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2021 PNSA Annual Award Recipients

2021 PNSA Annual Award Recipients


Norrie Lamson Award:  For outstanding service to Juniors and Jr. Race Programs over a period of several years.

Co Recipients:  Van Brassington, MRST Coach - Rob Witten, Plain Valley Nordic Director

“Van is an amazingly energetic and knowledgeable coach with an exceptional rapport with all athletes.  Van never has a bad day, and can always be counted on to bring his “A” game to every training and race day – rain, sleet, snow or shine.  His ability to break down his exceptional technical analytical prowess to simple directives easily understood by the athletes is phenomenal.  His equipment advice and assistance has proven invaluable.  His years of dedication to the sport and the kids certainly warrant this award.”

“The Nordic program In Plain quite frankly wouldn’t exist without Rob.  He has selflessly funded the entire program, from trail building, to grooming, to coach salary, to tuition out of his own pocket for the past 5-10 years.  In a sport that is increasingly expensive, Rob has figured out a way to make it not only accessible but free to any kid in this community willing to participate.  In a sport that is lacking diversity this has allowed access to many families with the economic means.  Rob doesn’t look for recognition, is involved and engaged but stays behind the scenes.  We need to recognize and applaud these efforts.”


John Genoud Award:  Presented annually to the individual contributing notably of their service as a race official.

Recipient:  Karl Wardrop, MRT

“Karl is a USSA TD and everything else and basically has filled every single roll, whichever is needed, from TD, Chief of Race, Chief of Event, Jury Advisor, Referee, Gate Keeper, Dye Guy, etc. etc. on everything from YSL races to Western Region FIS races on Mt. Hood.”


Ken Comfort Award:  Presented annually to a person who over the years has given freely of his/her time to help the sport of skiing, either recreational or competitively.  In this small way their efforts are recognized.  “For outstanding service to the PNSA and the Sport of Skiing.”

Recipient:  Tom Loeser, CMAC

“Tom’s generous donation of time and genuine caring about the athletes mental and physical well being is truly inspirational.  From running extra training days for athletes between camps, to his calm and focused demeanor at the top of the course, he is such a favorite among the athletes.  We are truly thankful for his ability to motivate, inspire, and bring happiness to kids during this past pandemic year that has been filled with fear and anxiety for most.  Thank you for all your donated time coaching our athletes Tom!”

“Tom has spent countless hours over the years coaching the CMAC racers and helping out at races as a volunteer.  He knows and is supportive of other racers from around PNSA.”

“Tom has volunteered all his time consistently over many season but even more so this past season coaching and supporting both the U16 and FIS CMAC programs.”


Olav Ulland Award:  Outstanding Nordic Competitor during the past year.

Recipient:  Walker Hall

“2020 Junior National Sprint Champion.  2021 Western Junior Classic Champion.  Multiple Junior podium finishes in the Western FIS races.  Long PNSA career with many excellent results to highlight.  Earned a spot on the University of Utah Ski Team beginning in 2022”


Schwabe Award:  Outstanding Alpine Competitor during the past year.

Recipient:  Thomas Sickler, MBSEF

“Thomas is an exceptional athlete – 2021 Northwest Cup Champion – works hard at his craft, and has the highest level of desire to constantly improve both as an athlete and a human.  Respected by all, he is gracious, humble, and giving of himself to his teammates and younger athletes.”


Northwest Skier Award:  Outstanding Junior both on and off the slopes.

Recipient:  Zac Holton, SPAC

“Zac is a ferocious competitor on the slopes and a gentle giant off them.  Zac is a wonderful young man, always giving of his time to all those around him, young or old, whether on the ski slopes in the winter or at the Leavenworth pump track in the summer.  He is a brilliant student, drawn to the engineering, and has an infectious, outgoing personality that brings a smile to all he comes in contact with.”


Alpine Coach Award:  Outstanding Alpine Coach

Recipient:  Roger Taggart, MRST

“Roger has been a mainstay in PNSA for many years, but his deft handling of the MRST program and navigation of the Covid season was truly remarkable.  Nothing flustered Roger:  his ability to seamlessly guide the program, coaches, parents and athletes through the constantly changing and challenging environment was textbook.  Unflappable under pressure, he was a consistent, calming leader under difficult conditions and responsible for a year unlike any other.  I realize that there are many coaches in PNSA who were outstanding in dealing with this unusual season, but Roger was simply the gold standard and should be recognized as such.”


Nordic Coach Award:  Outstanding Nordic Coach

Recipient:  Pierre Neiss, Plain Valley Nordic

“Peirre has built the Plain Valley Nordic Team essentially from scratch over the past few years.  Now they have nearly 50 participants, more than half the student body in town, and are building a formidable race team.  His skiers raced to multiple top 10’s at Western Junior Championships, and many individual race wins in PNSA this year.  Pierre’s contribution to the Nordic community in the division cannot be understated.”


Collegiate Nordic Award:  Outstanding collegiate Nordic competitor during the past year.

Recipient:  Novie McCabe, University of Utah, Methow Valley Nordic Team Alumni

“NCAA National Championships Podium in 2 events.  Nominated to the US Nordic Development Team”


Freestyle Skier Award:  Outstanding Freestyle competitor on and off the slopes during the past year.

Recipient:  Jack Mitchell, MRST

“Jack won the USSS FIS Ski Cross National Championship in April, and finished 3rd and 2nd, respectively, in the USSS Holeshot Tour races leading up to the National Championship final.  Jack finished ahead of a US World Cup racer and a 2020 National Collegiate champ.  Sincer there was not a NorAm tour due to Covid, there were only 3 FIS races on the Ski Cross circuit this season.  Jack was the only racer to podium in all three.

Jack is a member of MRST and spent much of the past season racing in PNSA and FIS events in Western Region.  He attributes training all disciplines of Alpine skiing with his success in Skier Cross.”


Unsung Heros:  Given yearly to volunteers who made their clubs great!

Recipient:  Ross Longhini – Sandpoint Nordic Club 

 “Ross has donated his coaching time to our small race team for the past 9 years and worked tirelessly to take kids to PNSA races.  At the same time he led the locacl Nordic club and grew the club from less than 20 people to over 400.  In his spart time he built and groomed our trails.


Northwest Cup Overall Champions:

Thomas Sickler – MBSEF

Alice Bouchard – MBSEF


Northwest Cup Race of the Year – voted on by the athletes

MBSEF – Northwest Cup Finals