Amelia Brown put on her first set of skis at age 2; her family travels to Maine every year for a ski trip. The youngest of four sisters, Brown followed in the footsteps of her siblings and began alpine racing in the fifth grade.
One sister, Alexandra, earned Globe All-Scholastic honors in 2007 after capturing the Mass Bay Ski League East title. Amelia is the three-time league champion, and as a sophomore the Hingham resident won the state slalom title. In 2009 and 2010, she competed at the Junior Olympic level. Their father, Stephen, is the ski coach at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham.
It’s all about the slopes.
The NDA senior has committed to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder next fall, where there is no shortfall of fresh powder. Brown, however, will play lacrosse for the Division 1 program.
Although skiing at the college level originally had been his daughter’s desire, Stephen Brown supports her decision to play lacrosse.
“It’s emotional for a coach and a dad to see her last race,” he said. “Hopefully it’s at states, but that’s OK. She’s happy and following her dream to play college lacrosse.”
As a junior, Brown placed second in the giant slalom, and third in the slalom — earning Alpine Skier of the Year honors from the Globe — but her focus this winter is on a team title for Notre Dame.
“I want so badly for our team to win the state championship,” she said. “I really hope this year that we can take it all.”
NDA, the four-time defending league champion, has placed third each of the last two years at the state meet.
Brown once planned to chase her dream of skiing at a Division 1 collegiate program. As an eighth-grader, she spent the winter term at Gould Academy in Maine, where students attend class half the day and spend the other half on the slopes.
However, Brown quickly realized that making a commitment to skiing at Gould meant paying less attention to two sports she loved: lacrosse and soccer.
“When I went to school in Maine, at that point I really thought that’s what I was going to pursue,” said Brown.
“As time went on, I changed my mind and thought that if I wanted to pursue skiing I’d have to stay at Gould. They weren’t as good at lacrosse and soccer. I knew as much as I loved skiing that I didn’t think I could put myself 100 percent on just skiing.”
Katie McNamara, captain of the varsity girls’ ski team at Notre Dame along with Brown, Brooke Morley, and Meredith Flaherty, has complete faith that Brown will succeed in college.
“I think that she is the epitome of a college athlete because she is very competitive but is also a very good teammate,” said McNamara.
“I know that she has very good balance in school, on the field, and with her friends, so I know she’ll be very good at it.”
With career totals of 40 goals and 27 assists on the lacrosse field at Notre Dame, Brown will play either attack or midfielder at Colorado, with an eye on majoring in psychology or internal relations. She was also captain of the NDA girls’ soccer team this fall.
Three of her lacrosse teammates will also be playing at Division 1 programs next year: Alex Dalton (University of Notre Dame), Mariel Teague (Columbia University), and Julia Simmons (University of Connecticut).
Brown’s lacrosse team made it to the MIAA South Division 1 playoffs last season, but fell to Westwood in the semifinals, 18-8.
NDA lacrosse coach Meredith Frank said the easiest way to describe Brown is “she’s so easy-going.
“She’s like a sponge,” added Frank, who also coaches Brown in the Mass. Elite program. “She takes anything in you ever throw at her and makes it her own and goes 100 percent at it. She’s a tremendous athlete with great athleticism. She wants to learn and always wants to improve. She’s very competitive, and I’m sad this is going to be her last year.”
Stephen Brown is looking forward to his 17-year-old daughter making one final successful run on the slopes.
Despite all of Amelia’s accomplishments, Stephen Brown has faith she will only get better in her final season skiing.
“She has a chance to set the league mark,” he said. “It’s a very competitive league, and if she wins, this will be her fourth year in a row and no one has done that. She put on one of the better performances I’ve seen at the state level last year competitively racing. She’s also one of the captains of the team. We’re excited for this season.”
Although Brown is excited to focus her energy on lacrosse, saying goodbye to Alpine racing, at least for now, will be bittersweet.
“It’s going to be really weird when I get to college because I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to ski out there,” said Brown.
“Skiing is such an awesome sport, so different. I’m going to miss NDA races and prepping to start at the top and being at the finish line, being competitive with yourself and your team.”