On Top Of The Mountain: Lauren Jacobs Skis To Connecticut State Championship
Newtown High School sophomore Lauren Jacobs took first place overall at the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League (CISL) Girls State Open ski competition on March 15 at Mount Southington. With a time of 49.36 seconds, Jacobs beat 110 other top female racers in the state.
In competition, each racer completes two different courses. Results reflect the combined times for both runs. Jacobs ended up besting runner-up Grace Mahmood by a narrow .49 seconds.
“Winning states was a huge honor, and honestly kind of unexpected because I’m a sophomore and there were so many amazing girls at that race,” Jacobs said.
With this win, Jacobs completed her second season as a part of the Newtown-Pomperaug of Southbury co-op team that competes against other high school teams in the CISL during the winter season. The team is coached by Paul Zackin of Pomperaug, who was extremely proud of Jacobs, but not at all surprised by her win.
“Lauren has worked really hard over the past two years to put herself in a position to win the Connecticut State Open race. She is a great athlete and trains consistently whenever she has the opportunity,” Zackin said.
Although the team did not qualify for state opens, Lauren and her twin brothers, Newtown High juniors Matt and Andrew, qualified individually based on their times from throughout the season.
Similarly to this competition, skiing in general has been a family affair for the entire Jacobs family, who spend a lot of time in Vermont skiing for fun and honing skills on Stratton Mountain. The Jacobs family has been there every ski season weekend for the last ten years.
“I think growing up racing in Vermont definitely helped to prepare me for this because it gave me tons of experience and high-level training that I can incorporate when I race in Connecticut,” Lauren said.
After coming back from midseason knee surgery, Andrew placed 13th in his race. Matt was unable to finish at states after falling in his second run, but had an outstanding season. He placed first in every one of his races over the course of the 2021 season. Lauren and Matt each earned All State honors.
“It meant a lot to me to have my brothers there, because skiing is something that we have always done as a family since I was really little and it’s something that we’re all super dedicated to. They’re also very supportive of me, even if it’s sometimes tough love, and they have definitely helped me improve my skiing,” Lauren said.
The oldest brother in the family, Nick, skis on the Syracuse University Club Team, and all three of the younger Jacobs are hoping to participate at the collegiate level after high school.
This victory is just the beginning for Lauren, who has two more high school seasons ahead of her. She and Zackin both have high hopes for her future.
“I think Lauren can be one of the top high school racers in the east. Unfortunately, because of COVID, the Eastern High School Championships were cancelled this year. I am hopeful that over the next two years Lauren will be able to compete with the best in the east and perform well in those races,” Zackin said.