Sam McClellan is a confident freeskier. “At age 18 Sam was the oldest member of the freeskiing squad this season, and with that he brought a whole lot of maturity, cognitive thinking skills, and refined talent,” Ry Young, Freeride Team Director at Mad River Glen noted. “Like most teenagers Sam had his struggles, but in the last two years and especially this past season he bloomed into a hard charging, quietly confident skier. Over the years I’ve watched his confidence grow parallel to his skiing abilities. Although Sam is the quiet kid in the room he has really come out as one of the strongest skiers, a combination not often found,” added Young.
Born and raised in Shelburne, McClellan’s family includes parents, Alice and Andy; older brother Tim, a UVM junior; and younger brother Calvin, a CVU sophomore.
“I credit my dad for my interest in the sport. He taught me to ski at the age of three,” McClellan reminisced. “But it wasn’t until about the fifth or sixth grade that I joined the Mad River freeskiing team. After that I was hooked.”
“Sam sees skiing differently than many aspiring kids. He skis because he loves it, not because he wants to be famous one day and this is seen in his creativity on the hill. His style, ability, and fun to be around attitude, impress young freeskiers and crusty seasoned veterans alike. Freeskiing is to have the ability to do these things, and Sam does them well,” Mad River Freeride Coach Chris Bisbee offered.
McClellan participated in numerous CVU sports throughout high school including cross country running, Nordic skiing, and lacrosse but the Mad River Glen Freeskiing Team remained at the top of his list. Even his greatest achievement is linked to his preferred sport. “My proudest moment was placing third at the Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Competition for my age group,” McClellan shared. “It was a great achievement because the level of skiing was so high at that competition, and I knew I had skied really well in order to get on the podium.”
Director Young concurs, “Sam’s strongest finish this season was at the Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Challenge where he placed 3rd in his division, men 15-18. He put together many other fine performances but with judging being so subjective it’s not always easy to get on the podium. In ski racing there is a clock, with freeskiing you’re judged on five categories by six different people; line, control, fluidity, technique, and style. Going forward I believe Sam will be a regular on the podium for Ski The East Freeride Tour events and whatever other endeavors he chooses to take on.”
And that includes college. McClellan is committed to attend the University of Vermont to study environmental science next year. It’s clear that McClellan in his quiet, confident way will use his creativity, abilities, and style to make a valuable contribution at UVM.