Who's Who: Ready for Winter
- Student practices what she preaches
- Trail-blazing senior has a passion for film
- Senior double major enjoys adventure on and off the Hill
When confronted with the multitude of name-games that required fun facts during orientation, Maddy Jones '13 didn't have to look far to find one. "I'm ranked third nationally in snowboarding for my age group: women's 16-17," she states casually.
Jones was born in California and raised in Rhode Island, but she started skiing at a young age while staying at her grandparent's house in Maine. Soon after, she became interested in snowboarding. "My parents said that when I could ski all the black diamonds at Sunday River, I could try snowboarding," Jones says. Abiding by that rule, Jones began to snowboard recreationally at the age of nine. She spent weekends and vacations on the mountain, but would only ride a couple of times a year.
Her passion for athletics extends beyond the mountain; she played lacrosse and tennis, but decided in her sophomore year of high school to participate in more than just recreational snowboarding. Joining the team that claimed Sunday River as their "home mountain," she rode with teammates from Gould Academy on a regular basis. The team consists of about forty students, both boys and girls, between the ages of 10 and 18. Each practice ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and activities ranged from training gates and border-cross to jumps and half-pipes.
Jones did not mind driving the four-and-a-half hours every weekend in the winter to join her team at Sunday River for training, though after growing up in a state that you can drive across in an hour she was shocked by the size of Maine. "My coach once complained about his four-hour drive to practice," she says, "and, thinking you could only be from the south to drive that far, I asked where he was from. He said, 'Maine.'"
Jones' snowboarding team began placing in regional competitions, and Jones herself began winning them. Due to these victories, she placed in nationals through the United States of America Snowboarding Association (USASA). At first she qualified for only two of the disciplines of snowboarding, but this past year she qualified for all five: border-cross, half-pipe, slope style, giant slalom and slalom.
For Jones, however, snowboarding isn't just about winning and competing. When asked about her passion, she explains, "I really like snowboarding because it is a time that I can completely get away and be in the moment. When I'm on the mountain riding, I am focused on riding and enjoying being outside....When I'm riding the worries of school or life dissolve."
Although no colleges have competitive snowboarding teams, Jones still plans to get out on the mountain a lot this winter. Regardless of the fact that snowboarding is not technically offered anywhere as a sport, it still managed to affect her college decision; she was torn between Colby and Colorado College because, as she puts it, "Who wouldn't want to be by so much snow?" Ultimately, though, the small, liberal arts school environment appealed to her, and she loves "being able to go for a walk in the woods or go to a mountain and ski" any time.
But snowboarding isn't everything to Jones. She enjoys art, specifically 3-D ceramics and photography, and has her own baking business, "MaddyMade." She is also very enthusiastic about studying a variety of subjects; from government to art, she loves it all.
As for snowboarding, it's not over yet. As Jones so articulately states, "When Colby talks about a broad education, it means you can do everything."