SSCV qualify 9 freeski and snowboard athletes for Junior World Championships
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) will send nine athletes to the International Ski Federation (FIS) snowboard and freeski Junior World Championships in Leysin, Switzerland. Seven snowboarders and two freeskiers will compete in the slopestyle/big air and halfpipe sectors. These prestigious invites are the culmination of years of dedication and determination from the athletes and coaches involved, and of course, SSCV’s guiding 3C’s principle (character, courage, and commitment).
The snowboard and freeski Junior Worlds slopestyle/big air and halfpipe competitions enable athletes of birth year 2004-2008 to compete against the best junior athletes in the world. Those qualified for slopestyle will compete in both slopestyle and big air which both consist of qualification rounds which determine the 12-person final.
Athletes who qualified for snowboard or freeski Junior Worlds have been progressing towards this for years. Athletes first worked their way through the grassroots United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) competition series in their local region, scoring enough points to eventually get invitations to the Futures Tour, a collaboration between USASA and U.S. Ski & Snowboard designed as the entry level into FIS competitions.
Competitors who can score enough points (or alternatively, take a first or second place podium) qualify for the Revolution Tour. From there, the top six U18 athletes in each event are invited to Junior Worlds for their respective discipline. Athletes that compete and score particularly well at Junior Worlds have the potential opportunity to be named to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard National Team and/or obtain World Cup starts, the track towards evenutal Olympic nomination.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for these athletes to qualify for such a world-class competition,” said Chris Laske, SSCV Freeski & Snowboard Program Director. “Watching them grow from young skiers and riders to the top of the junior ranks as U18’s has been huge, and it’s been an honor to help them on their journey.”
When Laske joined SSCV in 2015 as Snowboard Program Director he was focused on creating a robust development pipeline, starting athletes as young as 6 years old in the one-day-a-week rookie team. The early start helps create a strong foundation for athletes to excel from. Not long after Laske joined the Club, SSCV transitioned to a model emulating U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s with both the snowboard and freeski disciplines falling under one umbrella. With Laske at the helm, freeski and snowboard athletes train together.
His world-class coaching staff has utilized the incredible facilities at their disposal — a pump track, super tramp, rail garden with rope tow, mini-ramp and two strength and conditioning facilities (as well as access to a nearby skate park and summer and fall water ramp camps in Park City) — to ensure the development and progression of elite athletes.
“It has been awesome bringing the snowboard and freeski athletes together to train; they have the same essential needs and having a larger group makes for such an incredible community,” said Laske.
“With such a strong group of kids, they all push and motivate each other — and themselves — to be the best they possibly can be. It’s really amazing to watch.”
Brooklyn DePriest – Slopestyle (USA)
Evan Wrobel – Slopestyle (USA)
Hayden Tyler – Slopestyle (USA)
Kade Martin – Halfpipe (USA)
Olivia Lisle – Halfpipe (USA)
Oliver Martin – Halfpipe (USA) (declined invitation to compete stateside in Slopestyle)
Gus Teixeira – Halfpipe and Slopestyle (Brazil)
Matthew LaBaugh – Halfpipe (USA)
Elaina Krusewski – Slopestyle (USA)