Juniors race well in prestigious Liechtenstein event
February 14, 2018
The ski race known as the "7 Nations" took place in Liechtenstein this year, and for an event that welcomes 14- and 15-year-old athletes only, it was a rare and difficult travel opportunity.
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail qualified five ski racers from the U16 squad — Fletcher Holm, Ava Jemison, Nicola Roundtree-Williams, Berit Frischholz and Carissa Cassidy.
Coach Shaun Goodwin traveled with the athletes in his role as a private coach with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; he said it was a beautiful venue.
"It's kind of tucked back in the end of a valley," Goodwin said. "Even some veteran coaches who travel in Europe quite a bit had never been there, as well, so I think it was a novelty for all of us."
Goodwin's athlete in Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, 15-year-old Nicola Roundtree-Williams, won the giant slalom at the event.
"It's a good validation that she's on track," Goodwin said. "If you look at the development system here, domestically, that's kind of the pinnacle of what they're trying to achieve at the U16 level."
Recommended Stories For You
STARTS WITH REGIONALS
Athletes reach the international level in the 7 Nations race by qualifying through the U.S. races known as the National Performance Series. Athletes reach the National Performance Series by skiing well at U.S. Junior Nationals, which must be reached through skiing well at U.S. Regionals.
This process is upon those athletes now, with regionals coming up. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail U16 coach Sylvan Kaufman said you never know who is going to break out and embark on the path to places like Liechtenstein.
"That's the really cool thing about U16s, just because you're not good today doesn't mean you can't be really good tomorrow," Kaufman said. "It's a fun one to coach, it's cool to see that."
Kaufman said those flickers of greatness aren't necessarily seen in the actual racing at the U16 level.
"We see it daily, in training," Kaufman said.
Ava Jenison, who finished fifth in the slalom at 7 Nations, is an example of an athlete who is one to look for as these athletes attempt to make the U.S. Ski Team in the years to come.
"She really came on strong at the end of last year, and is starting to show some solid progress," he said. "And then she was second in the second run of the slalom (at the 7 Nations race), so she clearly has some speed and she's turning it on."
Trending In: Sports
- Vail Valley preps: Huskies soccer clinches title in Glenwood Springs
- Eagle-Vail hosts cross-country regionals
- Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley cross-country shine in Region 1 Meet
- Vail Valley preps wrap for Tuesday, Oct. 16: Battle Mountain volleyball; Vail Mountain soccer and volleyball
- Freud on the NFL: Broncos sinking like a stone
- Former Vail Valley arts patron Alberto Vilar trying to enjoy what’s left of his life after 10-year prison stint
- Loveland man dies in East Vail crash. No one else injured in Sunday evening accident
- Town of Vail likely to change short-term rental regulations in response to complaints
- Arson on the mountain: Vail’s 1998 arson fires at Two Elk were country’s worst eco-terrorist attack
- Aspen girl speaks out in video about alleged rape