Ski and Snowboard Club Vail”s Big Mountain Team wraps season
SNOWBIRD, Utah – Ten Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s big mountain athletes made the final stop on the Junior Freeskiing Tour last weekend at Snowbird, Utah, for the Junior Freeskiing Tour World Junior Championships. MMathieu L’Esperance, Kevin Gillie, Mitch Gilman, Erik Hilb, Matt Kramer, Grifen Moller, Jack Nichols, Kevin Nichols, Aidan Stege and Michael Thompson joined 130 athletes in what organizers called the largest junior big mountain competition to-date.Local skiers Anais Coudouy and Anna Suszynski also competed. Saturday’s qualifier had Kramer, Gillie, Gilman, Jack Nichols and Kevin Nichols making the finals “We have some of the best technical skiers on the tour, and we’ve consistently had athletes in the top ten at every single stop this season,” said Garrett Scahill, SSCV’s big mountain coach.In the finals, Kevin Nichols led the 12-14-year-old boys with a ninth-place finish, followed by Gilman in 10th, Jack Nichols 11th and Kramer 16th. Gillie finished in 16th place for the 15-17-year-old boys. The 2011 overall tour standings had five of SSCV’s big mountain athletes breaking into the top 15 for the 12-14-year-old boys. Hilb had a solid season claiming the top spot for Vail in eighth place overall followed by Kevin Nichols in 11th, Jack Nichols 12th, Gilman 14th and Gabe Suszynski 15th. L’Esperance, Stege and Moller followed in 16th, 17th and 29th place, respectively. Christian Nichols earned the top finish for Vail in the older division placing 17th, followed by Kevin Gillie in 32nd. Anna Suszynski took sixth at Snowbird and finished fifth overall for girls 15-17 years old. “Our team has grown considerably. We had a really successful season,” said Scahill. “I can’t wait to see what these athletes will do next year.”Cummings third USASA Nationals COPPER MOUNTAIN – The USASA Nationals wrapped up Tuesday, and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s Freeride Team had athletes competing in open class skiercross, slopestyle, and halfpipe. “With the different disciplines involved, they all play into each other,” said coach Dave Zweig. “There is a correlation between halfpipe and slopestyle in the trick base and takeoff. The SSCV kids that do both are very versatile.”In Tuesday’s halfpipe, Jake Cummings, Zach Fedrizzi, Cole Pates, Jesse Ridler, Cas Sheridan, and Bobby Sonntag took their turn at the track for the 13-15-year-old boys, and Cummings skied his way to a third place. Sheridan finished on Cummings’ heels in fourth, Sonntag finished ninth, and Fedrizzi took 11th. In Tuesday’s open class skiercross, Cristhian Ravelo took seventh, missing the finals by one spot.”Ravelo was in contention, and qualified third in the time trials,” said Zweig. “He got boxed out in one of his runs and couldn’t make a pass, and that kept him out of the finals.”In the slopestyle for the 10-12-year-old boys, Izak Little, Shane Ridler, and Felix Coudouy competed, and they all skied strong.”All the boys are picking up on being consistent from one event to the other,” said Zweig. “Overall, it was a great week for SSCV’s freeride team.”Trudeau, LeBlanc, and Keane take home winsBEAVER CREEK – Ski and Snowboard Club Vail saw plenty of success for the GS Spectacular held at Beaver Creek on Saturday. The giant slalom race played host to J5 racers and older, with some collegiate racers taking their turn at the hill.The J5 girls took to the track first with SSCV’s Brianna Trudeau claiming the gold for both her runs. Elise Viola placed third in the first run, and Clementine Perkins and Sylka Snyder took second and third, respectively, in the day’s second run.The J5 boys saw SSCV’s Gus LeBlanc win both his runs while teammate Maxwell Pierce placed third in the second run.”It is a privilege to be racing on the same course as these collegiate athletes,” said J5 coach Rika Moore. “The young racers can compare themselves directly to the older skiers, which is great.”For the J4 boys, Jack Keane won both his runs with Colby Lange placing second in the first race and Jack’s brother, Brendan Keane, placing third in the second race.”Jack Keane had a really good race today,” said coach Ian Lochhead. “He just got back from races in Canada, and after seeing some high level skiing, he realized he is going to have to step it up to be where he wants to be.”The J4 girls had Nellie Talbot and Katelin Hennum place second and third in race one, and Talbot taking second again in race two with Haley Frischholz in third. SSCV’s Heidi Livran placed third for the J3 women, and placed seventh overall, while Clayton Kirwood took third for the J3 men, and 15th overall.”Heidi had great day today,” said coach Sara Radamus. “She skied aggressively and figured it out after training on this hill Friday.”For the men, Anthony Romano took second for the J2 age group, fifth overall, Colin Hayes finished third for the J2 men, seventh overall, and Alex Leever finished fourth for the J2 men and eighth overall.