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Finance major Lindsay Cone a double threat on the slopes and on the links

You are out there alone, whether you are on the golf course or on the ski hill," says Lindsay Cone. "Your teammates can help you, but at the end of the day, it is all about you being able to perform.” Photo: Wayne Armstrong

No one would give it a second thought if Lindsay Cone decided to pack away her golf bag to spend more time honing her skills on the ski slopes. Cone, after all, has won a pair of All-America honors since joining DU’s ski program, and she has emerged as one of the top athletes in all of collegiate skiing.

Cone’s golf skills may not measure up to her feats on the slopes, but those skills are good enough for her to occupy a place on the high-performing DU women’s golf team. Cone’s participation on the ski team and women’s golf team make her one of the most distinctive two-sport athletes in collegiate athletics today.

“They are two extremely different sports. But the pressure you get when you’re golfing is similar to the pressure you get in an important ski race,” Cone says. “They take different talents and abilities to perform in each, but at the end of the day, it is the mental toughness that lets you deal with that pressure.”

Cone grew up on the slopes in her native Killington, Vt., learning to weave her way down a snowy mountain not long after she took her first steps. In September 2011, she made national news when she had to hike out of a Hurricane Irene-damaged Killington to make her flight to Denver to start her senior year.

Cone boasted a burning competitive drive in skiing pretty much from the beginning, but her golf game evolved a little less deliberately. Cone began golfing at 7, firing rounds mostly for fun on weekends and during the summers.

Before long, though, Cone began entering golf tournaments and discovered her competitive edge was just as focused on the links as it was when she lined up at the starting gate.

“[Golf] started to be a little more competitive, and I started to do a couple tournaments here and there,” Cone says. “I found that the better my golf game got during the summer, the better I was able to compete the next year in skiing. I found that they correlate really well mentally.”

Cone began her collegiate career at St. Lawrence University, where she won the 2009 NCAA championship in the giant slalom. Her success continued as soon as she transferred to DU, where she finished second in the slalom during each of the past two NCAAs. Cone also finished second in the giant slalom in 2010 to help lead DU to its 21st national championship, and she has earned first team All-America honors in each of her two seasons.

“I went to a ski academy, so in my high school years I skied competitively all through the winter — traveling all over Europe and throughout the world to compete. It sort of became my life,” says Cone, a finance major who was named to the NCAA all-academic team in skiing in spring 2011. “I think the biggest thing is just practicing and preparing and teaching yourself. You are out there alone, whether you are on the golf course or on the ski hill. Your teammates can help you, but at the end of the day, it is all about you being able to perform.”

DU’s head ski coach, Andy LeRoy, is quick to credit Cone’s sharp mind for much of her success.

“Lindsay is a very bright individual, and she has used that intelligence to excel past most of her peers in the sport of ski racing,” LeRoy says. “I am not much of a golfer, but I believe golf rewards some intelligence too, so I’ve never been surprised at her success on the links.”

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