It would be difficult to find an FCIAC athlete with a more packed schedule than Darien’s Sammy Lindell. She hopes to improve on her fourth-place finish a year ago and win the state skiing title — though two of her teammates will provide difficult competition.
Every winter weekend, Lindell leaves school on Friday and heads to Mount Snow with her family for competitions in Vermont.
When she doesn’t have skis on her feet, Lindell might be found with a stick in her hand. The junior is a member of the Blue Wave field hockey team, and hopes to land a starting spot on defense next season for the defending FCIAC champion.
Lindell is an honors student, started a marine biology club and is involved in several other extracurricular activities.
“She does keep a very busy schedule,” said Darien ski coach Brian Beyer. “She’s always out doing something.”
Lindell began skiing at the age of 2 and six years later was competing.
“I love it,” Lindell said. “It’s my favorite thing.”
The Blue Wave finished fourth last winter at the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League State Open Championships. Lindell was fourth, one spot behind teammate Devin Hart. Lindell had the fastest time on the second run.
“The first run I did very poorly — I was 10th — and I got pretty pissed off, then the second run I put the hammer down,” Lindell said.
Lindell finished first in three regular season meets and this year she hopes to combine with Hart and Lane Anderson to lead the Blue Wave to the team title.
Lindell is on skis five days a week. She said she cannot remember the last winter weekend spent in Darien.
“My friends think it is crazy and they are like, want to stay home this weekend?” Lindell said with a laugh.
Lindell has a reputation as a fierce competitor.
“Sammy doesn’t really hold back,” Zeyer said. “She goes all out.”
Lindell said her outgoing personality changes in the moments before she gets in the gate or at the start of warmups before a field hockey game.
“Aggressive. That’s the first word that comes to mind,” Lindell said. “When people watch me play they say I am very aggressive and when they watch me ski they say you’re very aggressive and intense. I will be goofing around with my friends at the bottom of the lift and the bus ride to the mountain and then when I get on the lift you just don’t hear me talk. The start gate the head is just down.”
Lindell plays club field hockey in the offseason, though she misses some weekend tournaments. She attempts to make the ones where college coaches are in attendance, if she can get back and forth to Vermont.
“I wish I had more time in the offseason to work on my skills because I would be better than I am right now,” Lindell said. “I love both so I have to balance it.”
Lindell is equally proactive with her academic pursuits. She plays the violin in Darien’s honors orchestra and started a marine biology club that meets every other Wednesday morning. Darien football coach Rob Trifone is the adviser.
“We want to make people aware of what’s going on with the ocean and the environment,” Lindell said.
Lindell said the subject is a possible pursuit in college — though she would not rule out a career in law.
As for college, Lindell said her hope is to play field hockey and continue with skiing on a club level.
“I love field hockey,” Lindell said. “I think I’ve tried every sport. I played softball, and soccer. Field hockey is the one that stuck. I do want to race in college but I don’t want it to become a job. Then I won’t enjoy it anymore.”
Lindell is currently considering some of the top New England schools that compete on the Division III level, though she wouldn’t rule out heading to Colorado.
Lindell said she sacrifices time with friends and creates a tight schedule for studying on weekends this time of year, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m never upset to go on a Friday,” Lindell said. “That never happens.”