Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Big Mountain Athletes Enjoy Success and Personal Bests at Junior North American Championships-April 17, 2015

With a brilliant, exciting, and blazing fast run at the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) Junior North American Big Mountain championships at Grand Targhee last weekend Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Big Mountain athlete Jack Nichols of Edwards was able to do what no other skier from the Vail Valley has ever done, a podium finish among the best Big Mountain freeskiers in North America.  Jack finished the competition in second place based on his combined score for two runs.  In Friday’s qualifying round Jack found himself in sixth place in a field of 62, of which only half moved on to the finals on Saturday.  Finals took place on the same run with the scores for the competition being cumulative. Competitors are judged by 3 judges using 5 criteria:  1) Line Score; 2) Control; 3) Technique; 4) Fluidity (no pauses); and 5) Style and Energy.

Saturday’s finals were Jack’s last competition before heading off to Montana State University next year.  Jack was the sixth to last competitor to drop into ” Reliable”, a steep cliffed out face of 40-50 degrees with mandatory drop in air!  He flew off his top air, a 30 foot cliff, and a route that only Jack’s brother Kevin and his teammate Finn Anderson dared to take, and he proceeded to astonish the crowd with his speed, balance, and cat-like reflexes as he crossed into the finish coral. Jack’s second place at this final event of the season bumped him up to fourth place in the year end overall standings!

SSCV’s Austin Obourn of Edwards, in her first year of Big Mountain competition, was able to accomplish another first for the Vail Valley and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.   Austin finished first in the 12-14 year-old girl category besting every girl in North America.   “A strong racing background which has helped to make her a great technical skier was instrumental in her consistent performance this year,” said Head Big Mountain Coach Nick Whittemore.

Also having a remarkable year for SSCV’s Big Mountain team was Vail local Finn Anderson. Finn finished fourth overall in the boys 12-14 year-old category.  Finn was on the podium in every event he entered this year leading up to the National Championships.

SSCV qualified the following eight athletes to the Championships in Grand Targhee last weekend, of whom seven competed.

  • 12-14 Girls-Austin Obourn and Alexandra Carey
  • 12-14 Boys:  Finn Anderson, Max Pierce, George Savin and Cade Cyphers
  • 15-18 Boys: Jack Nichols, Kevin Nichols

Of the seven who competed in the Championships, five qualified for finals. “I am incredibly impressed by the commitment these Big Mountain competitors have shown all season long.  Their training and ability has paid off this season to qualify them for this national level championship.   After an entire season of competing and training we saw a vast improvement not only in the difficulty of the line they were able to execute in their runs, but also the level at which they are all competing,” stated Whittemore.

Press Release-Rocky Mountain Freestyle Spring Cool Down at Vail-April 14, 2015

Olivia Giaccio saved the best for last to win the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Spring Cool Down this past Saturday at Vail.  Conditions were challenging for the season end event.  The moguls were firm from overnight freeze making the season end event a rough ride.  The field of more than eighty men and women featured top ranking skiers from the Eastern and Rocky Divisions including Nor-am winners and Junior National Champions. Giaccio came out hard in the first run with fast technical skiing and the best air scores of the day throwing back tuck to back flip with iron cross.  SSCV Teammate Lindsey Eckhoff stepped onto the podium in third place behind Winter Park’s Kelly Lawson 2nd place.  Olivia’s win capped a strong push to the end which included the U-15 win at Junior Nationals and a finals appearance at US National Championships.

On the men’s side, Winter Park’s Joel Hedrick was technical and precise and skied to the win. SSCV’s Alex DeBonville, by contrast, skied it fast and a little loose, blazing down Cookshack’s 217 meters two and then three seconds faster than any other competitor.  Turns and line, though, made the difference for Hedrick.  Team Summit’s Jason Tilley bumped his way into 3rd.

In Sunday’s Dual Mogul event, Trevor Wahl broke through for a career first overall win over Alex DeBonville in an all SSCV final.  Wahl skied smooth and clean to edge out the speedy DeBonville. In the women’s brackets, Tess Johnson won the final with Lindsey Eckhoff taking second and Morgan Harty in third for an SSCV sweep.

Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes compete at USASA Nationals-Vail Daily-April 9, 2015

The United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) Freeski Nationals took place at Copper Mountain on April 4-7.  Freeski athletes from throughout the country competed in their local regions in the hopes of qualifying for this national competition to compete in halfpipe, slopestyle, rail jam and skier cross events.

According to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail freeski athlete Connor Flynn who competed at USASA Nationals, “We had some great weather days.  It was exciting to see how high the competition level was this past week compared to prior years that I have competed here.  There were lots of talented kids throwing really difficult tricks.  It is exciting to see my sport progress at such a rapid pace, even at the development level at USASA Nationals.”

“The effort that was put forth by SSCV athletes over the four days at USASA Nationals was truly impressive.  The way they supported each other and worked so hard at the end of a long and rigorous season gives a clear view of character, courage and commitment,” stated Bob Sonntag, SSCV Freeski Coach.  “I am extremely proud of each and every one of them.”

Below is a list of results for SSCV athletes at USASA Freeski Nationals.  For a complete let if results go to http://www.rockymountainseries.com/mobileusasa/2015%20Skier%20Results/ .

Overall
(Skier Boys 10-12)
2 Noah Gionfriddo
3 Dylan Boyes
Overall
Skier Men (13-15)
2 Reagan Wallis
Halfpipe
Skier Men (13-15)
7 Izak Little
10 Reagan Wallis
17 Jake Katzenberg
20 Pearson Black
22 Rory Swimm
33 Lawson Wooles
39 Michael Brown
   
Halfpipe
Skier Boys (10-12)
6 Jack Ganley
14 Dylan Boyes
15 Noah Gionfriddo
16 Aaron Cook
17 Adam Eisenhauer
20 Owen Grimmer
21 Ari Diamond-Topelson
22 Kai Wember-Brown
35 Lachlan Crick
Halfpipe
Skier Boys (9 & under)
2 Erik Jaerbyn
5 Whitton Hyde
Halfpipe
Skier Girls (10-12)
3 Liv Moritz
5 Ava Surridge
7 Serena Gardner
8 Kjersti Moritz
Halfpipe
Skier Girls (9 & under)
1 Roxy Surridge
Halfpipe
Open Skier Men
10 Felix Coudouy
Rail Jam
Skier Boys (9 & under)
9 Erik Jaerbyn
21 Whitton Hyde
Rail Jam
Skier Girls (9 & under)
1 Roxy Surridge
Rail Jam
Skier Girls (10-13)
6 Kjersti Moritz
10 Ava Surridge
20 Liv Moritz
Slopestyle
Skier Boys (10-12)
30 Dylan Boyes
41 Noah Gionfriddo
72 Aaron Cook
Slopestyle
Skier Boys (9 & under)
5 Erik Jaerbyn
13 Whitton Hyde
Slopestyle
Skier Girls (10-12)
12 Ava Surridge
Slopestyle
Skier Girls (9 & under)
3 Roxy Surridge
Slopestyle
Open Skier Men
6 Bobby Sonntag
7 Cole Pates
Slopestyle
Skier Men (16-18)
14 Connor Flynn
Skiercross
Skier Women (13-15)
4 Roxanna Chaney
13 Katherine Harnick
Skiercross
Skier Men (13-15)
10 Reagan Wallis
18 Pearson Black
19 Rory Swimm
20 Izak Little
26 Halsey Lucas
Skiercross
Skier Girls (10-12)
2 Samantha Lindall
Skiercross
Skier Boys (10-12)
11 Noah Gionfriddo
12 Ari Diamond-Topelson
15 Jack Ganley
20 Dylan Boyes
Skiercross
Skier Boys (9 & under)
19 Dylan Chaney

 

SSCV Organizational Announcement from Chairman of the Board

It is with regret that I share with you that Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Executive Director Aldo Radamus will be ending his tenure at the organization at the end of next season, in April, 2016.   SSCV has been under Aldo’s thoughtful, visionary leadership for thirteen years.  His passion for enabling the youth of our community to pursue their dreams and learn lifelong lessons through the vehicle of competitive snowsports has left its mark in many ways not only on these children, but on the local community and visitors to the community.

During the next year Aldo will focus his efforts on the ongoing strategic initiatives of the Club which are in the planning and funding stages, including the Gold Peak expansion which will serve the needs of all SSCV snowsports athletes through expanded venues and snowmaking, the redevelopment of the clubhouse at its current site and the creation of an Opportunity Fund to further support scholarships.

Aldo will also continue to work closely with the SSCV Management Team and the Board of Trustees in supporting strategic programmatic issues such as coach development and financial aid.

We have Aldo’s vision and leadership to thank for professionalizing the organizational structure of SSCV in 2013 to create a management team that will enable the organization to continue to function seamlessly upon his departure.  Mike Trueblood, who was hired as SSCV’s General Manager in 2013 as part of this organizational restructuring, will manage the daily operations of SSCV moving forward.

The Executive Committee of the SSCV Board of Trustees will commence a search for SSCV’s next Executive Director in the next month.  More information will be forthcoming on that process.

This announcement would not be complete without reflecting upon the accomplishments of the organization during Aldo’s tenure as Executive Director.

Among them was the founding of Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (VSSA) in 2007.  VSSA is the first public ski and snowboard academy in the country, the result of a partnership between SSCV and the Eagle County School District. The founding of VSSA enabled talented local snowsports athletes to remain in the Vail Valley while receiving an outstanding and affordable public school education.

SSCV’s relationship with Vail Resorts has risen to an unprecedented level of collaboration, including the expansion of Golden Peak for early season training.

It goes without saying that the strong relationship that SSCV has formed with the Town of Vail over the years has been instrumental in moving SSCV initiatives forward.

The Maloit Park Nordic Center also came on line through a collaborative effort with the Eagle County School District under his leadership.

A partnership was also developed with the Town of Minturn resulting in the Minturn Fitness Center opening its doors in August 2014, an 8,500 square foot human performance center not only serving the needs of elite snowsports athletes but also those of the community.

Aldo’s tenure also included the addition of several new snowsports programs at SSCV, and through a sponsorship developed with Alpine Bank SSCV was able to launch the Alpine Bank Get in the Gates Recreational Race Program this season providing a very popular avenue for alpine race enthusiasts of all ages to hone their racing skills at Vail Mountain.

Of utmost importance to SSCV is the growth of the Opportunity Fund to ensure that any child with a passion to pursue their dream in snowsports could fulfill their potential regardless of their means.

In May 2014, SSCV received an unprecedented number of awards and recognitions from the United States Ski and Snowboard Association -USSA Club of the Year, USSA Alpine Club of the Year, USSA Freeski Club of the Year, USSA Freestyle Club of the Year and USSA Snowboard Club of the Year.  SSCV also received the coveted USSA Gold Certified Club status in 2014 which was a reflection of the strength and strategic vision of our organization as a whole.

Aldo is deeply committed to supporting the orderly transition of leadership over the next year to assure that SSCV enjoys continued progress.  We thank Aldo for all that he has done for our youth, our community and the world of competitive snowsports during his time at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.  His presence will be greatly missed, but we fully support his decision to move on to the next stage in his career in April 2016.

Sincerely,
Glenn Davis

Chairman of the Board
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Hosts over 475 racers in the GS Spectacular in Vail and Beaver Creek-April 5, 2015

Over 475 alpine racers, ages 8 through college age, gathered this past weekend at Vail’s Golden Peak as well as Beaver Creek’s Bear Trap for the last alpine races of the season in the Vail Valley.  Those competing in giant slalom at Golden Peak earned valuable United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) points to help improve their starting position and national ranking in these scored races while the younger athletes competed in non-scored races at Beaver Creek for bragging rights.

‘It is no small feat to run over 475 racers through four runs in two full days of racing, especially in spring conditions,” stated Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Alpine Program Director Karen Ghent.  “It was a tremendous cooperative effort between SSCV and Vail Resorts, with the resort providing overnight grooming and race crews.  Many thanks also go out to the coaches, athletes and volunteers.  With all of this support two incredible days of racing went off without a glitch.”

SSCV athlete results from the weekend are below.  For a complete list of results go to www.live-timing.com.

  April 4, 2015-Men-Scored Giant Slalom-Vail    
Last Name, First Name
1 Carnes, Peer U16
3 Fancher, Burke U16
4 Resnick, Michael U16
6 Mulligan, Chadwick U16
9 Holm, Fletcher U14
11
Timm, Maxwell U16
13 Worrell, Zane U14
16 Palmer, Wyatt U16
17 Dippy, Jake U16
21 Hall, Wyatt U14
23 Lettovsky, Dominik U14
27 McGuffin, Kai U14
31 Ludwig, Lawson U14
34 McCormick, Ian U14
36 Pattison, Mackay U14
41 Harnick, Robert U14
42 Reed, Brooks U14
43 Littman, Peter U16
50 Epifanio, Dominick U14
51 Ebner, Nick U14
52 Telles, Joshua U14
54 Kelsey, Trey U14
56 Bolton, Samuel U14
60 Flaherty, Charles U16
65 Soden, Emile U14
68 Murer, Erik U16
  April 4, 2015-Women-Scored Giant Slalom-Vail    
  Last Name, First Name    
3
Schein, Zoe U16
4 Jones, Caroline U14
5 Fallon, Hannah U16
10 Rountree-Williams, Nicola U14
11
Harding, Naomi
U16
12 Kelsey, Gigi U16
13 McMurtry, Jessica U16
14 Wold, Tegan U14
18 Valent, Madison U18
20 Viola, Elise U16
21 Adelman, Skylar U14
28 Kirwood, Kate U14
33 Gillette, Lily U14
37 Sauter, Lena U14
43 McMurtry, Jordan U14
46 Harsch, Hailey U14
48 Braun, Zoe U16
54 Descisciolo, Catherine U14
55 Simione, Ashley U16
57 Meyers, Morgan U18
65 Anderson, Alexa U14
66 McMurtry, Jenevieve U14
76 Ebner, Isabelle U14
78 Woodland, Schuyler U14
79 Geisman, Jane U16
80 Brausch, Kiana U14
83 Driscoll, Georgia U14
86 Weller, Brooke U16
87 Valent, Morgan U16
  April 4, 2015-Men-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-AM-Beaver Creek    
Last Name First Name
1
Kohlhofer Sebastian U12
5 Bruce Stewart U10
7
Archer Brendan U12
8 Gayer Jackson U12
10 Strauch Henry U14
14
Malboeuf
Brady U10
16 Powell Appollo U12
19 Pattison Cole U12
20 Webert Tyler U12
22 Keane Patrick U12
27 Dorf Mack U12
31 Peterson Spencer U12
38 Rodney Thomas U12
41 Reed Sawyer U10
50 Gunther Andrew U10
54 Leever Jackson U10
58 Arrigoni Luke U10
71 Fitzgerald Maddox U12
72 Peterson Hunter U10
75 Bradbury Ross U10
76 Baggaley Fraser U10
84 Van Den Berg Siebe U10
85 Arrigoni Tim U10
92 Shay Rick U10
95 Bruno Edoardo U10
97 Foley Yakov U10
100 Bradbury Max U12
107 Goodman Alexander U10
108 Douglas Mack U10
110 Lazar Robert U10
111 Cohn Jackson U10
  April 4, 2015-Women-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-AM-Beaver Creek    
Last Name First Name
2
Heaydon Phoebe U10
4
McSpadden Bayli U12
5 Resnick Emma U12
6 Keane Kaitlin U12
7 Burns Emma Kate U12
8 Bruce Tianna U12
9 Moritz Kjersti U12
9 Haerter Lauren U10
11 Hoyt Taylor U12
12 Palmer Zoie U12
13 Moritz Liv U12
24 Shay Bella U12
27 Gonzalez Alexandra U12
28 Creek Emily U14
30 Trueblood Josephine U14
32 Lathram Kyleena U10
33 Payen Daniela U12
35 Gillette Wells U12
36 Dorf Annabel U10
38 Pavelich Robin U12
39 Mactaggart Bellows Yarmony U14
40 Conley Rachel U14
41 Zaytseva Viktoria U10
46 Brausch Kamryn U12
48 Wallis Dylan U10
51 Kelley Quinn U12
53 Linafelter Lexi U14
54 Lathram Samantha U14
59 Forstl Avery U10
64 Ludwig Ava U12
68 Dyroff Elliot U12
69 Harnick Reese U12
71 Hendricks Keely U10
72 Sullivan Adalie U12
73 Gonzalez-Barot Isabella U10
80 Rountree-Williams Isabel U10
81 Bolton Katherine U12
82 Valent Alexandra U10
85 Harrison Caroline U10
92 Harrison Cydney U10
95 Linafelter Grace U12
96 Trombly Elizabeth U12
101 McDonald Katie U10
102 Douglas Maizy U10
105 Moritz Solveig U10
107 Malboeuf Reese U10
108 Lazar Penelope U10
113 Lazar Caroline U10
  April 4, 2015-Men-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-PM-Beaver Creek    
Last Name First Name
2
Kohlhofer Sebastian U12
5 Bruce Stewart U10
7
Archer
Brendan U12
8 Gayer Jackson U12
10 Salani Hunter U10
11 Powell Appollo U12
14 Pattison Cole U12
16 Roach Hunter U12
20 Malboeuf Brady U10
24 Dorf Mack U12
26 Reed Sawyer U10
27 Webert Tyler U12
37 Rodney Thomas U12
39 Keane Patrick U12
40 Peterson Spencer U12
49 Arrigoni Luke U10
51 Gunther Andrew U10
69 Leever Jackson U10
70 Fitzgerald Maddox U12
71 Strauch Henry U14
75 Bradbury Ross U10
76 Van Den Berg Siebe U10
78 Peterson Hunter U10
79 Conley Andrew U12
84 Baggaley Fraser U10
87 Bruno Edoardo U10
88 Arrigoni Tim U10
94 Foley Yakov U10
101 Shay Rick U10
107 Bradbury Max U12
114 Goodman Alexander U10
115 Lazar Robert U10
117 Cohn Jackson U10
121 Douglas Mack U10
  April 4, 2015-Women-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-PM-Beaver Creek    
Last Name First Name
2
Heaydon Phoebe U10
3 Resnick Emma U12
5 Burns Emma Kate U12
6 McSpadden Bayli U12
7 Keane Kaitlin U12
8 Moritz Kjersti U12
9 Bruce Tianna U12
12 Gonzalez Alexandra U12
13 Palmer Zoie U12
14 Brown Nancy U12
15 Creek Emily U14
16 Trueblood Josephine U14
17 Moritz Liv U12
21 Hoyt Taylor U12
22 Haerter Lauren U10
23 Conley Rachel U14
25 Gillette Wells U12
31 Pavelich Robin U12
32 Lathram Samantha U14
35 Linafelter Lexi U14
36 Mactaggart Bellows Yarmony U14
43 Avery Shu U10
44 Dorf Annabel U10
46 Kelley Quinn U12
48 Lathram Kyleena U10
49 Shay Bella U12
51 Brausch Kamryn U12
52 Forstl Avery U10
53 Payen Daniela U12
54 Sullivan Adalie U12
56 Wallis Dylan U10
60 Zaytseva Viktoria U10
63 Rountree-Williams Isabel U10
66 Dyroff Elliot U12
70 Ludwig Ava U12
81 Harnick Reese U12
88 Bolton Katherine U12
92 Trombly Elizabeth U12
94 McDonald Katie U10
95 Valent Alexandra U10
97 Olsen Julia U10
99 Harrison Caroline U10
100 Douglas Maizy U10
102 Harrison Cydney U10
106 Linafelter Grace U12
108 Lazar Penelope U10
112 Malboeuf Reese U10
115 Moritz Solveig U10
119 Hendricks Keely U10
121 Lazar Caroline U10
  April 5, 2015-Men-Scored Giant Slalom-Vail    
  Last Name First Name  
1 Lange Colby U16
2 Leblanc
Gus
U16
3 Carnes Peer U16
4 Bervy Max U16
6 Fancher Burke U16
9 Bailey Axel
U14
10 Woodard Keelan U16
12 Woodland Cameron U16
15 Heaydon Henry U14
16 Palmer Wyatt U16
17 Negomir Eric U16
18 Kinsella Kellen U14
19 Holm Fletcher U14
20 Timm Maxwell U16
23 Dippy Jake U16
24 Lettovsky Dominik U14
36 McGuffin Kai U14
38 Hall Wyatt U14
39 Harnick Robert U14
51 Ludwig Lawson U14
53 McCormick Ian U14
60 Reed Brooks U14
61 Telles Joshua U14
62 Kelsey Trey U14
66 Epifanio Dominick U14
69 Bolton Samuel U14
73 Flaherty Charles U16
74 Soden Emile U14
80 Littman Peter U16
84 Murer Erik U16
  April 5, 2015-Women-Scored Giant Slalom-Vail    
  Last Name First Name  
1 Strizencova Michaela
U16
3 Resnick Allie U14
5 Kelsey Gigi U16
6 Fallon Hannah
U16
7 Schein Zoe U16
10 Proffit Ainsley U14
14 Holm Anneli U16
15 Rountree-Williams Nicola U14
18 Wold Tegan U14
20 Harding Naomi U16
24 McMurtry Jessica U16
25 Adelman Skylar U14
28 Pavelich Gretchen U16
31 Sullivan Campbell U14
35 Frischholz Berit U14
38 Viola Elise U16
39 Kirwood Kate U14
42 Chelain Trinity U16
46 Gillette Lily U14
48 Sauter Lena U14
54 Descisciolo Catherine U14
55 Rodney Sharon U16
59 Valent Madison U18
62 Jemison Ava Sunshine U14
64 Lettovska Kiki U14
67 Braun Zoe U16
70 Creek Emily U14
77 Meyers Morgan U18
77 Anderson Alexa U14
83 Anderson Kristen U16
84 Simione Ashley U16
85 Driscoll Georgia U14
96 Ebner Isabelle U14
97 Geisman Jane U16
107 Weller Brooke U16
109 Valent Morgan U16
  April 5, 2015-Men-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-AM-Beaver Creek    
  Last  Name, First Name    
4
Kohlhofer, Sebastian U12
7 Bruce, Stewart U10
9
Powell, Appollo U12
10
Strauch, Henry
U14
12 Salani, Hunter U10
18 Gayer, Jackson U12
19 Roach, Hunter U12
20 Malboeuf, Brady U10
28 Webert, Tyler U12
37 Peterson, Spencer U12
40 Reed, Sawyer U10
47 Rodney, Thomas U12
48 Keane, Patrick U12
51 Gunther, Andrew U10
52 Conley, Andrew U12
56 Viola, V Alexander U14
70 Bradbury, Ross U10
73 Van Den Berg, Siebe U10
74 Salani, Boden U10
75 Peterson, Hunter U10
87 Shay, Rick U10
91 Baggaley, Fraser U10
92 Bradbury, Max U12
95 Goodman, Alexander U10
96 Lazar, Robert U10
98 Douglas, Mack U10
  April 5, 2015-Women-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-AM-Beaver Creek    
  Last  Name, First Name    
2 Heaydon, Phoebe
U10
4 McSpadden, Bayli
U12
6 Keane, Kaitlin U12
7 Moritz, Kjersti U12
8 Burns, Emma Kate U12
9 Palmer, Zoie U12
10 Gonzalez, Alexandra
U12
12 Bruce, Tianna U12
14 Moritz, Liv U12
15 Bervy, Katie U14
16 Haerter, Lauren U10
18 Brown, Nancy U12
19 Trueblood, Josephine U14
20 Avery, Shu U10
23 Lathram, Kyleena U10
26 Zaytseva, Viktoria U10
31 Lathram, Samantha U14
32 Gillette, Wells U12
33 Conley, Rachel U14
34 Pavelich, Robin U12
38 Kelley, Quinn U12
39 Payen, Daniela U12
42 Linafelter, Lexi U14
43 Shay, Bella U12
44 Dorf, Annabel U10
46 Mactaggart Bellows, Yarmony U14
49 Gonzalez-Barot, Isabella U10
50 Wallis, Dylan U10
56 Sullivan, Adalie U12
61 Ludwig, Ava U12
62 Rountree-Williams, Isabel U10
64 Dyroff, Elliot U12
66 Douglas, Maizy U10
76 Valent, Alexandra U10
77 Hendricks, Keely U10
78 Harnick, Reese U12
81 Linafelter, Grace U12
83 Harrison, Caroline U10
84 Bolton, Katherine U12
87 Harrison, Cydney U10
89 McDonald, Katie U10
90 Trombly, Elizabeth U12
95 Malboeuf, Reese U10
96 Lazar, Penelope U10
102 Olsen, Julia U10
  April 5, 2015-Men-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-PM-Beaver Creek    
  Last Name, First Name    
3
Kohlhofer, Sebastian U12
7 Salani, Hunter U10
9 Bruce, Stewart U10
10 Powell, Appollo U12
13
Gayer, Jackson U12
15 Strauch, Henry U14
17 Webert, Tyler U12
19 Roach, Hunter U12
24 Dorf, Mack U12
25 Malboeuf, Brady U10
33 Reed, Sawyer U10
45 Keane, Patrick U12
46 Viola, V Alexander U14
48 Peterson, Spencer U12
51 Rodney, Thomas U12
54 Salani, Boden U10
58 Gunther, Andrew U10
61 Conley, Andrew U12
68 Bradbury, Ross U10
70 Leever, Jackson U10
82 Baggaley, Fraser U10
85 Peterson, Hunter U10
87 Bradbury, Max U12
88 Shay, Rick U10
94 Goodman, Alexander U10
96 Lazar, Robert U10
97 Douglas, Mack U10
  April 5, 2015-Women-Non-Scored Giant Slalom-PM-Beaver Creek    
  Last Name, First Name    
1
Lathram, Samantha U14
3
Heaydon, Phoebe U10
4
McSpadden, Bayli U12
5 Burns, Emma Kate U12
6 Keane, Kaitlin U12
7 Haerter, Lauren U10
9 Palmer, Zoie U12
12
Gonzalez, Alexandra U12
13 Bervy, Katie U14
15 Moritz, Liv U12
18 Bruce, Tianna U12
23 Conley, Rachel U14
24 Tatge, Natalia U12
25 Trueblood, Josephine U14
26 Gillette, Wells U12
27 Dorf, Annabel U10
32 Sullivan, Adalie U12
34 Lathram, Kyleena U10
34 Pavelich, Robin U12
36 Linafelter, Lexi U14
38 Shay, Bella U12
39 Mactaggart Bellows, Yarmony U14
43 Gonzalez-Barot, Isabella U10
44 Zaytseva, Viktoria U10
45 Payen, Daniela U12
48 Avery, Shu U10
49 Wallis, Dylan U10
52 Forstl, Avery U10
58 Hendricks, Keely U10
61 Rountree-Williams, Isabel U10
62 Ludwig, Ava U12
65 Harrison, Cydney U10
69 Douglas, Maizy U10
70 Kelley, Quinn U12
73 Dyroff, Elliot U12
76 McDonald, Katie U10
76 Valent, Alexandra U10
82 Thayer, Kailey U10
83 Lazar, Penelope U10
84 Harrison, Caroline U10
85 Olsen, Julia U10
86 Bolton, Katherine U12
88 Harnick, Reese U12
91 Linafelter, Grace U12
93 Malboeuf, Reese U10
94 Trombly, Elizabeth U12
96 Moritz, Solveig U10
102 Lazar, Caroline U10

 

Press Release-Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Riders Take USASA Snowboard Nationals by Storm-April 4, 2015

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) snowboard riders just concluded a great week of competition at the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) Nationals at Copper Mountain.  “As a coach it was amazing to see this group of athletes come together this season, work there tails off and when it came time to perform put down the best runs of their season at Nationals,” stated SSCV Snowboard Coach Nathan Parks.

Riders from across the nation competed all season long in their local USASA region to earn the right to compete at USASA Nationals, the long awaited season culminating elite championship series.  Twenty-four SSCV snowboarders listed below earned this privilege to compete in USASA Nationals in one or more of the following disciplines-slopestyle (SS), halfpipe (HP), boardercross (SBX), slalom and giant slalom along with the rail jam and banked slalom through their results this season in the extremely competitive USASA Rocky Mountain Series.

SSCV athletes competed in their competitor age group at USASA Nationals.  Results for each individual racer are listed below.  For a complete list of results by competitor age group go to www.usasa.org.

Lyndsey Anderson- HP- 6th

-Banked Slalom-10th

Dylan Baxter- SBX 3rd

Jeremy Baxter- HP- 16th

– SBX- 29th

Bren Blower- HP- 7th

Andrew Breithaupt- SBX 4th

– Banked Slalom-22nd

Jack Coyne- HP- 2nd

– SS- 1st

Barrett Hendrix- HP- 13th

– SS-18th

– SBX-10th

– Banked Slalom-7th

– Giant Slalom-16th

– Rail Jam- 23rd

– Overall- 11th

Devin Hendrix- HP- 11th

– SS- 19th

– SBX- 11th

– Slalom-16th

– Giant Slalom- 9th

– Banked Slalom- 7th

– Rail Jam- 18th

– Overall- 10th

Calvin Hood- HP- 21st

– SBX- 43rd

Ian Kalapos- HP- 17th

Kaleha Kegode- halfpipe-12th

-SBX-8th

Kade Martin- HP- 19th

– SS-38th

– SBX-19th

Ollie Martin- HP- 6th

– SS-3rd

-SBX-5th

Bella Mauro- HP- 24th

– SS- 8th

-SBX- 6th

– Slalom- 17th

-Giant Slalom- 12th

-Overall- 6th

Philip Nasralla- SBX 33rd

Dylan Okurowski- HP- 38th

– SS- 21st

– Rail Jam- 2nd

– Banked Slalom-29th

Tyler Robison- SBX 17th

Sean Roley- SBX 26th

-Slalom 15th

-Giant Slalom 30th

-Banked Slalom-6th

Carter Shonk- HP- 13th

– SS-15th

– Rail Jam- 31st

Cooper Shonk- HP- 20th

– Rail Jam- 17th

Rakai Tait- HP- 1st

Taiaroa Tait- HP- 3rd

– SS- 3rd

– Banked Slalom- 14th

– Rail Jam- 27th

Conor Wherry- HP – 12th

  • SBX-25th

Kaegan Wherry- HP- 23nd

– SS-13th

– SBX-13th

Top 5 Finish Highlights

Among the highlights for SSCV athletes this past week, it was sure fun watching Rakai Tait lay down a halfpipe run that not one person could come within 15 points of with huge amplitude and massive tricks like frontside 720’s and 900’s to give him a near perfect score of 95, all on the heels of hurting his shoulder in a qualifier run earlier that week.  Dylan Baxter stood tall on the podium in 3rd place after an incredible boardercross run.

Dylan Okurowski crushed it at the rail jam under the lights.  After earning a spot to the finals he was able to put down enough solid tricks to get 2nd place in a very heated field of athletes.

Taiaroa Tait and Jack Coyne stomped their first runs in slopestyle putting them in 1st and 3rd place after a huge field of 72 competitors dropped.  Jack’s score of 92 held strong thru the rest of the comp and earned him the 1st place finish!  Taiaroa decided to go out and try to learn a frontside 720 to up his previous run’s score in-between waiting for his turn to take his last drop, landing 2 out of 3 attempts before heading back for his last run where he started with a cab 5 then stomped the new front 7 perfect and finished with a back 7.  It was a huge accomplishment and up’ed his score to a 3rd place podium finish, just shy of 2nd place.  Jack and Taiaroa had a great day in the halfpipe as well, taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

SSCV Snowboard Coach Chris Laske shared, “As a whole SSCV did great throughout this past week as we watched our riders compete in all six of the events.  We won lots of podium spots and got to see a lot of our athletes achieve their goals, land their runs or get good times in races.  All of the coaches would agree when I say that we are proud of each and every competitor that put the work in to compete at this year’s Nationals.  It was a lot of work and long days with some bumps and bruises along the way but everyone did their best.”

Ollie Martin took 3rd in the Ruggie division for slopestyle at the age of 6.  Andrew Breithaupt had a great boardercross performance taking 4th.

With a young group of development level riders leaving their mark at USASA Nationals along with so many great performances and personal bests from the older riders, along with a the other riders who did not quite make it to USASA Nationals this season but continued to develop throughout the season, it is exciting to see what the future holds for the SSCV Snowboard Team!

Press Release-Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Championships at Golden Peak-April 3, 2015

Vail, CO, April 3, 2015 – The Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Championships took over Golden Peak this week for men’s and women’s slalom races on Tuesday and Wednesday, and women’s giant slalom races on Thursday and Friday.  The championships brought some of the top racers to Vail, many coming straight from the U.S. Alpine National Championships in Sugarloaf.

“This race brought in a field of top ranked athletes from across the US including collegiate competitors to test themselves on a challenging hill,” said Karen Ghent, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Alpine Program Director.  The spring conditions can be challenging but the courses held up exceptionally well for the entire field making for a fair race for all.  Some hard chargers took advantage of the deep field and good conditions to score personal bests at their final races of their seasons.”

“We saw some great racing, particularly out of SSCV alums Seppi Stiegler and Taylor Shiffrin (2nd and 7th in the men’s slalom run on the first day).  On the ladies’ side, Vail’s own Sarah Schleper showed us her World Cup form, finishing 7th on the first day in slalom, 2nd on the third day in giant slalom and 1st on the fourth day in giant slalom.”

“Some of our younger racers are really beginning to shine out there on the hill,” continued Ghent.  “Lucy Bailey, in just her first year racing at the FIS level, turned in a tremendous set of finishes this week, taking 10th place on day one in slalom.”

Thursday’s giant slalom race was an exciting day for Erika McCormick, a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail U21 athlete and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy student, who had an outstanding 8th place overall finish.  This resulted in her scoring a 35 point FIS race in an extremely competitive field, a very significant accomplishment for an athlete her age.

Erika stated, “I have always loved the Vail Spring Series.  It has been one of the best series of the season during my time competing at SSCV.  It attracts a lot of really great racers and I have done well in it over the years.  Today I was really happy with my results.  It was very special to accomplish this at home with my family and friends able to be there to watch me.”

Great finishes were seen by several other young SSCV athletes.  On the men’s side, River Radamus and Jack Keane finished in the top 20 overall on the first day of slalom racing, taking 1st and 2nd among U18 men.  Jack Keane finished first among U18 men on the second day of slalom racing.

PJ Jenick, the Chief of Race for this championship series said, “We provided six outstanding races over the course of four days thanks to the support of the Vail Resorts race crew and their night time groomers, volunteers, coaches and athletes.  This spring championship race series continues to attract many of the top racers in the country each year, including national team members and collegiate athletes, along with up and coming FIS racers.  These athletes give one last push to improve their FIS points before taking a month or two off snow to get stronger and begin their summer on-snow training sessions.  The venues were even better than expected for this time of year and the top finishers were able to conquer all that a spring series has to offer.”

This week’s SSCV finishes in Vail are below.

Ladies’ Slalom -March 31, 2015
SSCV Results
 

10

Bailey, Lucia
16 Chaney, Skylar
20 McCormick, Erika
23 Mueller, Griffin
27 Horn, Sasha
28 Black, Ruby
30 Livran, Heidi
33 Hennum, Katelin
43 Viola, Lauren
48 Valent, Madison
Men’s Slalom -March 31, 2015
SSCV Results
18 Radamus, River
20 Keane, Jack
26 Kirwood, Clayton
28 Schmidt, Ryan
34 Martin, Logan
40 Vickerman, Luke
49 Collins, Ryan
50 Mueller, Tagert
Women’s Slalom -April 1, 2015
SSCV Results
11 Bailey, Lucia
12 McCormick, Erika
17 Mueller, Griffin
27 Horn, Sasha
34 Hennum, Katelin
41 Livran, Heidi
42 Viola, Lauren
43 Valent, Madison
Men’s Slalom -April 1, 2015
SSCV Results
15 Jack Keane
23 Bailey, Brian
26 Kirwood, Clayton
35 Vickerman, Luke
40 Collins, Ryan
Women’s Giant Slalom -April 2, 2015
SSCV Results
8 McCormick, Erika
14 Bailey, Lucia
22 Chaney, Skylar
33 Mueller, Griffin
34 Livran, Heidi
40 Hennum, Katelin
41 Viola, Lauren
49 Valent, Madison
Women’s Giant Slalom -April 3, 2015
SSCV Results
13 Mazario, Montana
16 Bailey, Lucia
24 Murer, Abigail
25 Horn, Sasha
41 Viola, Lauren
46 Valent, Madison

 

A complete list of results can be found at www.live-timing.com

Press Release-Strong Results from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Alpine Racers at U16 Nationals-April 3, 2015

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) alpine racers travelled to Sugarloaf in Maine this week for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) U16 National Championships.  This championship brought 107 of the top 13, 14 and 15 year-old men and women from across the country to compete in Super G, giant slalom and slalom.

SSCV’s Bridger Gile was the Overall Winner of U16 Nationals with SSCV’s Colby Lange taking second overall for the men.  SSCV’s Nellie Rose Talbot was third overall for the women.

SSCV athletes took five top 3 overall podium spots over three days of racing and eight top 3 results among the U14 competitors (the youngest of competitors).

Twelve men and twelve women from SSCV earned invitations to the U16 National Championships this year.   “These athletes are truly performing at the highest levels in the nation for their age groups,” said Rob Worrell, SSCV USSA Team Head Coach.  “This season they brought home consistently strong results enabling them to qualify for U16 Rocky/Central Championships or U14 Rocky/Central Championships, depending on their age, where they performed at the top of their game to qualify for U16 Nationals.  It was great to see their season culminate with a strong week at Nationals.  Their accomplishments are the direct result of hard work and dedication all season long.”

Terry DelliQuadri, SSCV U14 Head Coach for the eight U14 (2000 birth year) athletes shared, “This group of eight SSCV U14 athletes that made up our team to the Nationals has consistently dominated at state and regional level competitions.  Competing at the national level was a great opportunity to see how we stack up against athletes from other parts of the country.  This event proved that our athletes are among the highest level of competitors in the country.  Six of the eight U14 athletes competing from Vail ended up on a podium.  We took almost half of the podiums in the U14 age category.”

In the ladies’ Super G event, SSCV’s Nellie Rose Talbot took the overall win.  SSCV’s Kaitlyn Harsch took first and SSCV’s Ainsley Proffit took third among the U14 women in Super G.  On the men’s side, SSCV athletes grabbed four of the top ten spots in Super G. SSCV’s Colby Lange and Bridger Gile took gold and silver, respectively, while Jacob Dilling finished 8th and Matt Macaluso finished 10th.

“The conditions couldn’t have been better with clear blue skies and enough chill in the air to keep the track firm throughout the race,” said Worrell.  “Our athletes were able to use those ideal course conditions to their advantage.”

The racers faced tough giant slalom courses on Thursday.  SSCV’s U14 ladies were up for the challenge, with Kaitlyn Harsch finishing 9th overall, and first among U14 women, and Allie Resnick finishing 11th overall and second among U14 women.  On the men’s side, SSCV’s Bridger Gile came up with the Gold with the fastest combined overall time, with SSCV’s Colby Lange taking the Silver overall while SSCV U14 Axel Bailey took 2nd for the U14 men.

For Friday’s top slalom performances for SSCV, Nellie Rose Talbot took 4th overall while Kaitlyn Harsch took 10th overall and 1st for the U14 women.  Cleo Braun took 2nd among the U14 women.  Among the top 10 SSCV athletes for the men in slalom, Matt Macaluso took 5th, Jacob Dilling took 8th and Brendan Keane took 10th.

Karen Ghent, SSCV Alpine Program Director, could not have been prouder of the SSCV athletes at U16 Nationals, stating, “This is by far the most prestigious event these young athletes have competed in and not only were their performances a testament to their athletic ability but also their mental toughness to stay focused and perform at their personal bests.  This combination of strengths could be viewed on the results lists.  More importantly, the overall experience of becoming a part of a national racing community through their participation in U16 Nationals is something that they will take with them to help propel them to the next level in the years to come.”

All SSCV athlete results are listed below.  For a complete list of results go to www.live-timing.com.

 

Women’s Super-G -April 1, 2015
SSCV Results
1 Talbot, Nellie Rose
15 Harsch, Kaitlyn
23 Brandt, Taylor
29 Proffit, Ainsley
30 Hall, Emma
31 Balin, Elise
34 Livran, Zoe
35 Resnick, Allie
36 Braun, Cleo
38 Strizencova, Michaela
44 Gayer, Maddox
45 Fiore, Dylan
Men’s Super-G -April 1, 2015
SSCV Results
1 Lange, Colby
2 Gile, Bridger
8 Dilling, Jacob
10 Macaluso, Matt
13 Leblanc, Gus
16 Bervy, Max
27 Negomir, Eric
29 Keane, Brendan
36 Ottley, Patrick
43 Worrell, Zane
44 Bailey, Axel
46 Kinsella, Kellen
Women’s Giant Slalom -April 2, 2015
SSCV Results
9 Harsch, Kaitlyn
11 Resnick, Allie
14 Strizencova, Michaela
17 Brandt, Taylor
19 Proffit, Ainsley
19 Balin, Elise
26 Gayer, Maddox
Men’s Giant Slalom -April 2, 2015
SSCV Results
1 Gile, Bridger
2 Lange, Colby
11 Leblanc, Gus
15 Keane, Brendan
18 Bailey, Axel
20 Worrell, Zane
22 Negomir, Eric
26 Ottley, Patrick
29 Macaluso, Matt
32 Kinsella, Kellen
Women’s Slalom -April 3, 2015
SSCV Results
4 Talbot, Nellie Rose
10 Harsch, Kaitlyn
14 Braun, Cleo
18 Resnick, Allie
20 Gayer, Maddox
Men’s Slalom -April 3, 2015
SSCV Results
5 Macaluso, Matt
8 Dilling, Jacob
10 Keane, Brendan
20 Kinsella, Kellen
23 Gile, Bridger
24 LaBlanc, Gus
26 Bailey, Axel
27 Worrell, Zane
31 Negomir, Eric
32 Lange, Colby

 

 

 

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 www.live-timing.com.

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.

College

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.