Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Big Mountain athletes have strong showing on Lover’s Leap
With varying conditions between two days of skiing and snowboarding at the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association’s regional competitions at Vail Mountain’s Lover’s Leap course, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes adapted and secured 27 of the top 10 spots across the board.
On Wednesday, SSCV boys Levi Flach, Tanner Havenstrite and ZJ Chenault broke into the top 10 for U12 skiers with high technical scores. Flach stepped up to the podium in third, followed by Havenstrite in sixth and Chenault in eighth. On the girls side, Tyler Minnick fell just outside the podium in fourth and Vanessa Conty landed in ninth for the day. SSCV snowboarder Luis Gene took home a silver medal for his performance among the U12 boys, and teammate Griffin Applegate rounded out the field in seventh place. U12 snowboarder Ziva Levy also took home second for the girls.
With half a foot of powder falling during Thursday’s competition, athletes navigated the tricky course with reduced visibility and shifting snow. In the girls 12-14 skier age group, SSCV’s Kailey Thayer scored a place on the podium in second and Sydney Thompson, Lola Behlendorf and Sloane Thompson snagged fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively. Among the 12- to 14-year-old boys, Alex Paul and Henry Falk secured silver and bronze medals for their technical finesse on skis. They were followed by Gage Sawyer in sixth; Zeke Willard in eighth; Vincent Mangat in ninth; and Colby Saunders in 10th. Oscar Wood and Kaleb Gibbs, two SSCV snowboarders aged 13 and 12, just missed the podium in their category, claiming fourth and fifth, respectively. SSCV’s Jenna Meyers took home the win in the female skier 15-18 age group with teammates Caroline Ungar grabbing a podium finish in third and Kate Pitkin following close behind in fourth. On the boys side, Samuel Heller and Finn Griffith landed silver and bronze medals, and Erik Jaerbyn took fourth in a field of 19 skiers between the ages of 15 and 18. Teammate Miles Sawyer finished the day in eighth place.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in this competition this year, and the sport in general,” said SSCV’s Big Mountain head coach Matt Luczkow. “In U12, we had almost 30 of our athletes competing and almost 30 competing in the next day’s event. The sport is continuing to grow and more kids are finding it and gaining access to it.”
Complete results and photos: vaildaily.com/sports/photos-and-results-vail-2021-big-mountain-ski-and-snowboard-competition/