Nick Cohee, a Gardnerville resident and graduate of Douglas High School was recently named the recipient of the 2007 Dave van Ruiten Memorial Scholarship by Far West Skiing.
The scholarship is awarded annually to the top junior in the Far West Division of the United States Ski Association.
A 10-year member of the Kirkwood Ski Education Foundation, he is the region's No. 1-ranked junior in slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom.
Cohee is in Colorado training for a series of national events.
"Nick is not only the top junior in this region, he is among the top three
in national rankings with a very legitimate shot to earn a spot on the
United States Ski Team this coming spring," said Peter Sprock, a member of
the Far West Board of Directors, the group responsible for naming the
scholarship winner. "His dedication to competing at the highest level in the
world is an inspiration to the over 1,000 junior ski racers in the Far West
Region. He epitomizes what passion, focus and hard work is all about."
Cohee, in his 11th season, is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation among
juniors in giant slalom and No. 4 in super giant slalom. He is also ranked No. 29 in the world.
He scored top finishes this past summer in New Zealand, and was the silver medalist in the giant slalom at the Australian/New Zealand National Championships in September.
His primary goal is to earn a selection as a member of the United States Team that will compete at the Junior World Championships this coming March in Spain.
A selection to the U.S. Ski Team is next on his list, and if that does not happen this spring, he will begin his NCAA ski career in 2008, as he is currently considering scholarship offers from the University of Colorado, University of Denver, University of Utah and the University of Nevada.
"Whether he competes for the U.S. Ski Team or as a member of a top NCAA
Division I school, Nick will end his junior career this spring as one of the
most successful athletes in Far West Skiing," said Sprock, whose son Ty, 12,
is among the top J4 athletes in the world."
The scholarship amount is $5,000 and was matched by an anonymous donor, raising it to $10,000.
This is the second year of the scholarship. Last year it went to Heavenly's Marty Harris, also among the top juniors in the nation.
The scholarship is named after Dave van Ruiten, who passed away in 2006 and was instrumental in the development of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team, now the largest in the region.