Gary Quiricone took over the Fairfield skiing program twenty-two years ago with the goal of establishing a competitive program. The lifetime skier and longtime teacher has done that, and more.
RACE TO THE TOP
Thirteen state titles later—including five straight by the combined girls team from Warde and Ludlowe—Quiricone has established Fairfield as the state’s premier ski program. Besides the on-course success, Quiricone and his coaches, son Rick and Tom Mason, have developed a winning off-course culture.
“Team chemistry is something I always want to develop,’’ says Quiricone, who also coaches Warde’s softball team. “Skiing is an individual sport, but they are all contributing to the team’s success.”
Quiricone adds that the program took root when he found athletic students and developed them into skiers. “We started a conditioning program, and then we found out what skills they had. We pride ourselves on taking athletic students and teaching them to become good skiers.”
A NUMBERS GAME
Quiricone says the program started with only fifteen students, and now has approximately fifty. The season starts in January and he expects his teams to again be contenders. “We’re going to be strong again this year,’’ he says. Sounds like the rest of the state has some catching up to do with the fast-flying Fairfield skiers.
In 2015, Fairfield erased a five-second deficit, an eternity in ski racing, to edge rival Staples by seven-tenths of a second. “They’re all special, but that one sticks out because of the deficit that we faced.”
COACH OF FAIRFIELD (CO-OP) SKIING
OUTSTANDING The Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League (CISL, leagueathletics.com) is a high school ski racing league that is made up of girls’ and boys’ teams from public and private high schools throughout Connecticut.
BABY STEPS Quiricone started skiing at age five with equipment from Rotary Ski Shop in Stratford. His father and his uncle started the business, which still operates today.
FAIRFIELD STATE SKIING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Girls: 1998, 2001, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Boys: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013