Morgan Smyth was born in Northfield, MA in 1986 but now refers to Vermont as her home after her family moved to the town of Vernon when she was thirteen. Smyth began racing in the Bill Koch League when she was nine and attended Stratton Mountain School during her junior ski career.
After SMS, Smyth continued her training at NMU, clinching 7th in the 2006 World Junior Sprint as well as placing 2nd and 3rd in the 2007 NCAA Championships. Also in 2007 Smyth placed 8th in the Classic Sprint at the U23 Championships. “During my five years at NMU,” Smyth says, “my skiing improved, I made amazing friends and learned so much about the power of a team in a sport that is so often thought of as individual.”
Smyth enjoys both training alone and with others, believing that teammates have pushed her harder than she could ever push herself. Smyth also enjoys bagels and good coffee and advises aspiring skiers to “Make good decisions (and learn from the bad ones), train smart and most importantly, HAVE FUN!”
Hometown: Vernon, VT
Current Residence: depends on the day! I have an apartment in Marquette, MI but at the moment I am in Park City, UT at a camp.
Ski Club: NENSA/NMU
Status on U.S. Ski Team: 3rd year on Continental Cup team
8th Classic Sprint 2007 U23 Championships
2nd and 3rd 2007 NCAA Championships
7th Freestyle Sprint 2006 World Junior Championships
Salomon Boots and Bindings
When did you start ski racing, and what were some highlights of your young skiing career?
I started skiing when I was barely two and I started racing after I joined the Bill Koch League when I was 9. I loved playing “hide and seek tag” and definitely looked forward to the Bill Koch Festival for about 11 months of the year.
Who has been the most influential person for you, whether as a skier or a person?
My mom. She puts her whole heart into everything she does.
What drives you to succeed at the highest possible level, and what are your short term and long-term goals as a skier?
I love skiing and I love challenges…
Do you have any consistent training partners? Do you prefer training alone or with others?
I like both. Training with others allows me to identify weaknesses and training alone gives me the opportunity to make those changes. When skiing with a group I find myself focusing on what they are doing or on keeping up rather than on improving my technique. On the other hand, I think it is essential to train with others a few times a week especially during hard intensity workouts. I can think of numerous Marquette Mountain workouts with the NMU team where I have pushed myself much harder than I ever could have by myself.
You attended college at the powerhouse NMU. How did your time at Northern Michigan affect you as a skier?
Skiing for NMU was great. During my 5 years at NMU my skiing improved, I made amazing friends and learned so much about the power of a team in a sport that is so often thought of as individual. Attending NMU was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
What does your diet consist of? Do you have a favorite pre-race dinner and breakfast? Do you enjoy eating foreign food when you travel?
I really love bagels and good coffee. Unfortunately, I have yet to find bagels overseas but the coffee is good!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was little I had a 5ft tall Barbie house. I also have a fear of throwing up.
You and Andy Newell seem to have a lot of Vermont pride. How did that develop, and what does being from Vermont mean to you?
Ok, cat’s out of the bag… I’m not a true Vermonter (as much as I like to think I am). I lived in Northfield, MA (about 5 miles from VT) until I was 13. Since then I have lived in Vernon, VT. I think my Vermont pride developed while I was at Stratton Mountain School. The Fosters and Newell must have brain washed me… seriously though, it’s hard not to love a beautiful place with such a passionate outdoor community.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young skiers? How do you get to where you are now?
Make good decisions (and learn from the bad ones), train smart and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Photos courtesy of Pat Casey.