John Henry Paluszek is a new recruit to the UW Nordic team coming from a stellar career at Castleton University where he won Overall Individual National Championship accolades twice, 2019 & 2020. Due to COVID the 2021 National Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Championships were cancelled giving John Henry an additional year of eligibility. With a desire to continue his studies and to ski John Henry transferred to UW in the fall of 2021 to pursue his Masters degree in Botany. While learning and working in the Weinig Lab John Henry has trained hard through the summer and fall and started his career in Brown and Gold at a series of pre-Olympic Super Tour races, the United States National Championships, and regional NCAA Division I races..
He has been slowly lowering his US Ski & Snowboard points through this series of races and has been extremely competitive both the Super Tour races and the NCAA Division I races.
This past weekend was his first opportunity to test his speed against a United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association field at the Colorado Mesa University Invitational at Grand Mesa, Colorado. In the skate sprint he showed the Rocky Mountain Conference why he is the defending National Champion by dominating the qualifier and every sprint heat. Finishing the day easily winning the A Final.
In the 10km Classic race he skied with another UW skier, Kaj Taylor, and Western Colorado Universities Albert Hesse. He tried several times to pull away from the other skiers but they held on with persistence until the final 200 meters where John Henry was able to use his superior sprinting ability to take the win. This double win helped the men take the team titles for the weekend in what looks to be a great rivalry between UW and WSC.
When he’s not on the ski courses or in the lab John Henry has been leading a qualitative research study to examine the effect of the pandemic on ski training and racing for the past 2 years. He and the rest of the skiers who are conducting this study have received a grant through the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources to help fund their research.
We are extremely proud both of John Henry’s ski accolades and his scholarship. The true scholar athlete John Henry ROCKS OUR WORLD!!