Jack Beney demonstrating his speed and agility on the slopes.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
By Robin Jovanovich
This is the second summer Jack Beney has worked in the tennis shop at Manursing Island Club. He looks and moves like a tennis player, so most members assumed he was one. While Jack grew up playing tennis at Westchester Country Club, he’s a lot more comfortable on a pair of skis.
It turns out that Jack is on the British National Ski Team, along with his older brother William, who skis for the University of New Hampshire. He’s raced all over the world — from New Zealand to Norway to Chile — and is currently ranked 987. “I’m one of four boys and know how fortunate I am to have been able to live right on a mountain in France — five minutes from a chairlift —, travel, and ski at every opportunity in Vermont, where my family has a home, and in pre-season camps in Austria and Germany.”
For the first ten years of his life, he and his family lived in Geneva and France. Six years ago, they moved to Rye, where his mother grew up, and Jack went to his first non-French speaking school, Resurrection Grammar School.
When he graduated from Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont, which educates and trains alpine ski racers, he was recruited by Babson College but decided to take a gap year and ski to his heart’s content. “My older brother is my role model; he took two gap years,” said 20-year-old Jack with a grin.
His first college season he came in 2nd overall at the Eastern Regional Championships and he was named Rookie of the Year. His parents put him on skis when he was 2 and it’s been downhill from there — slalom, giant slalom, Super-G.
“One winter my parents took us out of school, and I went to Okeemo Mountain School.”
At Babson, where he is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration, there are no Friday classes, so last season he and the rest of the ski team — eight men, six women — went skiing. “We figured out how to ski five days a week.”
To compete at his level, explosiveness is essential, so Jack and his teammates powerlift and do 60-second sprints. In the spring, they run up Green Mountain and focus on aerobic training. “We had Olympians in the last Olympics. Mikaela Shiffrin is a Babson grad.”
With college on a new academic calendar — the fall semester ends before Thanksgiving — and some classes online, Jack’s plan is to ski in the Alps. “My father was offered a job in Lausanne, and he’s excited that he’ll be seeing more of me.”