Steamboat’s Seymour doubling down on skiing dreams | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat’s Seymour doubling down on skiing dreams

Jett Seymour skis a slalom race on Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs in December. Seymour's strong season earned him both a scholarship at University of Denver and a spot on the U.S. Ski Team.

U.S. Ski Team

2017-18 Alpine Team Nominations

A TEAM

Men

Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)

David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO; Crested Butte Ski Team)

Tommy Ford (Bend, OR; Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation)              

Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)

Ted Ligety (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team)  

Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT; Park City Ski Team/Sundance Ski Team)                      

Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation)

Women

Stacey Cook (Mammoth Lakes, CA; Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club)

Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID; Rowmark Ski Academy)

Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)

Alice McKennis (New Castle, CO; Sunlight Winter Sports Club/Rowmark Ski Academy)

Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR; Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation)

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)

Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY; Jackson Hole Ski Club)

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Buck Hill Ski Team)

Jacqueline Wiles (Aurora, OR; White Pass Ski Club)

B TEAM

Men

Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation)  

Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club)  

AJ Ginnis (Vouliagmeni, Greece; Green Mountain Valley School)

Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation)  

Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT; Burke Mountain Academy)

Kipling Weisel (San Francisco, CA; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation)

Women

Patricia Mangan (Derby, NY; Holimont Race Team)

Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA; Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School)

C TEAM

Men

Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)

Garret Driller (Tahoe City, CA; Montana State University)  

Drew Duffy (Warren, VT; Green Mountain Valley School)

Mark Engel (Truckee, CA; Sugar Bowl Academy)          

Nick Krause (Northboro, MA; Stratton Mountain School)

Sam Morse (Carrabassett Valley, ME; Carrabassett Valley Academy)

River Radamus (Edwards, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)

Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation)  

Jett Seymour (Steamboat, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)

George Steffey (Lyme, NH; Stratton Mountain School)

Florian Szwebel (Avon, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)  

Women

Cecily Decker (Saranac Lake, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation)

Katie Hensien (Redmond, WA; Rowmark Ski Academy)

Nina O’Brien (Edwards, CO; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team)

Galena Wardle (Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club)

D TEAM

Keely Cashman (Strawberry, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)

Nellie-Rose Talbot (Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)

NATIONAL TRAINING GROUP (NTG)*

Men

Jimmy Krupka (Waitsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School)

Andrew Miller (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team)

Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School)

Luke Winters (Gresham, OR; Sugar Bowl Academy)

Women

AJ Hurt (Carnelian Bay, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)

Maureen Lebel (Truckee, CA; Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club)

Jett Seymour isn't exactly sure how it's all going to work, but, in the big-picture sense, it's all happening, his dreams coming together.

The details? He'll ski those runs when he comes to them, if you will.

Seymour, a graduating senior at Steamboat Springs High School and a standout with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, agreed in February to ski with University of Denver.

Last week, he was awarded a spot on the U.S. Ski Team.

One team will require plenty of time in the classroom, plus regular high-pressure ski races around the Rocky Mountain region and the United States, potentially culminating with the NCAA National Championships, set this coming season for Steamboat Springs.

The other team will include tough, specialized training all summer and could lead to high-stakes ski races around the world, potentially culminating at the World Cup or even the Olympics.

How's that going to work?

"I'm not totally sure right now," Seymour said.

Just how the division of labor gets broken down remains up in the air, but there are other elements of the situation that Seymour is considerably more sure about.

"It's a big step forward in my career, and I'm pretty excited," he said. "This is where all the opportunities come from to get yourself to the big leagues."

Seymour was named to the U.S. team after a breakthrough season built on elite Nor-Am Cup finishes.

He won a Nor-Am slalom race in January in Stowe, Vermont, one of three top-10 finishes on the circuit that helped him to finish sixth in the final Nor-Am slalom standings.

He earned a spot on the Junior World Ski Championships team, placing 22nd in slalom there, then was second in slalom and eighth in giant slalom in National Junior Championships events in March.

It added up to a resume that had University of Denver, one of the premier NCAA skiing programs in the country, drooling.

"It was an easy choice to offer him a scholarship," said Andy LeRoy, Pioneer's head coach and a Steamboat Springs-trained skier himself. "We are on cloud nine about that individual joining us. It's been a long time, ever since I took the job at DU, since we've had an American at his level starting off college directly out of high school."

LeRoy had worked with plenty of athletes with U.S. Ski Team experience. He's recruited some who've turned him down and gone on to ski with the national team. He's landed others who've come to college skiing after stints with the team.

There are now and have been other skiers on the team who have skied for DU while also a member of their own national teams, be it Canadian or Norwegian or even Croatian.

Seymour's in uncharted territory for Denver, however, and his commitment to both teams will come with some unique challenges.

The summer will mostly be devoted to the U.S. team. Seymour said he's heading to Park City soon after he collects his diploma from Steamboat Springs High School. He'll train there with the national team, soaking up hours of coaching simply not available from college coaches, who are limited by NCAA rules on off-season activity.

Then in the fall, Seymour will be moving into a dorm on campus and attending the first day of classes. LeRoy said his skiers usually log four or five days on the slopes per week, and the training with DU will help a skier be prepared for the World Cup when the time comes.

For now, Seymour's trying not to look that far ahead. The World Cup will come when it comes. He'll race for the U.S. Ski Team when he can and University of Denver the rest of the time. He'll put four years of work in and hopefully emerge with a business degree, with one caveat.

"Unless something crazy happens," Seymour added as a qualifier. "Who knows what will happen, but right now, I'm planning on going to college for all four years."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9