Elite Team Preview: Far West Farm Team

Alex KochonJune 27, 2012
Far West Farm Team veteran Phil Violett competing in the 2011 Auburn Ski Club (ASC) Summer Biathlon National Championships in Soda Springs, Calif. Violett won the men’s pro title. (Far West/Mark Nadell photo: www.macbethgraphics.com)

Note: This is the sixth preview in a quick-and-dirty series on U.S. elite teams. We asked coaches to send their 2012/2013 rosters and tell us what’s new for the coming season. We will be publishing additional reports over the next few weeks. Teams are presented in no particular order.

Team: Far West Farm Team

Coaches: Ben Grasseschi (head coach), August Teague, Martin Benes

Roster: Phillip Violett, Wyatt Fereday

Who’s new: No one – yet. However, the team is looking to fill four spots on it senior Farm Team and will be sending out criteria and applications in September. Stay tuned to fasterskier.com and farwestnordic.org for more info.

Who’s missing: Elias Bucher (recently graduated University Nevada-Reno with a degree in health ecology), Gustavo Johnson (2011 University Nevada-Reno grad, English literature major), Kara LaPoint (training for Xterra triathlons) Michael Collins (according Grasseschi, moving on to the “real world.” Head nordic coach at Incline High School on Lake Tahoe).

Wyatt Fereday competing in February 2012. (Far West/Mark Nadell photo: macbethgraphics.com)

Top results last season: Bucher was the top overall skier at U.S. Collegiate Ski Association Championships (USCSA) in March, winning the 8.5 k race and placing second in two other events. He was 16th at the Boulder Mountain Tour and tallied multiple local wins or podiums, including the Sierra Ski Chase title.

Fereday finished fifth in the West Yellowstone Rendezvous 50 k, notched multiple local podiums and was 33rd at the Boulder Mountain Tour. Violett ranked in the top 20 of U.S. biathletes last season. He placed second at the 10th Mountain Division Biathlon and posted several top-10 finishes in US Biathlon races.

Collins was 127th in this year’s American Birkebeiner skate race, and Gustavo Johnson ranked 43rd in the Boulder Mountain Tour and second to Bucher in the Sierra Ski Chase. LaPoint placed second in the Sierra chase and tallied multiple local podiums. A Team LUNA triathlete, she earned All-American Triathlete honors in 2011.

Coach’s comment: Head coach Grasseschi wrote in an email that the team was excited to welcome “a new crop of Farmers” in 2012/2013. He hoped applications would come out of the Far West College Residency Program in its second summer. According to Grasseschi, a few recent college grads were on the radar: Beth Taylor (Bates College), Spencer Eusden (Bowdoin College) and Noah Brautigam (Middlebury College).

“We have an amazing training venue here in sunny, beautiful Tahoe/California region and we also have a top-shelf coaching staff,” Grasseschi wrote. “Together, we hope to take this grassroots Farm Team to the major leagues!”

Other previews: Bend Endurance Academy | Craftsbury GRPCXC | Maine Winter Sports Center | XC Oregon

Alex Kochon

Alex Kochon (alex@fasterskier.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.

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