COPPER MOUNTAIN — Ski & Snowboard Club Vail had a number of alpine U18 men and women ages 16 and 17 qualify to compete in the U18 National Junior Championships this season.
Competing against top U18 alpine racers from across the U.S. and a few top international athletes, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy junior Florian Szwebel won the overall U18 national title for the men. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy junior Erika McCormick had a third-place podium for the women in giant slalom.
The series consisted of downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom along with a final day of parallel slalom.
Szwebel joined Ski & Snowboard Club Vail as a full-time alpine racer three years ago and is a junior at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy. Szwebel’s dedication is evident, consistently rising to the top through his positive attitude, hard work and dedication.
Recovering From Injury
This season was no exception. Szwebel took a major fall during early season training, was transported to the hospital and diagnosed with bad bone bruising and stretched ligaments. After taking off the requisite time to heal from this diagnosis, he competed very successfully in seven competitions. However, continuing to experience pain, he returned to the doctor discovering he had been racing and training on two fractured legs for more than a month.
Szwebel worked extremely hard in the gym with a goal to compete in the U18 nationals in Copper where he was aiming for podiums. All of his hard work clearly paid off after missing a good part of the season for recovery, and Szwebel was awarded Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s coveted Character, Courage and Commitment Award for the month of January, a huge tribute to the qualities needed to achieve this type of result.
Stay tuned for more updates as SSCV athletes of all ages and in a variety of snowsports compete in their season-end championship series, including SSCV freestyle athletes Morgan Schild and Hunter Bailey heading off to Juniors Worlds in Europe.