Leanne Smith Head U19/FIS Coach
Leanne Smith, North Conway native, joins her home club, MWVST, after a lengthy World Cup career and ten-year stint on the U.S. Ski Team.
Smith started out ski racing at Cranmore Mountain in the mid 1990s. The Cranmore Race Team helped develop her skills and love for the sport that only continued to grow. By 14, Smith was a top ranked junior skier in the U.S. and joined the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team with coach, Dave Gregory in 2003. Throughout high school, Leanne was a three sport varsity athlete at Kennett and that included skiing for her entire four years.
Upon graduation from Kennett, Smith enrolled into college at the University of New Hampshire. During that 2005/06 season, she skied on the UNH Division I NCAA team and recorded a win in the Giant Slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival. Naturally, the team’s focus was on the technical events (GS and SL), but Smith still found time to do some speed races at the NorAM and National level with the Eastern Regional Group.
During that spring of 2006, Smith received a call from the United States Development Team taking her as a discretionary pick for the upcoming 2007/08 season. From that point on, Smith improved tremendously. In the spring of 2008, Leanne won the Women’s Super G NorAM title as well as the Women’s Overall NorAM title. She attended the World Junior Championships in Altenmarkt/Zauchensee, Austria, and after a pretty successful Development Team year she found herself Ski Racing Junior of the Year. It was obvious that Smith’s direction would most likely head in the direction of speed (DH and SG). From there it was a World Cup spot that landed Leanne in Lake Louise, Canada, the following December of 2009. Smith impressively scored in her first World Cup Downhill and Super G there, with a 23rd and a 19th place, respectively.
She continued to gain experience on the World Cup and made her mark on the Europa Cup tour as well, with a Downhill win in Caspoggio, Italy. Over the next 6 years, Smith established herself to be one of the best speed skiers in the world.
She finished the 2012/13 season with overall rankings in the top 12 in both Downhill and Super G. That season was Smith’s best season to date, and it included two podium finishes on the World Cup tour. Her first podium in Val D’Isere, France was a 2nd place, and a month later she landed on the podium at her favorite stop on the tour, in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy. She competed in two Olympic Games for the United States, first in Vancouver in 2010 and again in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. Injuries unfortunately are a byproduct of skiing at a high level and after two years away from competition, Smith made a comeback for the 2016/17 and struggled to regain form. With a successful career behind Leanne, she decided to return to her hometown and continue to enjoy the sport of ski racing, this time as a coach.
EISA Skiing Rookie of the Year 2005/06
NorAM Super G Overall Champion 2007/08
NorAM Women’s Overall Champion 2007/08
Ski Racing Junior of the Year 2008
2010 Olympian (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
2010 U.S. National Downhill Champion
2011 World Championship Team (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany)
2nd place World Cup Downhill (Val D’Isere, France in 2012)
3rd place World Cup Downhill (Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy in 2013)
2013 World Championship Team (Schladming, Austria)
2014 Olympian (Sochi, Russia)
22 Top 15 Finishes on World Cup
9 Top Ten Finishes on World Cup