WMR/Intro to Race Coaches and Staff

UpdatedFriday March 6, 2020 byPaige Sidler.

  • The  WMR Staff is dedicated to the highest standard of training. Please email sara@westmtn.net if you are interested in a coaching position. 

WMR Alpine Program Staff

Alpine Race Director/Head Coach

  • Stephen Lathrop--Steve competed for 5 years on the World Cup as a member of the US “A” Ski Team & FIS World Championships, ranked 16th in SL & 33rd in downhill in the World.  A US Nat. Downhill Champion, US Nat. Combined Champion, US Jr Nat. SL Champion & CanAm SL Champion.  He has a BA from Middlebury College & MBA from Harvard Business School. Steve recently was the Dir. of Stratton Mountain School’s alpine devo program. A Coach & Family Man, coaching ski racing all of his adult life, his 4 ski racing daughters all VT State Champions, USSA Eastern Regional Champions, or US Jr Nat Champions & one a US Ski Team D member, his son a NCAA All-American (D3) tennis player. Steve will be working closely with WMR's Program Director Sara Montgomery and Race/Events Manager Sascha Mehalik on all aspects of the WMR program. Steve will also be working with WMR's coaching staff this season implementing WMR's training schedule and philosophy incorporating his coaching expertise. Stephen will be working with the coaches and athletes in all age categories this season on and off the hill.

WMR Program Director:

  • Sara Montgomery, General Manager of West Mountain and VP of the West Mountain School, is also the Program Director for West Mountain Racing. Sara has been helping manage the WMR program since it was established in 2012. Sara has four children, three currently in the WMR program: Madeline, a former WMR racer is now a freshman lacrosse and soccer recruit at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Hunter (U19, FIS, USSA, NYSSRA) is the former U14 Hovey Winner, NY HS State champion SL, Combined 2020, GS, SL and Combined 2019, and SL 2018, and top NYSSRA skier who will be attending Middlebury College in the fall of 2020 as a football recruit, Meredith (U16, USSA, NYSSRA), and Hudson (U12, USSA, NYSSRA), both top NYSSRA racers in their age divisions. Sara works with Alpine Race Director Steve Lathrop on developing a comprehensive training, development and travel year-round calendar that has a heavy Skills Quest focus. Sara works directly with Events Director Sascha Mehalik and RA Margaret Godsil on races and development camps held at West Mountain. She also writes grants and fundraises for the West Mountain School, which supports WMR program members with program scholarships, safety equipment and supplies. Sara is committed to running an organized, professional year-around race program and academy (new in 2020/21). Sara is passionate about children, athletics and the outdoors. Sara is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism. She worked as an editor for Crain Communications in Chicago before staying home to raise her 4 children. She returned to work to help her husband operate West Mountain when her youngest, Hudson, started Kindergarten. She can be reached at sara@westmtn.net.

Managing Member

Race/Events Manager 

  • Sascha Mehalik--A former ski racer for National Sports Academy, Sascha Mehalik has become instrumental in race event planning and organization at West Mountain. Sascha is responsible for coordinating everything from volunteers to officials to bnet set up/take down, equipment inventory and repair, course asthetics, and more.  His attention to detail does not go unnoticed by outside race organizers or by the coaches and staff at West Mountain.

Race/Events Administrator

WMR On-Site Race Tuning Technicians are availble to service our team members at West Mountain Sports

  • Steve "Ski" Magee

WMR Head Race Crew

  • Frank Hohman--Chief of Course
  • Steve Piesniekowski--Race Event Manager
  • Michael Donlon, Mark Pavlus, Michael Robertson, Mary Quinn, Babs Donlon, and Robert Ruth

WMR Timing

  • Steve Rodman--Chief of Timing & Data
  • Steve Hudson, Robert Underwood 

* Coaches *

  • Justin (JJ) Chardavoyne (U16/U19), Early in his racing career, JJ was a West Mountain athlete competing at the Junior Olympic level and, as an eighth grader, the High School states level. Later, he began racing in Vermont out of Bromely Outing Club where he raced FIS, won the VARA Cup in 2014, and won the Betty Clayton award in 2013 for excellence while racing out of a club team. Since racing JJ has continued his career in skiing by coaching alpine racing as well as taking backcountry ski trips all over the US as well as internationally.
  • Jerry McNealus -- (U16/U19), a former member of the US Ski Team and a World Cup competitor, Jerry has been coaching for many years most recently with Willard Mountain.
  • Michael Gilbert (U14), a former West Mountain racer, has been a full-time ski coach for West Mountain Racing since 2015. Mike is a certified Level 400 Alpine Ski Coach who is also a certified Strength Coach and Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. During his ski coaching career, Mike has worked with skiers from Intro to Race to the FIS level.  Mike’s professional pursuit has included notable accomplishments coaching skiing at Nashoba Valley where he served as Head Coach and Program Director 1997-2000, Woods Valley 2001-04, and here at West Mountain.
  • Bill Bennett (U10)--Bill Bennett will be returning to coach in the 2019/2020 season for his 27th year at West Mountain. Bill is a Level 3 PSIA certified instuctor and USSA Level 100 certified coach and referee. Bill taught first lesson at West Mountain in 1968. He was formerly Assistant Director of Brodie Mt Ski School '75-'77, Ski School Director Alpine Meadows '77-'92 and then Race coach at West Mountain from '92- present. Bill is the proud father of coaches John and Victoria.
  • Alex Hohman (U12)--Alex will be entering his fourth season as a coach for West Mountain. Alex is a former ski racer for Queensbury High School, USSA racer for WMR, and FIS skier for Mount Mansfield Ski Club. Alex was a 2 time NYSPHSAA champion both at the team and individual level. At the Eastern US High School Championships, Alex took third place in GS. Alex has been a USSA member since 2004 and during that time was a NYSSRA representative to multiple Eastern US Alpine Championships. In his spare time, Alex enjoys restoring antique trucks and back country skiing in the Adirondacks and Tuckerman Ravine.
  • James Woods (U12)
  • Jason Kunzmann (U14)--Jason started his ski racing career when he was in 6th grade racing for Bristol Mountain Race Club. He then went on to be captain of his High School's Varsity Alpine Team. While going to college at University at Buffalo, Jason raced in the USCSA division while also acting as the Assistant Coach for his High School's Varsity Alpine Team. Upon graduating from Buffalo's Business School, Jason also obtained his New York State Coaching License. Jason is also a USSA certified Level 100 coach. Jason has a passion for coaching and helping others. In his free time he enjoys many outdoor activities such as hiking. 
  • Wesley Bishop (U16/U19)--A longtime West Mountain fan, Coach Wes Bishop, is entering his third season coaching for WMR. Wes has been involved with racing at West Mountain since he was 10 years old. As an amateur athlete at West, he was coached by the great Tom Jacobs, Izzy Ture and Mike Annett and went on to ski at the Canadian American FIS series and European Cup level. He then earned his first coaching position in 1974 at Bristol Mountain where he helped build the program from 29 kids to 60 kids in four years. He began coaching at West in the early 80s with Royce VanEvera and held coaching positions on and off until 2005. Several of Wes' athletes went on to competitive level skiing including one whom was an Olympic participant in the Calgary games. He attributes his coaching successes to his former West Mountain Racing coaches and mentors.
  • Erin Collins Welch (U8/U10)--Erin grew up skiing at West Mountain and racing for West Mountain's race team. She also raced for Glens Falls High School, qualifying for states all four years. Erin continued racing for Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and qualified to participate on Plymouth's national team, freshman and sophomore year.  Erin and her husband Brian, have two young boys also enjoying the race program at West!
  • Erik Smith (U12)--New hire Erik Smith grew up in Lake Placid, NY and competed for NYSEF and Northwood School and then went on to race for the University of Albany in the late 90s. Erik is a Level 100 coach and has been coaching for several years first at Jiminy Peak and then at Bromley Mountain. He is looking forward to helping coach WMR's U12s this season. Erik lives in Albany with his family.
  • John Bennett (U14)--John Benett has been coaching at West Mountain since 2014. He is a graduate of Clarkson University where he ski raced in the USCSA division. In 2010, John's 9th place GS finish at the USCSA Mideast Regionals helped the Knights win the National Championship. John is a Level 100 Coach and referee.
  • Marcus Severin (U8, U10)

FIS Support Coaches

  • Steve Lathrop and Justin Chardavoyne

Intro To Racing Coaches

  • Patrick Cunningham
  • David Newey
  • Scott Palmer
  • Brian Fish

*The WMR staff may change from time to time and without notice.