Brie Von Beren of Kearsarge: Girls Alpine skier of the season

  • Kearsarge skier Brie Von Beren won the Division III title in both the slalom and the giant slalom.

Monitor staff
Published: 4/20/2018 11:10:30 PM

Brie Von Beren has led the Kearsarge girls’ Alpine team to back-to-back Division III championships and finished fourth in slalom at the Meet of Champions in March.

Von Beren, a junior, still has another winter of high school skiing ahead of her. And with a deep team of talented skiers around her, Kearsarge is set up well to maintain this level of success.

As Von Beren and her teammates improve, competition within the team heats up, and that’s a good thing.

“We’re always strong, but this year there was a new level of competition,” Von Beren said after the Division III championships in February. “Everyone wants to beat each other and it’s really helped us. Everyone wants to win and everyone wants to ski as fast as possible.”

Von Beren knows how to find speed, and in her junior season she focused on the mental elements of flying down the mountain and staying in control.

“GS has bigger turns and slalom is more technical,” she said. “Sometimes I’d have a difficult time remembering the small things I’m going to have to go through. I like going fast but sometimes it’s hard to go fast with a lot of gates around.”

Von Beren tries to tune out the distractions and focus as closely as possible while making quick decisions. That has made a difference for her this season.

“Anyone can put on skis and bomb down the trail,” she said. “There’s a difference between that and mentally accepting that you’re going to go fast. Then you can focus on the obstacles in front of you and the mental game.”

Von Beren improved upon her 2017 accolades at the Division III championships. She won the GS for a second straight year and finished first in slalom after taking second place last winter.

Von Beren doesn’t race thinking about where she’ll finish against the field. Beyond what she does in her run, the rest of it is out of her control.

“Jill says she doesn’t care about the outcome,” Von Beren said, referring to Kearsarge girls’ Alpine coach Jill Firstbrook. “She wants us to ski our fastest and give 110 percent.”

Firstbrook said Von Beren “understands the game,” pointing to the extra work Von Beren puts in skiing on the weekends in addition to practicing and competing with the team during the week.

“She’s really been working on her skiing – she’d like to ski in college,” said Kearsarge girls’ coach Jill Firstbrook. “She’s figuring it out and she has potential.”

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