This week, The Lafayette sits down with ski club’s Sydney Burton, who is leading the team to top-tier finishes at women’s alpine events.
AJ Traub: You helped lead the team to three 1st place finishes and five 2nd place finishes in the eight Atlantic Highlands Women’s Alpine events so far. What went right for the team at the events?
Sydney Burton: Everyone’s just been working really hard this year because we lost some of our top athletes [after] last year. One girl graduated and one went abroad. So everyone’s been trying to step up to the plate in their absence.
AT: You earned three 1st place finishes and three 2nd place finishes so far. What do you think gives you a competitive edge?
SB: I personally am really competitive, so I push myself to succeed. I can tell when I am skiing my best versus when I’m not skiing to the best of my ability. The more important thing to me is scoring for my team. I really want my team to succeed and I know the better I perform, the better the team performs.
AT: There are two more events before regionals. How is the team preparing to continue its success?
SB: We train once or twice a week, which gives us an advantage over teams that don’t train at all. Our teams have qualified for nationals the last three years and we’ve had so much fun competing at the national level that we push ourselves to make it there.
AT: How does a team effort…improve individual performance?
SB: The key is that no one is selfish. No one is looking for their own results, more that they’re looking to perform better individually to help the team. If you’re selfish, you may push too hard and maybe not finish a course. For example, [you may fall] down. You have to find a balance between skiing fast for yourself and making your time count for the team.
AT: What do you enjoy most from the competitions?
SB: I really enjoy being around teammates and friends, and also the other teams. We’ve gotten to know them really well. I also enjoy being outside and the adrenaline rush, and of course when our team does well.
AT: How did you get into skiing?
SB: My dad taught be how to ski when I was 4 years old, and I started competitive skiing when I was 10. I started out skiing [at] Okemo Mountain in Vermont. Every weekend, I would go up to Vermont and practice and race with the team there. I was on my high school team and continued in college.
AT: What are your hopes for skiing after college?
SB: Just recreational skiing. Hopefully I’ll join a fun league of some sort, like an adult league.
AT: Where is your favorite place to ski?
SB: I have to say Okemo because I grew up skiing there and I know the mountain like the back of my hand. If I get the chance, I love skiing out west, but I don’t get that opportunity very often.
AT: Who is your favorite athlete?
SB: Tom Brady. My favorite skier is Mikaela Shiffrin.
AT: Favorite sports team?
SB: Patriots, loud and proud.
AT: What is your favorite TV show?
SB: My favorite show is definitely “Friends.”
AT: What is one thing we don’t know about you?
SB: I’ll be moving in to New York City after I graduate. I’ll be working for a financial technology firm.