As the 2013-14 snowsports season winds down, there are several exciting championship events to share.
USASA Snowboard National Championships
Celebrating the silver anniversary of the USASA Championships, nearly 1,200 qualifying snowboard athletes ages 7 to 70 hailing from 30 USASA Regional Series competed in six disciplines last week at Copper Mountain. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail snowboard athletes have been competing in USASA National qualifying events in the Rocky Mountain series all season long to obtain a coveted qualifying spot in this season is culminating championship. USASA Snowboarding, a grassroots competition series, continues to be a stepping stone for top U.S. riders who have gone on to compete in the Revolution Tour, Dew Tour, Grand Prixs, U.S. and European Burton Opens, X Games and the Olympics.
Twenty-two of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s riders qualified. Below are some highlights for our young riders in this championship series. For complete results go to www.usasa.org.
• Our younger-than-9 crew had a huge USASA Nationals. Cooper Shonk took third in both snowboardcross and halfpipe in his first ever nationals. New recruit Kaitlyn Adams took third in snowboardcross and second in slopestyle. Kade Martin in his first-ever nationals took gold in slopestyle.
• Zoe Kalapos came home with the gold in open women’s halfpipe.
Olivia Boomhower, • one of the club’s hardest working female riders, took gold in open women snowboardcross.
• Mary Prantis came back from a serious shoulder injury in January to take third in the 14-and-older Rail Jam.
• Dylan Okurowski had his best nationals to date, taking silver in both slopestyle and rail jam in the breaker boys division. This is one of the biggest field sizes of any division and is a huge effort!
Both Jake Pates and Ryan Wachendorfer were invited to the Laung in Pennsylvania. This is an invite only media photo and video shoot for the world’s best juniors. To be invited to this event is a huge honor for these boys.
USASA Freeski National Championships
Qualifying Ski & Snowboard Club Vail freeski athletes are competing this week in USASA Freeski Nationals, another season-long culminating competition series. We are very excited about the enormous amount of interest in our freeski rookie development program, which started with eight rookie athletes with none competing and has evolved to 45 rookie athletes this year, 12 of which are at USASA Freeski Nationals this week at Copper Mountain. Highlights to date for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes include:
Girls halfpipe, 9 and younger:
• Gold: Kjersti Moritz.
• Silver: Liv Moritz.
Boys halfpipe, 9 and younger:
• Silver: Dylan Boyes.
• Fifth: Erik Jaerbyn.
Boys halfpipe, 10-12:
• Top results from Lachlan Crick and Adam Eisenhauer.
• Fifth: Michael Brown.
Boys slopestyle, 16-18:
• Bronze: Bobby Sonntag.
Girls slopestyle, 13-15:
• Kailyn Forsberg: Fourth (very close to bronze).
Boys slopestyle, 13-15:
• Notables are Emerson Lawton and Felix Coudouy.
U16 National Championships
On the alpine front, the top 1998-2000 birth year alpine racers in the country were invited to compete in giant slalom, slalom and dual paneled slalom in the U16 National Championships in Park City, Utah, earlier this month. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes Paul Cuthbertson, Ryan Collins, Jack Keane, Bridger Gile, Colby Lange, Jessica McMurtry, Jennie Symons, Nellie Talbot and Luci Bailey, along with River Radamus, a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete training with the National Training Group, earned coveted U16 National Championship spots. Gus LeBlanc, Max Bervy, Burke Fancher and Gretchen Pavelich, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail rising U16 athletes (birth year 2000) were also invited to compete.
In line with the US Ski & Snowboard Association’s emphasis on the importance of freeskiing and SkillsQuest fundamentals to the long-term development of top level alpine racers, U16 Nationals competitors were also evaluated in these areas. The SkillsQuest evaluation drills emphasized each of the four primary skiing skill areas — pressure, edging, rotary and balance — as part of the assessment.
Highlights of U16 Nationals for the boys included:
• Max Bervy first overall and Gus LeBlanc third overall for 2000 age group for giant slalom, slalom and parallel slalom.
• Bridger Gile second overall for 1999 age group for giant slalom, slalom and parallel slalom.
• River Radamus first overall and Jack Keane third overall for 1998 age group for giant slalom, slalom and parallel slalom.
• Jack Keane first overall and River Radamus second overall for all age groups for giant slalom and slalom.
• Gus LeBlanc first overall for 2000 age group for freesking and SkillsQuest.
• Bridger Gile first overall for 1999 boys age group for freeskiing and SkillsQuest.
• River Radamus first overall for 1998 boys age group for freeskiing and SkillsQuest.
• Max Bervy first overall and Gus LeBlanc second overall for 2000 boys age group giant slalom.
• Jack Keane second overall for 1998 boys age group slalom.
• Gus LeBlanc first overall and Max Bervy second overall for 2000 boys age group parallel slalom.
• Bridger Gile first overall for 1999 boys age group parallel slalom.
Highlights of U16 Nationals for the girls included:
• Nellie Talbot first overall for 1999 age group for freeski and SkillsQuest.
• Nellie Talbot third overall giant slalom and first in 1999 age group giant slalom.
• Jennie Symons second for 1999 age group slalom.
Top performing U16 Nationals competitors will be nominated in the coming weeks to the National Training Group, a pipeline to the US Ski Team.