Sophie Sellstrom wasn't kidding when she said she enjoyed competing at Okemo Mountain in Vermont.
"I love the mountain there," she said last month.
Fresh off a pair of seventh-place finishes at the New York State Ski Racing Association (NYSSRA)/United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) New York State U18 Championships at Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks, the Jamestown High School senior and Ellicottville Ski team member took part in the USSA Eastern Regionals, where she clinched a third-place overall finish.
Sophie Sellstrom of Jamestown placed third overall at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association Eastern Regionals last month at Okemo Mountain in Vermont.
The Eastern Regionals bring together some of the best racers from around the East and Canada, and is a race to which college programs pay close attention.
In securing her strong overall finish, Sellstrom took third place in both the giant slalom and the super giant slalom.
So if she wasn't on college coaches' radar before, it's safe to say she certainly is now.
- - -
With the 2013 high school baseball and softball seasons underway - weather permitting, of course - we thought now would be as good a time as any to open up the spring sports New York State Public High School Athletic Association record book. And in news that shouldn't surprise anyone who has followed area sports over the years, the Southern Tier is very well represented.
Making numerous appearances are baseball players Thad Johnson of Frewsburg (Class of 2012), Ryan Sweda of Pine Valley (Class of 2004) and, in softball, Ripley's Samantha Eimers, a 2007 graduate.
Johnson, who made headlines frequently last season in his quest to set a new NYSPHSAA career hits record, did just that on May 24, 2012, when he smacked a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence in the bottom of the first in a contest with Holland for his record-setting 189th career hit, snapping the previous mark of 188 set by Adam Cutspec of Fort Plain in 2008.
Johnson would finish his career with an even 200.
Along with the hits record, the current St. Bonaventure freshman is tied for second in hits in a game (six, set in 2009), second in career runs scored (180), third in career triples (24), eighth in career doubles (46) and is tied for 15th in career RBIs (135).
Sweda, meanwhile, is tops in career RBIs with 178, 12th in career batting average (.510), tied for eighth - with Johnson - in career doubles (46) and 10th in career round trippers with 22.
Meanwhile, Eimers set most of her records during one unbelievable season - 2007.
That year, the Ripley grad hit .635 (14th on the all-time list) with 61 hits (third), 13 home runs (second) and 57 runs scored (first).
Not too shabby.
Also on the list in baseball was Josh Roth, who hit .609 (17th best ever) in 1995 for Pine Valley; Cattaraugus-Little Valley's Matt Ellis, who is fifth in career triples with 18 and whose career RBI mark (135) set from 1985-1988 was later equaled by Johnson; Bob Hammond of North Collins, who fanned 20 batters in a game in 1960; Asa Johnson, who earned 37 wins on the mound for Frewsburg from 2005-2010; and fellow Bears' hurler Kyle Grey, who was nothing short of a pickoff master.
The 2010 Frewsburg graduate, you see, is second in career pickoffs with 31, first in pickoffs in a single game with five and second in pickoffs in a season with 13, set in 2008.
Joining Eimers in the softball record books is Frewsburg's Brianne Prince-Hazelton, who is 10th in career wins (83) and 10th in no-hitters in a season (five). Hazelton is currently the head coach at Forestville, and her Lady Hornets have captured two straight Section 6 Class D titles.
More recently, Ripley's Emilee Steger swiped eight bases in a single game last year - it was April 16, to be exact - which is the most all time.
Rounding out the list is Damaris Mason (Ripley), whose 12 doubles in 2007 was 11th highest mark in New York state history; Julie Gawronski of Dunkirk, who connected for 55 hits in 2002 (seventh most); and another Lady Marauder, Casey Mazurek, who spun a pair of perfectos (in 2001 and 2003) - a number good enough for 11th all time.
- - -
If you didn't get a chance to see what Cheektowaga wrestler Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer pulled off at the National High School Coaches Association wrestling championships in Virginia Beach recently, stop what you're doing and google the following right now: "Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer flying squirrel."
Go ahead, watch the video. The paper can wait a few seconds.
Good. Now, for a little background information.
First, what is the flying squirrel?
The move is most closely associated with Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler Ellis Coleman, who used the maneuver - and gained much notoriety in the process - to clinch a third-place finish at the 2011 Junior World Championships. The move consists of a wrestler leaping headlong over his unsuspecting opponent, flipping, and then, on the way down, grabbing him and bringing him to the ground for a two-point takedown.
Given the situation Rodriguez-Spencer found himself in late in his championship bout with Maryland's Alfred Bannister - the nation's fifth-ranked wrestler at 138 pounds - it was just the sort of off-the-wall tactic that he needed.
Trailing 3-2 with just 10 seconds to go, Rodriguez-Spencer put it all on the line, managing to complete the flying squirrel, tally two last-second points, and walk away with a 4-3 victory and a national title.
Oh, and it earned him Most Outstanding Wrestler honors as well.
It was a perfect way to cap off an outstanding wrestling season for the sophomore, who in February captured a New York State Public High School Athletic Association state wrestling title - in the semifinals he defeated Fredonia's Tyler Cassidy - and was rated the top wrestler in his class by the Wrestling Review of Western New York.