National Ski Academy’s Brandon Sutton Wins Canadian J1 GS Championships
Collingwood, ON (March 9, 2009) – Brandon Sutton, a 16 year old student athlete at Collingwood’s National Ski Academy, the Home of Ski Racing and Academic Excellence, won the 2009 Pontiac GMC Canadian J1 Giant Slalom championship title at Whistler B.C. last week after a self-described “crazy” finish.
Competing on the same hill that will be used for the 2010 winter Olympics, Brandon, lost a ski at the end of the GS race course, and crashed in the finish area
in the second run of the two run event. “That was the craziest finish I’ve ever done. I was just tucking through the finish, looked down and saw my ski pop off. I thought ‘uh oh, this isn’t going to end well’.”
Earlier in the week Brandon had placed fourth in the Super G and seventh in the SL national competitions for 15 and 16 year olds.
Brandon joined the NSA’ Racing and Academic Performance Program for 2008 – 2009. Prior to joining the NSA, Brandon was faced with the challenge of full-time training and competition while keeping up with his academic studies. The NSA provides a balanced racing and academic program for student athletes like Brandon that enables them pursue to their ski racing and academic dreams. NSA’s alumni include two current members of Canada’s national ski team, and undergraduate and graduate students at leading universities in Canada and the US.
“It’s been a lot easier to keep my grades up at the NSA. To tell you the truth, my grades have never been better,” said Sutton. “The NSA works really hard with my teachers and me to ensure my grades are where I want them to be.”
Brandon’s mother Mary DeMarco couldn’t be happier with Brandon’s decision to join the NSA program and the results he has achieved this year: “I was just so happy for Brandon as I know how hard he’s worked and how much he wanted to win a Canadian title. But I’m also thrilled that Brandon’s marks have gone up drastically since joining the NSA. The NSA really has a handle on how to juggle the academic and intense athletic training schedule.”
Brandon reflected on the hard work and preparation that contributed to his national championships:
“Skiing is no easy job, I’ve been training since May, non-stop, and the NSA has provided me with a good dry land program and a coach who really believes in me. My coach Jay Monette and I have been working hard all year. I have put my heart and soul into this sport to be the best I can be and Jay is always there to push me to the next level.”
"We’re very proud of Brandon”, said Jay Monette, Brandon’s coach at the NSA. “We gave him an opportunity and he put the commitment into it. It validates that the NSA provides the right environment to improve a student’s academics and grow as an athlete."
Brandon’s performance at last week’s J1 championships has earned him and entry in the senior national championships in Quebec where he will be competing against members of Canada’s national ski team. “These races are important because it will show where I stand when it comes to racing against the big guys,” said Sutton.
The top five J1 athletes in each discipline qualify for Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships. The 2009 Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships get underway with downhill training on March 17. Racing is scheduled for March 19 to 24 in Le Massif and Mont-Sainte-.Anne, QC.
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