament tears.

Despite the ski racing setback, what’s most interesting from our angle is how she came to skiing and the academic and athletic success that she’s found at Proctor Academy.

Jen McCaffrey writing for the Cape Cod Times (In the Zone: Cape Skier carves Out National Ranking) chronicles Daigle’s journey from the sands of the Cape to elite skier.

The sandy beaches of ‘flatlanders’ aren’t known as fertile breeding grounds for high level skiers. How Daigle came to skiing and Proctor are good stories.

“Daigle’s journey to ski racing’s elite level began during weekend trips with her father, Peter, to Waterville Valley, N.H. When she was about 8 years old, her dad signed her up for a children’s ski camp at the mountain.

‘We never even knew what (ski) racing was living down on the Cape,’ Kerry said. ‘Everything else fell into place once I started.’”(CCT)

Daigle’s Proctor Experience and Success

“Daigle opted to leave Cape Cod and enroll at Proctor Academy for her sophomore year. Proctor provided the perfect blend of strong academics and an elite-level ski training program.

Through Proctor’s rigorous training program, Daigle traveled to Chile at the end of each summer and to the mountains of France for two separate trips each fall during a 45-day preparation period for the Proctor ski racing season in early December.

Under the guidance of Proctor Alpine program director David Salathe and veteran coaches Jason Nelson, Daniel Eneguess and Amy McMahon, Daigle earned the No. 1 ranking in New Hampshire for skiers in the under-18 group. She’s ranked seventh in the nation in slalom for her age bracket and fourth among Eastern U.S. skiers her age in both slalom and giant slalom.

‘Kerry is a three-event skier, which means she can ski Super G (super giant slalom), GS (giant slalom) and slalom and surprise anybody on any given day,’ Salathe said.

‘She went into the Eastern Alpine Series with the hope of securing the U.S. (Alpine Championships) spot in slalom but ended up getting it in Super G, which is the polar opposite event. It’s a speed event versus a technical event,’ said Salathe.

After missing an opportunity to win a spot for the U.S. Championships in an event earlier in the season, Daigle entered the Eastern Championships with little expectation.

‘I went into it with a clear mind,” Daigle said. “The second run was a Super G. I came down and ended up finishing third. I was happy with the run but didn’t think anything of it because they usually take the winner from each day.’

But both the winner and runner-up in the Super G on that day had already qualified for the U.S. Championships, leaving the spot open for Daigle.

Daigle was with Salathe on the way back to Proctor after the event when Salathe received an e-mail on his phone.

‘He opened the e-mail and starting smiling and passed me the phone and we just started laughing, actually,’ Daigle said. ‘It was such a cool moment for both of us because he’s never had that experience either. No one from my school has ever made it and it was huge for me obviously. It was a big moment.’

Daigle became Proctor’s first competitor in the U.S. Championships — a noteworthy accomplishment for an Alpine skiing program which began just 13 years ago.

‘It’s the highest level of ski racing in the United States,’ Salathe said. ‘To get there as a junior (skier), in addition to being a high school student, in addition to taking one of the most rigorous academic schedules, is unheard of. It’s special.’”(CCT)

Daigle will now focus on her knee rehabilitation in hopes of being ready to ski and enroll in Middlebury College this coming fall.

Photo credit: Cape Cod Times

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