Maggie Neal Doherty – Biography
Name: Maggie Neal Doherty
Hometown: Whitefish, Montana
Birthplace: Boyne City, Michigan
Weight: 155 lbs
Education: BA English Writing, DePauw University and currently pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.
USTSA Team Sponsors: Flylow, SCARPA, Global Rescue, CW-X Conditioning Wear, Saucer Wax, Smartwool Socks
Personal Sponsors: Red Ants Pants
My Skiing History:
I was born to two skiing enthusiasts who raised me in the Midwest skiing mecca of northern Michigan and my first debut on skis took place at Nub’s Nob when I was just two years old. I was an alpine skier and competed in alpine racing through high school. Alpine racing was a high school sport and in my senior year, our girl’s team made Boyne City Rambler history as the first girl’s team to qualify for the State High School Championships. It was a big moment. Slalom was my favorite event. My dad was the bartender at the local ski hill so as a family we skied a lot. To fund my skiing habit, I worked as a ski instructor through high school and college. I’ve mastered the bunny hill, tow-rope, magic carpet, and skiing backwards in the wedge.
After high school and college, I moved to Montana and found myself on a lot wider of ski than the skis of my racing youth. I learned to ski powder and the backcountry of Whitefish, Montana. I felt the Whitefish pull and legacy towards telemark and in 2009 I bought myself a used set up of telemark gear. At first, it was a struggle but also an incredible challenge. In my first floundering year of telemark, I also competed in the recreational telemark league. I immediately fell in love with the combination of telemark skiing and racing gates. And it made me so much better of a telemark skier. I was terrible at skiing off-piste with my telemark skis but saw great results in the gates. In 2010 I met Kelsey Schmid-Sommer (she is a telemark legend, if you’re not familiar with her) and in late January she convinced me to start training with her in preparation for the National Championships at our home hill, Whitefish Mountain Resort. I had little understanding of a “true” telemark race, with the components of the jump and skating but truly loved training with Kelsey and the rest of the Whitefish based team. I was hooked immediately and had an incredible amount of fun at the National Championships!
The 2010-2011 season was my first official racing season and I was a member of the Regional Team. I’m now entering my second season as a member of the National Team.
My Goals and Motivation:
I ski fast. I love to ski fast. And I love racing. Due to an inury last winter, I was unable to compete in the 2011-2012 season. My goal for this coming season, after months of rehab and phyiscal therapy, is to return to the podium at Nationals. During my first official racing season, two years ago, I competed in World Cup races in Germany, Austria and Norway and had the racing experience of a lifetime. I want to build upon the foundation I built two years ago and make a solid run at podium spots at regional and national races.
I also want to help to elevate the status of telemark racing in the US and beyond. Not only do I want to perform at the top, but I also want to ensure that telemark continues to build in the US and the team has a lot of participation and enthusiasm.
What I love about Telemark Racing:
What don’t I love about telemark? For starters, the boots are much more comfortable than alpine race boots! Truly, I love the telemark turn. Combining the telemark turn with gates and it is truly exciting, challenging and exhilarating. I love the athleticism involved with telemark: skiing, jumping and skating.
Also, all of the athletes, coaches and volunteers involved with telemark racing are truly incredible people. It’s a rogue sport. It’s not well known. Not many people telemark, let along telemark race. However, the people who are involved in the sport, both here stateside and around the world are truly passionate people. They love to ski. They love to race. And they are incredibly genuine and supportive. This is a sport where sportsmanship is at its finest. To be able to travel the world, represent my country and meet other ski bums is a phenomenal experience! There is little glitter and glamour involved with this sport…just a bunch of people, young and old, who truly love to ski. It is these aspects of the sport that I truly identify with.
Interesting Facts About Myself:
On September 8, 2012 I married my teammate, Cole Schneider in Glacier National Park. We met while training at Whitefish Mountain Resort for the 2010 US National Championships. Together, as teammates on the Regional and now the National Teams, we’ve traveled the world and competed together.
In high school I was voted Most School Spirit and Class Clown. Both are accurate and true to this day.
I’m currently in a graduate program for Creative Writing and my husband is opening a craft brewery in Kalispell, Montana so we’ve got a lot of exciting adventures ahead of us off the ski slopes.
When the snow isn’t flying, you can find me chasing Cole up a peak in Glacier National Park or backpacking through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. We have two dogs, Wylie and Matti.
My greatest weakness, cultivated during the World Cup races in Europe, is Bavarian style pretzels. They are amazing and when traveling and racing Europe, I have to eat one every day.
2010 was my first official racing season as a member of the Regional Team and I finished 8th Overall. My best finish was 4th in the Slalom.
In 2010-11 I competed in World Cup races in Germany, Austria and Norway. I also placed 2nd in the Whitefish Sprint Classic.
My best finish was at the 2011 US Nationals where I finished 3rd Overall with two 3rd place finishes in the Sprint and the GS.