Ski and Snowboard Club Vail athletes bound for Junior Olympics
VAIL, Colorado A whopping 19 Ski & Snowboard Club Vail J3 racers have qualified for the 2009 USSA Rocky/Central Junior Olympics at Vail and Beaver Creek March 5-11.After a season of Junior Olympic qualifying events, and after some great results at the Winter Park Junior Olympic Qualifiers recently, the following SSCV athletes have earned their spot to represent the Rocky Mountain Division of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association to compete against other Rocky Mountain skiers, as well as skiers from USSAs Central Division.SSCV women going to the J3 JOs are Celine Guilmineau, Katharine Irwin, Mallory Slicker, Isabelle Zaik-Hodgkins, Caroline Byrne, Eva Spaeh, Olivia Swift, Kendall VanHee, and Kiersten Weiss. SSCV men going to the J3 JOs are Nick Braun, Anthony Romano, Barry Brinton, Thomas Walsh, Alex Leever, Thomas Grant, Connor Reynolds, Greycody Johns, Nick Santaniello, and Nicky Romano.There is one more opportunity for ski racers to qualify for the J3 JOs in the Council Cup at Ski Cooper Feb. 28-March 2 when athletes will be racing in a super-G, two giant slaloms, and two slaloms.Freestyle Junior OlympicsAs with the alpine skiers, three freestyle skiers from SSCV have earned their berths for the JOs as of Feb 20, with a chance for one more to make it. For these skiers, the Junior Olympics are a national event and are at Waterville Valley, N.H., March 9-15.They are Heidi Kloser, Kristi Waring, and Andre Lane.Freeride teamIn freeriding, SSCVs Kendall Deighan finished in first in the halfpipe in Aspen last weekend. Deighan also took home the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Athlete of the Year. Deighan has won all of the USSA contests she has been in this year except for one.The coaches and athletes have been on a whirlwind of events and are just now taking some time to breath, said freeride program director Noah Brooks.Adam Crooke, another SSCV standout athlete walked away with the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Rookie of the Year. Also qualified are seven athletes to the Junior Olympics in Waterville Valley, N.H. Crooke, Michael Wilhelm, John Leonard, Tanner Coulter, Christian Revello, Broby Leeds, Christian Pellerito, and Deighan will all battle it out with the top juniors in the country on March 11-12.On the pro side of things, Angeli VanLaanen took first place at the first Park City (Utah) World Cup for halfpipe. At the Aspen Open, Kendall Deighan took seventh place overall in halfpipe and Kristi Leskinen took second place for slopestyle.Inthe big-mountain side of things the freeride team just returned from Crested Butte for the U.S. Freesking Championships. After the first day, Lizzie Seibert and Christian Nichols sat in first place. Gunnar Hamina and Max Darsonval both qualified to the finals as well. On the final day, Seibert earned a second-place finish. Nichols went head-to-head with some very talented skiers and and fell in his final run. Hamina finished in 12th place and Max Darsonval 24th.The next stops for the freeride team are the U.S. Open, Junior Olympics, European Open, USSA Nationals, and USASA Nationals.