Camp Director - Sara Beeken
Sara Beeken grew up skiing in North Carolina and racing USSA with the Beech Mountain team. She earned a degree in Recreation Managment from Appalachian State University where she raced on the App State Ski Team. After graduating, Sara spent a few months in Vail, CO as an intern for the 2015 World Alpine Championships. She then became Head Coach of the Beech Mountain Academy and later the Beech Mountain Academy Program director. Later moving to South Lake Tahoe, CA, she worked as a U12 Coach and Team Administrative Lead for the Heavenly Competition team. She now lives in Longmont, Colorado! Sara loves the sense of community that comes with skiing and always promotes fun and teamwork with her athletes. She believes that by encouraging adventure and pushing limits, kids not only learn to evaluate and manage risks, but learn about themselves and build a greater sense of confidence and self-worth. Sara coaches at camp and also works on the administrative side with Founder, Stephanie Carson and Head Coach, Thea Young to make this camp happen every year!
Thea Van Sickle Young, Head Coach
Thea has been involved in the ski industry for 25 years as an adaptive ski buddy, ski instructor and an alpine ski race coach. She now coaches U18s at Killington Mountain School and was formerly one of the head coaches at Appalachian Ski Mountain, working in that capacity since 2011. During her time with the Appalachian Race Team alpine program, she developed their competitive US Ski and Snowboard program enabling young athletes to further their ski racing opportunities. As the head Appalachian US Ski and Snowboard coach, with a Level 200 certification, she has taken young athletes to many races all over the eastern region, including most recently, the Piche Invitational in NH. Returning to Mt. Hood for her third season, Thea is always looking for ways to extend productive and fun opportunities for young athletes to train. With a competitive track background and extensive outdoor resume, Thea understands what it takes to motivate and support her young athletes. Thea has worked in the outdoor industry for over 20 years as a mountain guide leading backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater paddling trips and currently works professionally in the outdoor retail industry.
Coach Mark Russell
Hi, I’m Coach Mark and I began skiing in 1984. I began racing at Massauntten in 1986, competing for 3 years. While in college at Davis & Elkins, I found snowboarding in the early 90s in addition to competing on the Senators cross-country team. After college I hung up the skis and boards and began competing in cycling and triathlon events. My tri/cycling career was primarily in the southeast with four invitations to compete at XTERRA National Championships. When my son was a toddler I introduced him to skiing with him eventually joining the Massanutten ski team. Seeing him ski reignited my passion for skiing and I set out to become a Coach, which I have been for the past 5 years. I am currently a US Ski and Snowboard Level 100 coach and am working towards my Level 200. I believe strongly in skiing as an experiential sport that imparts many life lessons on its racers. There is nothing as joyful as sliding on snow.
Coach Lillith Mueller
Hi Everyone! I am so excited to meet our group for this summer!
I am originally from Asheville, NC. I grew up skiing at Cataloochee. I was on many of the clubs in the area including Asheville Ski Club, Appalachian Ski Team, and Snowshoe Ski Team. I went to the original SARC Mt Hood Camp and several following years. I coached, instructed, and worked race crew at Cataloochee for many years. I am currently U10-12 Co-Head Coach at Big Sky in Montana. I am currently living in Bozeman.
I love ski racing and I absolutely love coaching it.
I also enjoy all sorts of off season activities such as climbing and mountain biking.
I am so excited for SARC Mt Hood this summer!
Coach Spencer Dirats
Spencer grew up racing in the northeast and started coaching high school athletes in 2012. In 2017, she moved to Salt Lake City, UT where she is a middle school teacher and the head U12 coach and assistant program director of the Brighton Ski Team. Spencer's approach to coaching is centered around the balance between developing both the physical skills and the mental-social-emotional skills necessary to help athletes grow into healthy and fierce competitors. In 2015, Spencer developed a highly adaptable mindfulness program that can be implemented in both academic and athletic settings for students and athletes of any age, and she has been training teachers and coaches in that approach ever since. When she's not in the classroom or on snow, you can find Spencer road-tripping, hiking, and camping all over the west!
Assistant Coach Eva Young
Eva is a U18 athlete at Killington Mountain school who grew up in the High Country of North Carolina, training with the Appalachian Ski Mountain Race Team. You may notice a resemblance between she and our Head Coach, Thea Young! Eva plays a key part of helping out with coaching, course set, and many of the on-hill responsibilities!