Outdoor Center News

2018 03 Rena FS IMG 9921

Rena contest the skate sprint at Junior National Champs this past March. Photo - Chris Young

Looke, Schwartz gift Center Gatorade POTY Grants

Last Updated: 21.Nov.2018

In light of Thanksgiving, it seemed especially pertinent to recognize two athletes who contributed to the Center this past year. Of course, we're thankful for all the members of our community, but we're particularly grateful for the generosity of two athletes from the Montpelier area who thoughtfully named the Center as the recipient of their Gatorade player of the year awards. Stephen Looke and Rena Schwartz were named the '17-18 recipients of the prize for Vermont XC Runners. Along with the personal accolade comes a $1000 donation in their name to a non-profit of their choice, and Craftsbury was the fortunate recipient of their largesse.

Stephen Looke ran for U-32, capping a successful High School career by taking the individual 2017 State Championship in 16:51.9 and leading U-32 to the team title. He skied for U-32 as well, being part of last year's 2nd place boy's team, before jumping on the track to take an individual state title in the 800m as well as helping U-32 to the team win. In addition to his athletic excellence, he graduated with a 3.5 GPA and was student council president. He now attends and runs for UVM.

Green Mountain Valley School skier (and long-time Craftsbury ski community member) Rena Schwartz gifted the Craftsbury Outdoor Center her Gatorade Player of the Year award grant. 2017 marked Rena's third year of winning the Gatorade honors - honors she could've just as easily won for cross-country skiing or her accomplishments on the track as well. She is skiing for Dartmouth
This story gets better though: athletes selected by Gatorade can submit an essay about the organization they selected for their $1000 grant, and why they selected it. Gatorade selects 12 of these essays (one for each sport they recognize) as their spotlight grant winner. These second grants are worth an additional $10000 to the athlete's selected organization. Rena's essay won that grant for Craftsbury as well!

"Not only does Rena have exceptional academic record and competitive athletic results, but she is a pleasure to spend time with," writes her GMVS coach, Colin Rodgers. "She is kind, honest, dependable, and incredibly hard-working. If you ever ask anything of Rena you can expect it to be done with focus and attention to detail."

Congrats to both athletes and best of luck in your ongoing athletic endeavors, and thank you so much for thinking of Craftsbury!