Knoepfel named coach of the year
Two years ago, when Bruce Knoepfel formed an independent racing team Iced Out Racing he wasnt sure how things were going to pan out.I was nervous I might be blowing it for the guys on the team, Knoepfel said. The water was pretty ripply at the time.But last weekend at the U.S. Alpine Championships, Knoepfel got some positive feedback on the team when he was awarded the United States Ski and Snowboard Associations Alpine Development Coach of the Year.Its great because now Bruce is recognized, said Hunter Schleper, a Vail skier with Iced Out Racing. Things have been working out really well.The award, Knoepfel said, is indicative of how his kids Schleper, Kitt Flowers, Kieffer Christianson and Cooper Cartmill skied this season.Its an acknowledgment of things these guys have accomplished, Knoepfel said. Its satisfying, and its cool everyone is recognizing us.At the J2 Junior Olympics, Iced Out Racing won three of four races, and the team found considerable success at other races throughout the year.Knoepfel, who has been coaching for 25 years, brought on an assistant coach to the team this year, Duffy Daniels.He should be nominated for assistant coach of the year, Knoepfel said.Iced Out Racing, which has three of its four racers from Vail, has an affiliation with Team Summit and trains mostly Summit County.
Crested Butte – At last weekends U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Telemark Championships in Crested Butte, Vail Mountains Kjell Ellefson topped all junior competitors to bring the Gore Rangers their first telemark title.Ellefson led after the first day and secured first place with a great run on the second day.Vail Mountains Rob Wear, who was second last year, grabbed third, while teammate Forrest Graves was fifth. Riley Ebel was third in the junior womens division.For a feature story on the Vail Mountain Telemark team, check out Mountain Pulse in this Fridays Vail Daily.
Winter Park – Ski & Snowboard Club Vails Jessica Delacenserie moved up two spots in her final run to take first in a slalom Friday at the Smartwool finals in Winter Park.Delacenserie, who was almost one second out of first place after her first run, had the fastest second run to finish in 2 minutes, 5.64 seconds, just 0.05 ahead of teammate Greta Byrne, who took silver.Both Delacenserie and Byrne are J3s and were tops among a field with plenty of J2 and J1 racers.In Thursdays giant slalom race, Byrne took second, while Delacenserie was third.
Killington, Vt. – Before heading off to the International Ski Federation World Junior Snowboarding Championships, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail riders grabbed some top results at the Grand Prix in Killington, Vt.SSCV rider Brennan Swanson qualified for the halfpipe finals and took 13th, while teammate Faye Gulini was 11th in the womens halfpipe qualifier, just missing the cutoff for finals.Gulini, however, would get right back on track with a fourth-place finish in the slopestyle competition.After the Grand Prix, the riders went to the U.S. Open, where Gulini took sixth in the slopestyle and SSCV rider and U.S. Snowboarding rookie rider Broc Waring took ninth. Lauren Staveley was fourth in the junior halfpipe.SSCV qualified 25 riders for the United States of America Snowboard Association Nationals, which start today at Copper.
Steamboat Springs – Earlier this month, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail brought seven athletes to the Freestyle Junior Olympics in Steamboat Springs.Kendall Deighan won the slopestyle event.It was pretty big, said Ski & Snowboard Club Vail freeride coach Beau Hanley. She won some other events this year and had a really good season. On her second run (in Steamboat), she landed a 900. Not many girls are landing 720s. Lizzie Seibert took fifth in the halfpipe event and was tops in her age group.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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