World Cup notebook: locals named to 2022-23 SYNC Team |

World Cup notebook: locals named to 2022-23 SYNC Team

Four SSCV athletes receive nomination to 12-person team

Kai Owens, center, celebrates after finishing first in the finals, between Hannah Soar, left, who finished second, and Tess Johnson, who placed third, in the World Cup women's dual moguls skiing competition on Feb. 5, 2021. Dual moguls has been added to the 2026 Olympic program.
Rick Bowmer/AP photo

A June 24 press release posted to indicated that four Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes were named to the 2022-23 SYNC Junior Team. Liv Mortiz and Jackson Leever will return to the team while fellow SSCV athletes Alex Krupka and Hunter Salani received their first nomination.

According to the release, “The SYNC Junior Team delivers support through financial aid and equipment for athletes from U16 to U21. The team helps athletes who are pushing their limits and aiming to reach the top levels of the sport.”

SYNC Performance, based in Vail, provides technical apparel, protective ski race equipment and travel bags.

“Through the SYNC Junior Team, the brand receives instant feedback about what gear athletes need to perform on and off the hill. This relationship is essential to our brand’s success and helps bring products to market that benefit all athletes,” the release stated.

Women’s team
*Tatum Grosdidier (2003) – Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
*Liv Moritz (2004) – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Maddie Kaiserman (2004) – Park City Ski and Snowboard
Finn Boissoneault (2005) – Holderness School
Sophia Palmquist (2005) – Team Summit
Sonja Pendergast (2008) – Buck Hill Ski Racing Team

Men’s team
Josh Nelson (2004) – Buck Hill Ski Racing Team
Joshua Rosenberg (2005) – Okemo Mountain School
Hunter Salani (2005) – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Sawyer Reed (2005) – Green Mountain Valley School
Alex Krupka (2006) – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
*Jackson Leever (2008) – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

“We are so excited to announce the new SYNC Team and get the upcoming season off with a bang!” stated SYNC athlete manager Parker Biele in the release.

“The SYNC Team program continues to grow and we love having the ability to help support another group of athletes on their path to accomplishing their goals. This year’s group of athletes is very strong and represent clubs all across the country. I am looking forward to watching them succeed at races all season long.”

Summer stars scoop

After finishing in eighth place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USATF outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon, last weekend, Val Constien said she plans on taking a break for a few weeks to let her body heal.

The Battle Mountain and CU-Boulder alumna, who qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by finishing third in the event at the U.S. Olympic trials last summer, battled injuries and illness in the lead-up to this year’s national championships.

“I was diagnosed with a stress reaction on April 17th and had to take a month away from training to get back into running,” Constien stated.

She did her first workout on May 17. “It was a very slow progression to get into steeplechase shape,” she stated.

On June 10, she tested positive for COVID and had “bad symptoms” for seven days.

“I could not train hard for most of those days,” she stated.

She was on a plane to Eugene, which is also hosting the 2022 IAAF World Championships in July, two days later. In spite of the those barriers — no pun intended — she cruised through the first round before finishing in eighth in Sunday’s final.

“It was really difficult to make it into the final, but I’m proud to have competed at U.S. Championships this year,” Constien stated.

“I’ll probably take a break for a few weeks to heal my body and get ready for some fall races.”

The top three finishers, Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs, and Courtney Wayment, will represent the U.S. at the World Championships July 15-24 at Hayward Field.

Mack Dorf finished off five days of bike racing in Wisconsin at the Tour of America’s Dairyland with three second-place finishes, an eighth-place finish, and a win on the final day, all in the men’s junior 17-18 classification.

His win came on June 25 at the Cafe Hollander Otto Wenz Downer Classic, racing down historic Downer Avenue, “home to one of the most famous urban criterium courses in the country.”

The LUX rider (48:56.5) finished in front of Northstar Development athlete Brody Burnham (48:57.7) and Team Swift rider Sean Strachan (48:56.9).

SSCV athletes Kai Owens, Tess Johnson and Liz Lemley were given reason to celebrate on Saturday, as FIS announced on June 25 that men’s and women’s dual moguls will be included in the Milano-Cortina 2026 Olympic program. In addition to dual moguls, the winter Olympics in Italy will feature women’s ski jumping large hill, bringing the total number of medal events to 58, three more than Beijing in 2022.

Ski mountaineering, which will likely include an American roster stacked with Colorado-based athletes, was also added to the Olympic calendar as an entirely new discipline.

Two of Owens’ three career podiums came in dual moguls, as did her lone World Cup victory in February 2021 in Deer Valley. She finished the 2022 season ranked third in the World Cup dual moguls standings.

Johnson, who has six career World Cup podiums, also claimed her only World Cup win in the dual moguls in 2018 in Tazawako, Japan. She finished third in Deer Valley in the event won by Owens in 2021 and was seventh in the World Cup dual moguls standings in 2022.

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