pete against myself. I’m just trying to get better and get faster, and that is good
enough for now.”
Already this winter Corvaja has competed in four races and is excited about the
prospect of going to more. “It’s so exciting, and it’s given my skiing a new focus,
a purpose,” says Corvaja.
The masters ski racing age minimum was dropped to 18 last season with
the hopes of attracting some younger college racers into the circuit. The
thought was that college students, who might not be motivated enough to
ski at the college level, still might enjoy racing on challenging full-length
courses in a fun, non-pressure environment. Well, at least one student got
the message — 19-year-old Kaila Krouse from Essex, Vt.
Krouse was the No. 1 racer on her high school team, but upon graduation in
2008, shipped off to James Madison University in Virginia. It wasn’t a good fit.
“It wasn’t so much the skiing, as it was too big for me,” says Krouse, who transferred to St. Michael’s College, near her hometown, for this academic year. St.
Michael’s has a competitive college ski team,
pack to win the second run at Snowbasin.
The 25-year-old Kevin Brower has been busy in the skiing world since his high
school ski racing days, but his interests have taken him in a decidedly different
direction from his past. “I quit ski racing in about 2001,” says Brower. “My inter-
est just waned when I got to college. So I went into freeskiing.”
That’s not just cruising the trails of his home area of Snowbird, Utah, but also
freeskiing of the sort that involves leaping off cliffs, finding lines down impos-
sibly narrow chutes, and skiing powder up to his eyeballs. “I skied competitive
freeskiing for a while and then became involved in photo shoots for Powder
Magazine and other publications,” says Bower. “That occupies most of my time
at the moment.”
As for his reemergence into ski racing, Bower blames his father and sister.
“They’ve been doing it for a while, and they talked me into it,” says Brower with
a laugh. “Slalom was always my favorite event, and I thought it would be fun to
ski race with the family.”
It had been eight years since Brower had even seen a slalom pole until the
first run of the race. No wonder that Brower was surprised by his success. “All
that freeskiing much have helped my ski racing,” says Brower
in seeking an explanation. “I think I’m skiing better now than
ever. Maybe it’s less pressure, maybe less fear, but it sure was a
lot of fun competing.”
Brower will take a break from hucking himself off cliffs for
the cameras to get another shot at competition at the Western
Regional Championships in Park City at the beginning of Feb-
ruary. Again, it should be a family affair.
Jeanette Saylor (second
from left) gets ready to
race with her team for the
Copper Business League.
but Krouse opted for slightly less commitment.
As things lead to things, Krouse started helping
coach her old high school ski team at Essex, and then
soon found her way into masters ski racing. “My old
coach races some masters, and he got my most recent
high school coach, Lisa Marien, involved in masters
ski racing, and then she put the bug in my ear when
I turned 18 and here I am,” says Krouse. “Lisa’s been my training buddy for the
past few years, so we travel together and have a great time.”
Getting back into the starting gate has been a thrill, says Krouse, who also dis-
covered another dimension to masters ski racing. “It’s fun regardless of outcome,”
she says. “You don’t have to be the best of the best to enjoy it. When I finished
my first race last weekend at Ragged Mountain, I could hear people chanting my
name as I came through the finish. I didn’t even know anyone at that time.”
In the long term, Krouse hopes to get to most of the races this season and con-
tinue making progress. In the short term, she hopes to atone for a second-run
fall in her second slalom start. “Just wait ‘til next race,” she says with a laugh.
The Brower family from Draper, Utah, made quite a splash at the opening
Intermountain masters races at Snowbasin, Utah, last month when father,
daughter, and son all placed in the top 10 overall. Dad, Mark, is well known
among racers due to his ownership of Brower Timing Systems and his frequent presence on the masters circuit. Daughter, Natalie, is also a familiar
figure since she has been racing masters for a few years. But few racers knew
there was yet another Brower, Kevin, until he came out of the back of the
The ex-Canadian national ski team downhiller
Jeanette Saylor seemed destined to be a ski racer. She grew
up in Red Mountain, B.C., with fanatical skiing parents,
and then moved to Aspen when she was 15. Ski racing con-
sumed her life at that time. What she might not have real-
ized as a youngster was that she would still be ski racing at the age of 53 and
every bit as excited about it.
Saylor lives in Centennial, Colo., where she helps run her husband’s oil and gas
business. She still finds time to escape to their home in Frisco for a few days each
week to training and race out of Copper Mountain. But before that, it had been
some time since Saylor’s routine involved ski racing — 32 years, as a matter of
Saylor raced as a junior in Aspen, but soon thereafter returned to Canada to
pursue a ski racing career with her home country. A CanAm downhill title in
1976 earned her a berth on the Canadian national team, but after a few World
Cup starts, a series of injuries changed her path.
“I got hurt, ran out of money, and just like that, I was out of ski racing and into
college,” says Saylor. It wasn’t long before Saylor was married, living in Colorado,
and raising two children.
Saylor still found time for freeskiing and competitive water skiing, but bringing
up two children and managing the family business consumed most of her time
and energy. When the youngest, Erika, shipped off to college, however, Saylor
soon found herself back in the gates.
“There was a good masters program at Copper Mountain,” says Saylor. “I started
in the Copper Business League and then last year I started masters ski racing.”
A broken arm cut short her inaugural season, but now she’s healthy and raring
to go, putting up some of the best times in the Rocky Mountain women’s speed
events. “I’ve decided to enjoy my new empty nest stage,” says Saylor. “Getting
back to ski racing has been so much fun. The people are so encouraging and I
love going to the other mountains to race. It’s been a satisfying and so-exciting
return to racing for me.”