Action County: Heather Quarantillo |

Action County: Heather Quarantillo

ADAM BOFFEYsummit daily news

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

Heather QuarantilloDecade Born: 1970sFavorite Team: The Summit Tigers cross country teamFavorite Band: ColdplayFastball or Curveball: “No sports involving a ball”

Heather Quarantillo came to Summit County nine years ago planning to be a ski instructor for a year and then go to graduate school. Like many Summit citizens, she arrived here and soon discovered that she simply couldn’t leave.”I love teaching skiing more than I ever thought that I would,” Quarantillo said. “That’s what has really kept me here.” Quarantillo, who graduated from Clear Creak High School, has taught for Copper Mountain ever since she moved to Summit. She now gives private lessons and heads up the Women’s Wednesdays program, a group lesson for female skiers taught by female instructors. An average of 30 participants come out each week, Quarantillo said.In addition to being a ski instructor, Quarantillo has been Summit High School’s varsity cross country coach for the last four years. She said her adjustment to the job was difficult because she took over a program that had seen four coaches in as many years.”The kids didn’t trust anyone,” she said. “Especially the seniors who were having me as their fourth coach.”

Quarantillo finished second in the 3A state meet as a senior at Clear Creek. Apparently, someone noticed, as the young harrier was offered a full scholarship to Adams State College in Alamosa. Quarantillo ran for two years at Adams State before transferring to Portland State University to complete her collegiate running career.Quarantillo is also an avid sailor. She can often be found racing J24’s on Lake Dillon with her husband, Joe. Unfortunately, she was tossed overboard for the first time this summer.”It wasn’t life threatening or anything but it was definitely scary and the water was very cold,” she said.How did you get into sailing?”Eight years ago on a whim, I went to Florida by myself to take a learn-how-to-sail course. Later that year, I met my husband, who was a sailboat racer, so it kind of worked out really well. It got me into racing sailboats.”

Describe your collegiate running experience?”I loved competing in college. It was my life. When you’re a collegiate runner, your job is to train and to do well in school. We were traveling every weekend. We would fly somewhere on Friday, go race on Saturday, fly back on Sunday and go back to school on Monday. I ran about 70 miles a week; it was very demanding.” What’s the hardest thing to instill in today’s young athletes?”The kids who I coach right now aren’t as focused as how I perceived myself and my team in high school. They have a lot of other things going on. In Summit County in general, there are a lot of different things to do and a lot of activities to be involved in. I try to get my team to focus energy on running during the season and during the summer. Summer training is super important for cross country running.”