Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail U16 Alpine Athletes Sweep the Giant Slalom and Slalom Podiums at the SmartWool Championships-March 23, 2015

In an exciting weekend of racing, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) U16 alpine racers swept the men’s and ladies’ podiums in Giant Slalom and Slalom at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Rocky Mountain Division SmartWool Ski Cup/Garner Games Championships in Winter Park this weekend.  The finale in this season’s SmartWool series brought together men and women racers ages 13 to college age to challenge themselves in Giant Slalom, Slalom and Dual Slalom races over three days.

SSCV athletes took eight of the top 10 spots in men’s Giant Slalom and Slalom, and six of the top 10 spots in ladies’ Slalom and Giant Slalom.

“Throughout the season, our athletes have brought their best on race day,” said Rob Worrell, SSCV’s USSA Team Head Coach.  “The results they have achieved are directly related to the hard work that they put in on the hill day-in and day-out.  I am really looking forward to seeing what they accomplish next in their young careers.”

On Friday, Nellie Rose Talbot finished first in ladies’ Giant Slalom, with Dylan Fiore and Gretchen Pavelich taking the silver and bronze, respectively.  Bridger Gile was on top of the men’s Giant Slalom podium, and Jacob Dilling and Matt Macaluso took home silver and bronze, respectively.

In Saturday’s Slalom races, Nellie Rose Talbot again took home the gold, with Michaela Strizencova in second and Emma Hall in third.  On the men’s side, Colby Lange was first, with Bridger Gile second and Ben Kooiman third.

Sunday’s Dual Slalom brought the weekend to a fun close, with athletes skiing head-to-head in elimination rounds to determine the overall winners.  Top performers for SSCV were Nellie Rose Talbot in 1st and Anneli Holm in 3rd for the Women and Colby Lange in 1st, Peer Carnes in 2nd, Bridger Gile in 3rd and Jacob Dilling in 4th for the Men.

“The strength of this team is truly impressive,” said Karen Ghent, SSCV Alpine Program Director. “They have worked hard, pushed each other and raised the bar on themselves and their competitors.  They should be proud.  I look forward to watching their success in the future.”

Ghent went on to acknowledge the importance of Vail Resorts in supporting SSCV’s athletes.  “They could not have achieved this high level without the support of Vail Resorts, which provides unprecedented resources for our teams. SSCV appreciates the relationship we have with the resort and thanks them for all of their support.”

All SSCV athlete results for the Giant Slalom and Slalom races are listed below.  A complete list of results can be found at

Ladies Giant Slalom -March 20, 2015
SSCV Results
1 Talbot, Nellie Rose
2 Fiore, Dylan
3 Pavelich, Gretchen
6 Livran, Zoe
8 Fallon, Hannah
10 Schein, Zoe
12 Holm, Anneli
13 Hall, Emma
16 Brandt, Taylor
19 Kelsey, Gigi
21 Harding, Naomi
25 Dines, Lily
32 Viola, Elise
36 Lautenberg, Hannah
37 Chelain, Trinity
49 Simione, Ashley
53 Rodney, Sharon
54 Braun, Zoe
66 Meyers, Morgan
Men Giant Slalom -March 20, 2015
SSCV Results
1 Gile, Bridger
2 Dilling, Jacob
3 Macaluso, Matthew
4 Kooiman, Ben
5 Resnick, Michael
6 Bervy, Max
7 Leblanc, Gus
9 Carnes, Peer
12 Lazier, Flinn
13 Fancher, Burke
14 Palmer, Wyatt
17 Timm, Maxwell
18 Mulligan, Chadwick
25 Strauch, Tucker
39 Ballesteros, Jorge
42 Littman, Peter
44 Flaherty, Charles
Ladies Slalom -March 21 ,2015
1 Talbot, Nellie Rose
2 Strizencova, Michaela
3 Hall, Emma
4 Fiore, Dylan
5 Holm, Anneli
10 Brandt, Taylor
11 Schein Zoe
13 Pavelich, Gretchen
18 Fallon, Hannah
20 Chelain, Trinity
26 Kelsey, Gigi
31 Livran, Zoe
33 Harding, Naomi
39 Viola, Elise
45 Braun, Zoe
46 Rodney, Sharon
53 Anderson, Kristen
54 Adams, Casey
59 Simione, Ashley
70 Meyers Morgan
78 Geisman, Jane
Men Slalom -March 21, 2015
SSCV Results
1 Lange, Colby
2 Gile, Bridger
3 Kooiman, Ben
4 Macaluso, Matthew
7 Leblanc, Gus
8 Dilling, Jacob
9 Resnick, Michael
10 Mulligan, Chadwick
17 Fancher, Burke
24 Carnes, Peer
27 Palmer, Wyatt
28 Dippy, Jake
29 Lazier, Flinn
31 Timm, Maxwell
32 Strauch, Tucker
37 Littman, Peter
38 Woodland, Cameron
47 Flaherty, Charles
51 Irwin-Pack, Reese
58 Woodard, Keelan


The Dream of a Do-Over for the National System-Ski Racing Premium-March 9, 2015

Ski racing is such an amazing sport. The combination of strength, athleticism, beauty, power, speed, grace, skill and strategy is unmatched.

Both teenagers and thirty-somethings are able to succeed at the highest level winning World Cups and Olympic medals. So many factors and skills come into play that a variety of sizes, shapes and body types from nations around the world are able to compete successfully. World-class athletes emerge from the biggest resorts and from the smallest hills, the common threads being snow and gravity.

Skiing is played in an environment where no two turns are ever the same. The weather, snow conditions, hills and courses are constantly changing. The complex skills required are mind-boggling. It’s no wonder that skiers Hermann Maier, Jeremy Bloom and Bode Miller all won the U.S. Superstars TV competitions in the early 2000s.

Because of the unique environment, skiing remains one of the few sports where it’s still possible to outwork the competition through the accumulation of hours on snow. The Croatian Kostelic siblings personified that during their developmental years and later careers. Current examples are playing out today.

Skiing also requires an early start. Most champions don’t remember learning to ski, just that they always have. In a study of 1984 to 1988 U.S. Olympic athletes titled “Path to Excellence” Tim Gibbons found that from among all the sports in the Olympic family, alpine racing had the youngest average age for introduction to the sport.

Not only are athletic skills learned but also the discipline, commitment, work ethic, perseverance, resilience, responsibility gained through skiing are uniquely applicable in life.

We’re all fortunate to have found our way to a sport we’re able to enjoy with family and friends for a lifetime. It’s a shame we’ve made it so expensive to pursue.

Ski racing has become too intense and too costly for most.

The biggest expense of ski racing is typically not the program fee paid to the local club but the expense of traveling for racing and training and in many cases re-locating to specialized schools and programs. The sport is started locally and at an age where the equipment, program costs and lift passes are relatively affordable and financial aid is often available. Could we create a system where it remains this accessible as a child advances?

In the Pitz Valley of Austria, any child up to 5 years old can take classes at the ski school for free. The next step, the ski racing club, is sponsored by the tourist office and the ski resort. Professional coaches are hired from the Benni Raich Renncenter to coach the kids. The program is free to any child who wants to participate. About 40 kids U14 and younger are divided into three groups by age and from those an elite group is selected. Training is offered after school, weekends and holidays. An all-resorts season pass for the Tirol costs about $200 for children and $400 for juniors. Still more than a pair of soccer shoes and ball, but within reach of most.

For those continuing to race through high school, the ski academy for Tirol is Schigymnasium Stams, which Jory Macomber recently discussed here. Admission is competitive. Skiing skills, conditioning assessment and timed runs determine acceptance. For this public school, the student athletes pay about $600 per month or $6,000 per year for their room and board, coaching, 30 days of preparation on the glaciers (including hotel and meals) and races in Austria. For those unable to afford this, there is financial aid, and if the athlete is selected for the Tirol Team or the Austrian Development Team, the costs get lower.

This system is replicated with some variation throughout Austria. Accessible at the entry level, resources are concentrated on those who are selected to continue in high school. Slightly more than 400 Austrian athletes have FIS licenses as compared to 1,500 U.S. athletes. First in the medal count ahead of the second-place U.S. at Vail/Beaver Creek, Austria regularly dominates the Nations Cup standings on World Cup. Emphasizing participation and skill development at the younger ages, the pipeline becomes performance-focused at U14, soon eliminating most of those who started ski racing as children.

Could we take components of this approach and improve it for the U.S. sport culture? Rather than becoming a “cut sport” at U16, we could continue to be inclusionary at an appropriate level all the way through the high school years, even through college, while providing support to those who are advancing to increasingly competitive levels helping to manage cost.

A well-constructed pipeline allows for multiple outcomes and serves both participation and performance. Performance-based advancement selects top-performing athletes for higher levels of competition while the majority are able to enjoy the sport without unnecessary and excessive expense. With smaller numbers and more highly qualified advancing athletes, hometowns, clubs and eventually divisions, regions and USSA may be able to allocate the necessary financial resources to support advancement.

We need USSA legislation to place “speed limits” on the competition pipeline while defining the roadmap by which athletes advance. Local and regional series are appropriate for the vast majority of competitors. Seeing small numbers of their athlete peers selected for increasingly challenging competition is incentive to work harder, make improvements and get faster.

USSA and its regions and divisions already legislate aggressively for children but lack of significant standards for competing at the FIS level allow anyone to chase FIS point opportunities around the world. To keep a meaningful, appropriate, fun and fulfilling competition experience for the majority of U18 and older athletes who are not on a high-performance track, we must place emphasis on divisional and regional USSA point series with national and international travel reserved for those who’ve outgrown their regional competition.

What could a re-imagined competition pipeline look like?

U16 and Younger

While there are differences across the country, the systems for local series leading to divisional and regional championships for U16 and younger are well established and healthy. The addition of the U16 National Championship several years ago and the recent vote to add a U14 Regional Championship in the Western region has appropriately rounded out the program. The stage is set to return to the Whistler Cup with a limited number of athletes selected from the U16 Nationals to provide an international experience for the top performers nationally and benchmark USSA with international peers.

U18 and U21

In order to validate USSA points, the U18 National Championships would be calendared as a USSA sanctioned event with a small field selected from Regional Championships that are the pinnacle for the majority of U18 athletes. This event could be combined with the U16 Championships, maintaining small quotas and fields allowing competition across age groups.
The Junior National Champions would continue to be crowned at the U.S. Nationals from among the limited number of U21 athletes qualified to attend.

FIS Racing and Seniors

Performance-based qualification for FIS racing through a combination of head-to-head competition and USSA points would advance those skiers in eligible age groups who are at the top of their national peer group and need to begin adult international competition. With tightened standards, the number of FIS races calendared will be reduced significantly adding value to USSA races that are held divisionally. Tying selections to a centrally planned FIS calendar will drive head to head competition instead of rewarding point chasing. A reasonable goal would be to reduce the number of FIS races and FIS licenses to one-third of the number we have today.


NCAA and USCSA competition provide a venue for a variety of interest and ability levels to continue to ski race through college. Skiing currently receives an exemption from NCAA that allows a skier to sit out two years without losing eligibility. Doing away with this exemption would encourage more skiers to matriculate immediately after high school graduation; make our colleges and universities less attractive to foreign competitors; and make the college program an integral part of the sport pipeline.

National Teams

The most important function of USSA as the sport national governing body is to identify, train and financially support the athletes who we hope will become the Olympic and world champions inspiring us, and whose excellence and character provide role models for kids and parents and incubate the sport.

As we saw with the recently completed 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships, a successful U.S. Ski Team generates enormous interest and enthusiasm. This country loves winners!

An equally important function of USSA is to ensure an accessible, well-structured and fair pipeline that allows kids to engage in the sport, participate at an appropriate level for their ability and have a clear pathway for advancement.

Athletes should not have the option to choose a high performance track. The high performance track should choose them. It then becomes the athlete’s choice to make the required commitment. Helping provide funding at each level becomes possible when limited resources can become focused where needed to support athletes identified by their performance.

Every athlete has the right to participate in sport, and to pursue enjoyment, improvement and personal potential. By requiring performance standards for advancement to higher levels, the sport is democratized, ensuring accessibility to the greatest demographic possible.

Note: In offering my opinions and critiques of the state of our sport, I find myself guilty of many of the behaviors I criticize. As long as there is a real or perceived benefit to these actions, those who can will continue to act in this way to protect against being disadvantaged. Sound legislation is required to level the playing field and discourage unnecessary or expensive activities for short-term gain.

Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Freeski Team Sends Two to Junior Worlds in Italy alongside great results in the states-March 22, 2015

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s (SSCV) Freeski Team athletes of all ages are seeing great success this past month from the youngest development level athletes to the elite junior and senior athletes.

Aaron Milligan and Paula Cooper, SSCV full-time freeski athletes and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy students, head off this week to the 2015 FIS Junior World Ski Championships from March 28- April 1 in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy where Aaron qualified to compete in slopestyle and Paula in halfpipe with the best junior freeski athletes in the world.  SSCV freeski coach and halfpipe specialist Pete O’Brien is among the US coaching staff invited to join the US Junior World team in Italy.

Last week Aaron and Paula along with SSCV teammates Bobby Sonntag, Zach Fedrizzi, Felix Coudouy, Emerson Lawton, Sammy Schuiling, Cas Sheridan, Connor Flynn and Cole Pates, competed in an elite field of athletes at the US Revolution Tour in its last stop at Mammoth Mountain, California.  After the conclusion of this event the final standings for the tour were posted with SSCV’s Paula Cooper sitting in 2nd place overall for the tour and Aaron Milligan sitting in 4th place overall for the tour among a field of over one hundred competitors.   Milligan also took third place in Slopestyle at Mammoth.  Among other highlights in Mammoth, Cole Pates made it to finals in slopestyle with a strong run and Felix Coudouy made it to finals for Halfpipe.

Another set of elite development level freeski athletes from SSCV qualified for and competed in the USSA Junior National Freestyle Championships in freeski held this past week in Park City:  Jack Ganley, the youngest SSCV athlete to qualify, Izak Little, Michael Brown and Pearson Black in halfpipe, and Michael Brown and Pearson Black also qualifying in Big Air.  Pearson took 3rd (bronze) in his U15 age class in Big Air at Junior Nationals.

Bob Sonntag, SSCV Freeski Coach commented, “I was very proud not only that these athletes qualified for one of the most esteemed events in the country, but that they tried new things and performed extremely well among a stacked field.”

For complete results go to ­­­­­­­­­­



Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Youth Ski League Athletes take 1st Place Overalls for Boys, Girls and the Team in the YSL Championships in Vail-March 22, 2015

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Youth Ski League (YSL) alpine racers enjoyed two days of spring racing at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Rocky Mountain Division YSL Championships in Vail this weekend, and what a championship it was for SSCV!  SSCV’s boys and girls were the defending champions for the overall YSL race circuit for the season and walked away with the First Place Overall for the Boys, the First Place Overall for the Girls and the First Place Team Overall at the end of the day on Sunday.  The championship attracted 290 athletes ages six through fifteen to compete in five different age classes in Slalom and Giant Slalom.

“The Rocky Mountain Division YSL Championships are always a fun event for these athletes,” beamed Rika Moore, SSCV Head YSL Coach.  “On Saturday, the boys skied one Slalom and one Giant Slalom race, with the girls competing in those events on Sunday. Under warm sunny skies, SSCV’s athletes skied well in spring conditions and defended their first place overall titles for boys, girls and the team.”

The championships also included a USSA SkillsQuest challenge, in which the athletes performed a series of drills to demonstrate their competency of fundamental skills that lead to long-term success and enjoyment of ski racing.  The challenge included eight Giant Slalom turns “freesking with pole usage”.   SSCV athletes performed well in this skills based scored event.

The top three boys and girls for the U12 and U14 age groups were awarded a complimentary entry fee to the GS Spectacular age class races in Beaver Creek in early April.  SSCV’s Boet Van Den Berg took 1st place for the boys U12 racers, earning him this complimentary entry.

“SSCV’s YSL program is aimed at fun, friends, skills development and a love of skiing,” said Moore.  “This weekend showcased all of that.  I’m so proud of all of our athletes, who have improved tremendously throughout the season.”

Mike Wolfson, Head SpeedQuest coach for SSCV stated, “I am extremely proud of all the kids.  Our U10 and U8 athletes skied very well this weekend, helping to lead us to an overall YSL Championship.”

Karen Ghent, Alpine Program Director, stated, “It is exciting to see the enthusiasm for ski racing at the YSL Championships.  The kids had fun and their parents were into it.  The future looks bright!”

For a complete list of results go to

Press Release-SSCV Freestyle Team Had Huge Presence at Junior Nationals with Park and Smith Claiming Victories and US Junior Titles-March 22, 2105

Anna Park and Emerson Smith both skied to strong wins at USSA Junior National Freestyle Championships, Anna in Moguls and Emerson in Dual Moguls, in Park City this past week, claiming their titles in a field of the top junior freestyle athletes in the country.


Park qualified 1st in the first round of competition and then improved on her performance in the final to seal the victory.  Steamboat’s Avital Shimko took second and Winter Park’s Elizabeth O’Connell came third.  14 year old Olivia Giaccio won the U-15 division and took 4th in the overall with the highest air scores of the day.  Tess Johnson took silver in U-15 and 6th overall. Taryn Baker in eighth, and Lindsey Eckhoff in 9th gave SSCV 5 of the top 10 juniors in the nation.  Kaitlyn Harty in 12th and Katie Coyne in 13th also put down solid runs in the final.  Morgan Harty crashed in the qualifier and ended up in 58th.

The win at Juniors marks a return to form for Park who missed the last two seasons due to injury.  After a slow start at US Selections In December and failing to qualify for the Nor-Am tour, Anna went to work putting together a string of fine performances in the Rocky region. A second place at Winter Park and then wins at Telluride and Breckenridge built her confidence to compete against the returning Nor-Am skiers at Junior Nationals.

SSCV Freestyle Program Director John Dowling stated, “Anna charged the course and put together two really strong runs.  The course was tight and a lot of the girls were holding back, but Anna stayed aggressive and that was the difference.”

Dowling went on to say, “We had a great team performance with 7 of our 8 girls making the final.  They looked strong and stayed composed.  Juniors is a tough event because it’s one of the few times all these top young skiers face off.  The course set was the tightest we’ve seen this year and it definitely posed a challenge as far as finding the right amount of attack and tactic.”

On the men’s side in Moguls, SSCV’s Emerson Smith took silver and Hunter Bailey took bronze.  Jack Kariotis from the Far West Region captured the gold.  Hunter Bailey in 5th and Trevor Wahl in 10th landed SSCV four of the top ten spots in the Moguls competition.  Matt Leseur made it to the finals landing in 13th place.  Morgan Osborne took first in the qualifier run but did not finish his finals run.

“It was a competitive field for the men including several NorAm level athletes”, stated Riley Campbell, SSCV Freestyle Coach.  “It was great to see Emerson and Hunter end up on the podium after performing incredibly well on the finals run.”

Dual Moguls

It was a huge day for the SSCV freestyle team in Dual Moguls this past Sunday.  Emerson Smith took Gold and a Jr. National Championship title, with Jack Harty taking silver.  SSCV’s Matt Leseur, Morgan Osborne and Trevor Wahl also stood in the Top 10 in 4th, 7th and 8th, respectively.

For the women Taryn Baker stood on the podium in Dual Moguls with the silver medal, with Katie Coyne and Olivia Giaccio also landing in the top 10 with 4th and 6th places, respectively.

“SSCV’s presence in the final bracket for duals was overwhelming with 5 of the top 8 spots for the men, including the winner, and 3 of the top 8 spots for the women, ” stated SSCV Freestyle Coach Riley Campbell.

Ezra Cope and John Leseur were two of the youngest competitors to qualify for Junior Nationals.

For a complete list of results go to



Ski & Snowboard Club Vail-It’s all about the Journey

Becoming a competitive skier or snowboarder is truly a journey, one that often begins as early as 5 years old at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV).

Complimentary Try the Club Days
Any youngster who will be 6 years old by next season (8 for snowboarders and freeskiers) and is able to comfortably ski with poles or ride on Golden Peak and get on and off the chairlift without assistance, may spend a day with SSCV kids and coaches at SSCV’s complimentary Try the Club Days.  This is a way to sample the club, learning more about SSCV’s season long programs in anticipation of joining the Club next season.   Try the Club Days are very often the gateway to joining SSCV’s Future Stars Programs.

Future Stars Programs
The SSCV Future Stars Programs develop ski and snowboard skills in children as young as 6 years old (8 years old for freeskiers and snowboarders) in a fun and challenging season long progression introducing competition through participation in the complimentary Steadman Clinic Vail Cup competition series.

The Future Stars Program exposes skiers to alpine racing, freeski park and pipe and freestyle moguls in a season long Saturday only program. Sunday add-on days are available to allow concentration in the specific sport areas as well as coaching for the Vail Cup.  Snowboarders are exposed to boardercross, park, pipe and mini-big air through our Mini-Shreds Future Stars Program.

This broad exposure at an early age allows youngsters to build skills, experience the full variety of snow sports and begin to find their passion for a particular discipline.

Branching out and specializing in other SSCV part-time programs
Every child matures mentally and physically at a slightly different pace, as does their desire to concentrate on a particular discipline.   Ski & Snowboard Club Vail provides training and competition programming for young snowsports athletes for a variety of ages, interests and ability levels.

New this year through the support of Alpine Bank, SSCV introduced the Alpine Bank Get in the Gates Recreational Race Program. This low cost season long program allows both children and adults to run gates in SL and GS, receive some coaching and improve their skills.

Each path allows a child to learn more about their potential at their own pace, develop friendships and a lifelong passion for their sport and acquire the very best skiing and riding skills along the way in the appropriate part-time, season long training and competition setting.

Full-Time Athletics and Academic Partners
When a child’s passion for their snowsport ignites, so does the need to provide them with more time on snow along with more time developing the physical and mental attributes needed to achieve their dreams, while all the while remaining focused on their academics.  This is the point in the journey when SSCV’s full-time athlete program and it Academic Partners come into play.    Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (the first public ski and snowboard academy in the country which is dedicated to SSCV full-time athletes in grades 5 -12), Vail Mountain School (a k-12 independent school) and SSCV Winter Tutorial provide academic options to our full-time athletes.

Once admitted as a full-time athlete, opportunities for year-round on-snow training, strength training and conditioning, sports psychology, nutrition counseling, and, for our acrobatics athletes, trampoline and water ramps become part of the regular routine.

Through its Opportunity Fund, SSCV seeks to ensure that any child wishing to pursue their dream in snowsports can reach their potential regardless of their means.  The Opportunity Fund is designed to not only cover a large percentage of SSCV program fees, but also provide support for advancement.

Where does this journey take our kids?
Regardless of where the journey takes our athletes, with so many paths to choose from, one thing is for certain.  A focused youngster will remain healthy of mind and body and go on to succeed in their adult life, carrying with them the character, courage and commitment they developed through the vehicle of competitive snowsports.  Any journey that takes our children “here” is certainly a journey worth taking.

Press Release-SSCV Freestyle Athletes Compete in USASA Freeski Slopestyle Competition at Golden Peak-March 21, 2015

Vail, CO, February 28, 2015 – On Saturday, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) freeskiers showcased their best tricks at the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) Rocky Mountain Free Ski Series slopestyle competition at Golden Peak.  SSCV athletes were joined by fellow freeskiers from throughout the USASA Rocky Mountain Region in this final competition of the USASA Rocky Mountain Freeski Series.

The event was sanctioned by USASA and the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP).  As such, freeskiers in all USASA age classes were able to compete for USASA National Points in today’s competition in the hopes of qualifying for USASA Skier Nationals at Copper Mountain on April 4-8, a season-culminating event for the top freeskiers from USASA regions throughout the country.  Freeskiers ages 13 and older were also able to compete for AFP bronze points to help boost their worldwide ranking to enable them to qualify for entry into higher level events.

The success of SSCV athlete at Saturday’s event provided them with a great final boost in their quest to qualifying for USASA Nationals.

With a gap in the snowy conditions enjoyed in Vail this past week, competitors were able to enjoy a fantastic park venue coupled with ideal temperatures and good visibility.   SSCV skiers were happy to be at home and with this hometown advantage coupled with plenty of hard work on the athletes’ parts, SSCV freeskiers took several of the top spots at the competition.

SSCV Freeski Coach Peter O’Brien said “There is nothing more rewarding as a coach than to see your athletes reap the benefits of months of hard work on snow, on the tramps and at the water ramps, and today was just one of those days.  As a team and as individuals we saw many personal bests.”

“Vail Resorts did an extraordinary job in providing a great venue for the competition in parallel with their tireless efforts in getting the Burton US Open venues up and running”, stated O’Brien.

In addition, our parent volunteers came out in force to make this a great event for the competitors”

SSCV freeski athletes show great promise looking towards the 2015 USASA Nationals in April.

Top three awards and all SSCV athlete finishes by age class are below.

Open Skier Men-Top 3 Open Skier Women-Top 3
1 Cole Pates SSCV 1 Paula Cooper
2 Carson Le Houillier
3 Cal Carson
Open Skier Men-All SSCV Results Open Skier Women-All SSCV Results
1 Cole Pates 1 Paula Cooper SSCV
8 Bobby Sonntag
11 Zachary Fedrizzi
13 Cas Sheridan
14 Aaron Milligan
15 Sammy Schuiling
16 Felix Coudouy
Skier Boys (10-12)-Top 3 Skier Girls (10-12)-Top 3
1 Hunter Carey 1 Riley Jacobs
2 Liam Baxter 2 Ava Surridge SSCV
3 Aaron Cook SSCV 3 Liv Moritz SSCV
Skier Boys (10-12)-All SSCV Results Skier Girls (10-12)-All SSCV Results Skier Girls (10-12)-Top 3
3 Aaron Cook 2 Ava Surridge
7 Jack Ganley 3 Liv Moritz
9 Dylan Boyes 4 Kjersti Moritz
10 Lachlan Crick
14 Adam Eisenhauer
16 Noah Gionfriddo
17 Kai Wember-Brown
18 Ari Diamond-Topelson
23 Owen Grimmer
24 Miles Sawyer
Skier Boys (9 & under)-Top 3 Skier Girls  (9 & under)-Top 3
1 Axl Bonenberger 1 Sloane Thompson SSCV
2 Owen Moore 2 Roxy Surridge SSCV
3 Whitton Hyde SSCV
Skier Boys (9 & under)-All SSCV Results Skier Girls (9 & under)-All SSCV Results
3 Whitton Hyde 1 Sloane Thompson
6 Erik Jaerbyn 2 Roxy Surridge
Skier Men (13-15)-Top 3
1 Ryan Stevenson
2 Duke Yarde SSCV
3 Hayden Smith
Skier Men (13-15)-All SSCV Results
2 Duke Yarde
4 Emerson Lawton
6 Pearson Black
9 Michael Brown
20 Rory Swimm
26 Izak Little
Skier Men (16-18)-Top 3
1 Robby Wheeler
2 Dana Kirk
3 Connor Flynn SSCV
Skier Men (16-18)-All SSCV Results
3 Connor Flynn

A full list of results can be found at

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Founded in 1962 to provide training and competition programs for aspiring young ski racers, SSCV is the Vail Valley’s oldest non-profit. Today, the organization remains true to its roots by instilling values of character, courage and commitment in more than 600 youngsters who participate in its on-snow winter sports programs each year.  Programs are available in Alpine, Freeskiing, Freestyle, Nordic, Ski Cross and Snowboarding.

For more information about SSCV, visit www., call 970-790-5161 or email



Press Release-SSCV Athletes Have Strong Showing at U18 Nationals-March 6, 2015

 Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Qualifies 14 Alpine Racers to Prestigious U18 Nationals

Vail, CO-March 6, 2015 – The top U18 alpine racers in the United States (1997 and 1998 birth years) qualified to compete in U18 National Championships, a week long United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) sanctioned event which just ended at Copper Mountain Ski Resort.  Of the 35 athletes from the Rocky/Central region who qualified for U18 Nationals, the following 14 athletes, nearly half of the field, were from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail:


Lucia Bailey

Skylar Chaney

Heidi Livran

Abigail Murer


Ryan Collins

Jack Keane-also National Training Group member

Riley Kilgore

Kaison Lavicka

Logan Martin

Tagert Mueller

Kyle Negomir

River Radamus-also National Training Group member

Ryan Schmidt

Luke Vickerman

“The athletes and coaches have been dedicated over the years and really worked hard this year.  It is great to see this commitment paying off.  We are so happy for them that they are achieving their goals!  Copper Mt.’s race hill is difficult; it requires skill and focus to perform well there.  We congratulate all of our athletes putting it out there every day! “ said Karen Ghent, SSCV Alpine Program Director.

The races started off with Slalom on Friday, February 27, followed by Giant Slalom, two days of Downhill training, a National Junior Race (NJR) Downhill added amidst the U18 Nationals events, a Downhill and a Super G on the final day.

Nate Bryant, SSCV men’s coach at U18 Nationals, commented, “This elite group of U18 athletes from around the country created a very stacked and competitive field.  The event provides a great opportunity for SSCV athletes to see what they need to accomplish to be competitive with top racers in their age group from across the US.   They have put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform this past week, after having worked so hard to earn a spot here.  Whether they realize it or not right now, they will emerge from this experience better equipped to perform the rest of the season.  I am very proud of each and every one of them.”

Among the outstanding SSCV performances this past week, Lucia Bailey, a first year U18 making her among the youngest of competitors, took 4th in the Slalom.   “Her steady, focused approach throughout the series landed her the U18 National Championships Women’s Second Place Overall title.  This is a testament to the hard work she has put in throughout the season”, shared SSCV U18 Women’s Coach Doug Elsey.

For the men, Bryant noted, “Kyle Negomir took the 6th place podium spot in Friday’s Super G, a fantastic accomplishment for a first year U18 athlete!  Another notable accomplishment is that of SSCV’s Logan Martin who just returned to competition this week after being sidelined by an injury for several months earlier this season.  He charged hard to a 4th place finish at the NJR Downhill on Wednesday on the same course used the following day for U18 Nationals, and took an impressive 9th place finish in Thursday’s U18 Nationals Downhill and Friday’s U18 Nationals Super G.”

“I am also very proud of SSCV first year U18 athletes Jack Keane and River Radamus for their outstanding finishes this week.  River took 1st in Salom, 5th in the Giant Slalom and 6th in the NJR and U18 Nationals Downhill.  Jack took 4th in the Slalom and 7th in the Giant Slalom this week.”  According to Bryant, “Both of these athletes qualified for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association National Training Group (NTG).  When they are not training with the NTG group, they are in Vail training with the SSCV U18 team.”

Ski racing is truly a journey.  “That is why it is so important”, said Bryant, for athletes to dwell on the positive as they head into the rest of the season, as there is still quite a bit of it to go.  Many of them scored FIS points during the week which will help them achieve their longer term objectives and many of them saw some great speed and technical advancements in sections of their runs, even if the overall run did not amount to a top finish.”

Athletes worked hard throughout the week to prep the courses in cold, snowy, windy conditions.

According to Elsey, “There was some really tough ski racing to be had here for this very competitive field of athletes.  They will all benefit from this great experience, whether or not they achieved a top result.”

Top three results for each competition along with all Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete results follow.  For a complete list of results go to

Men’s 18 Nationals Slalom-February 27 Women’s 18 Nationals Slalom-February 27
Top 3-Men Top 3-Women
1st-River Radamus-SSCV/NTG 1st-Nina O’Brien-East
2nd-George Steffey-East 2nd-Megan McGrew-Rocky/Central
3rd-Luke Winters-West 3rd-Madison Lord-East
All SSCV Results-Men All SSCV Results-Women
1st-River Radamus-SSCV/NTG 4th-Lucia Bailey
4th-Jack Keane-SSCV/NTG 20th-Skylar Chaney
13th-Kyle Negomir 29th-Abigail Murer
19th-Logan Martin
22nd-Tagert Mueller
35th-Ryan Collins
44th-Riley Kilgore
Men’s 18 Nationals Giant Slalom-March 1 Women’s 18 Nationals Giant Slalom-February 28
Top 3 Men Top 3 Women
1st-Patrick Kenney-East 1st-Stephanie Lebby-West
2nd-Andrew Miller-West 2nd-Galena Wardle-Rocky/Central
3rd-Oliver Thompson-Australia 3rd-Nina O’Brien-East
All SSCV Results – Men All SSCV Results – Women
5th-River Radamus – SSCV/NTG 14th-Lucia Bailey
7th-Jack Keane 22nd-Heidi Livran
16th-Kaison Lavicka 31st-Abigail Murer
24th-Kyle Negomir
37th-Ryan Schmidt
44th-Riley Kilgore
47th-Tagert Mueller
49th-Luke  Vickerman
50th-Ryan Collins
Men’s National Junior Race-Downhill-March 4 (not part of U18 Nationals but same course) Women’s National Junior Race-Downhill-March 4 (not part of U18 Nationals but same course)
Top 3 Men Top 3 Women
1st-Sky Kelsey-Rocky Central 1st-Haley Cutler-West
2nd-Tristan Lane-Rocky/Central 2nd-Rachel Desrochers-Rocky/Central
3rd-Logan Slattery-East 3rd- Isabella Wright-West
All SSCV Results – Men All SSCV Results – Women
4th-Logan Martin 5th-Heidi Livran
6th-River Radamus-NTG/SSCV 7th-Abigail Murer
12th-Riley Kilgore 21st-Lucia Bailey
24th-Jack Keane-NTG/SSCV
27th-Kyle Negomir
31st-Ryan Schmidt
43rd-Tagert Mueller
46th-Ryan Collins
50th-Kaison Lavicka
54th-Luke Vickerman
Men’s U18 Nationals Downhill-March 5 Women’s U18 Nationals Downhill-March 5
Top 3 Men Top 3 Women
1st-Sky Kelsey-Rocky/Central 1st-Josefine Selvaag-Norway
2nd-Patrick Kenney-East 2nd-Rachel Desrochers-Rocky/Central
3rd-Jack Despres-East 3rd-Isabella Wright-West
All SSCV Results – Men All SSCV Results – Women
6th-River Radamus-SSCV/NTG 7th-Heidi Livran
9th-Logan Martin 11th-Abigail Murer
21st-Riley Kilgore 15th-Lucia Bailey
27th-Jack Keane-SSCV/NTG
32nd-Kyle Negomir
38th-Ryan Schmidt
43rd-Tagert Mueller
46th-Kaison Lavicka
48th-Ryan Collins
56th-Luke Vickerman
Men’s U18 Nationals Super G-March 6 Women’s U18 Nationals Super G-March 6
Top 3 Men Top 3 Women
1st-Christian Gallagher-East 1st-Isabella Wright-West
2nd-Logan Slattery-East 2nd-Heidi Livran-Rocky/Central
3rd-Kalle Wagner-East 3rd-Cecily Decker-East
All SSCV Results – Men All SSCV Results – Women
6th-Kyle Negomir 2nd-Heidi Livran
9th-Logan Martin 12th-Lucia Bailey
22nd-Ryan Schmidt 17th-Abigail Murer
25th-Ryan Collins
35th-Riley Kilgore
38th-Luke Vickerman
47th-Kaison Lavicka


Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Freestyle Athletes Compete in RQS and Devo Freestyle Championships at Steamboat

Vail, CO, March 18, 2015 – Over the weekend, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) freestyle skiers competed in the Rocky Mountain Freestyle RQS and Devo Championships in Steamboat Springs.

Saturday’s RQS Championships 

On Saturday, 65 skiers, ages 10-14 from throughout the Rocky Mountain region, competed on the moguls at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat at the Rocky Mountain Division Regional Qualifier Series (RQS) Championships.

Kai Owens, an SSCV full-time freestyle skier and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy fifth grader, finished more than four points ahead of the field taking first place overall for the girls on Saturday, with the SSCV girls taking 4 out of the top 10 spots.

Nash Lucas, also an SSCV full-time freestyle skier and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy 6th grader, put together two solid runs for second place among the boys, with SSCV’s Aaron Kust a close third.

Sunday’s Devo Championships

Howelsen Hill also hosted the Rocky Mountain Division Freestyle Devo Championships for athletes age 12 and under on Sunday.  Among the podium performances, SSCV’s Sky Karsh finished third overall for the women and second in her age category and SSCV’s Ryan Stockton and Evan Sapp finished first and third, respectively, in the M09 division for the men.

John Grigsby, SSCV Freestyle Development Director said, “It was two great days of competition for the athletes under bluebird skies, with warm temperatures making the moguls course just perfect for these young competitors.  Some of our athletes had the best performances of their young careers and all of them enjoyed their series end championship.  A season of hard work both on snow and off has truly paid off for them.”

Championship Results-RQS and Devo

Men’s Top 3 Results-RQS Moguls-Saturday, March 14

1 Finger, Max Telluride
2 Lucas, Nash SSCV
3 Kust, Aaron SSCV

All SSCV Men’s Results -RQS Moguls-Saturday, March 14

2 Lucas, Nash
3 Kust, Aaron
12 Roberts, Tanner
15 Kust, Benjamin
28 Kust, Jameson
32 Schmidt, Anders
38 Soulakis, Timothy

Women’s Top 3 Results-RQS Moguls-Saturday, March 14

1 Owens, Kai SSCV
2 Michel, Sage Winter Park
3 Currat, Isabelle Winter Park

All SSCV Women’s Results-RQS Moguls-Saturday, March 14

1 Owens, Kai
5 Reeder, Emma
8 Harty, Julia
9 Chelain, Tessa
16 Wahl, Gabrielle
17 Large, Tegan
18 Miller, Margo

All SSCV Men’s Results By Age Category-Devo Moguls- Sunday, March 15

1 Stockton, Ryan
3 Sapp, Evan
6 Jaffe, Tiki
7 Soulakis, Leo
9 Roberts, Blake
7 Clearly, Joseph
25 Cunningham, Landon

All SSCV Women’s Results By Age Category-Devo Moguls- Sunday, March 15

2 Karsh, Skye

A full list of results can be found at

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Founded in 1962 to provide training and competition programs for aspiring young ski racers, SSCV is the Vail Valley’s oldest non-profit. Today, the organization remains true to its roots by instilling values of character, courage and commitment in more than 600 youngsters who participate in its on-snow winter sports programs each year.  Programs are available in Alpine, Freeskiing, Freestyle, Nordic, Ski Cross and Snowboarding.

For more information about SSCV, visit www., call 970-790-5161 or email

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Press Release-Nordic Athletes Enjoy Huge Successes at Junior National Championships

Vail, CO, March 17, 2015 – Last week, eleven Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Nordic skiers, ten representing the Rocky Mountain region and one representing the Mid-Atlantic region,   competed in the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Nordic Junior National Championships at the Auburn Ski Club Training Center just outside of Truckee, California.  The championships drew over 400 of the top Nordic athletes, ranging in age from 14 to 19, from across the United States to compete in the highest level of competition for this age group in the country.

Notwithstanding a shortage of snow and warm temperatures in California this season the organizers did a fantastic job of farming snow from a local ski area and creating a great 2.5 kilometer track for the competitors.  Although there were plenty of laps to be made on this short course to accommodate all of the races, the warm temperatures and altitude at 7000 feet were truly a treat for the SSCV team.

“This event is an opportunity for SSCV athletes to measure themselves against the best in the country.  They all showed up ready to ski strong and many achieved or exceeded personal goals,” said Dan Weiland, SSCV Nordic Program Director.  “The athletes go through a tough qualification process to earn their spot.  This is truly a National Championship in every sense of the word, and our athletes performed exceptionally well.”

Notable SSCV Results

As a team SSCV finished in 4th in the Overall Club Award standings and 3rd in the Overall Club Award for Women standings, record team performances for SSCV, demonstrating the depth and competitiveness of the team as a whole.

Individual results were also stellar.  Nolan Herzog is the reigning National Champion for the U16 Men in the Mass Start Classic, SSCV’s first National Champion at the Junior National level.  Nolan also achieved an impressive 3rd place finish for the U16 Men in the Individual Start Skate.  SSCV alumnus Parker McDonald, who still trains with the SSCV team in the summer, was on the podium in 3rd for the U20 Men in the Individual Start Skate.

Hannah Hardenbergh found herself on the podium three times for the U20 Women this past week, taking 2nd in both the Skate Sprint and the Individual Start Skate and 3rd in the Mass Start Classic.  Maddie Donovan stood among the top three twice this week, taking 2nd for the U16 Women in the Individual Start Skate and 3rd in the Skate Sprint.   In her first Jr. Nationals competition Gracie Shanley landed in the Top 10, taking 9th in the Individual Start Skate for the U16 Women.

All SSCV Athlete Results from Jr. Nationals

SSCV Results Skate Sprint:


3 – Maddie Donovan

23 – Gracie Shanley

38 – Emma Blakslee

44 – Lyle Shipp


26 – Nolan Herzog

48 – Christian Wilson


43 – Annie Blakslee

57 – Madi Schriefer


52 – Cameron Moore


2 – Hannah Hardenbergh


13 – Parker McDonald

24 – Cameron Bobb

SSCV Results Individual Start Skate:


2 – Maddie Donovan

9 – Gracie Shanley

14 – Lyle Shipp

22 – Emma Blakslee


3 – Nolan Herzog

29 – Christian Wilson


43 – Annie Blakslee

51 – Madi Schriefer


14 – Cameron Moore


2 – Hannah Hardenbergh


3 – Parker McDonald

12 – Cameron Bobb

SSCV Results Mass Start Classic:


14 – Maddie Donovan

34 – Emma Blakslee

39 – Lyle Shipp

45 – Gracie Shanley


1 – Nolan Herzog

56 – Christian Wilson


70 – Madi Schriefer

71 – Annie Blakslee


52 – Cameron Moore


3 – Hannah Hardenbergh


22 – Cameron Bobb

25 – Parker McDonald

Nordic Program Head Coach Eric Pepper stated, “From a competitive perspective, this past week’s results are the best results the SSCV Nordic athletes have ever posted at Junior Nationals.  These athletes worked hard all season long, starting with a rigorous summer and fall dryland program followed by challenging on-snow training sessions and competitions.  Each and every one of them really stepped it up this past week in what was for most, their season-culminating event.  I am really excited for what the future holds for them as they are still in the development stages in their sport.”

A full list of results can be found at

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Founded in 1962 to provide training and competition programs for aspiring young ski racers, SSCV is the Vail Valley’s oldest non-profit.  Today, the organization remains true to its roots by instilling values of character, courage and commitment in more than 600 youngsters who participate in its on-snow winter sports programs each year.  Programs are available in Alpine, Freeskiing, Freestyle, Nordic, Ski Cross and Snowboarding.

For more information about SSCV, visit www., call 970-790-5161 or email