SSCV’s Nordic takes on best teams in the West
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Nordic squad appears to be on track as it competed at the Junior Olympic Qualifiers (JOQ) in Soldier Hollow, Utah, last weekend.The JOQs featured all of the top juniors from Colorado, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Utah, with close to 700 athletes gunning for spots at the Junior Nationals in March.”If you do well at this competition, then you’re doing really well,” coach Eric Pepper said.Well, then, SSCV’s Nordic team is doing very well, indeed.The competition started on Friday with a 1.3-kilometer classic sprint for the men and women. Hannah Hardenbergh came through the sprint heats with the fastest qualifying run. She ended the day in seventh for the J2 women. Hardenbergh’s teammate Christian Shanley sprinted his way to a second for the J1 men and fourth overall.The competition resumed on Saturday with a 5K skate for the J2 women, and Hardenbergh ramped it up to finish first.”Hardenbergh just skied away from the field,” coach Dan Weiland said. “It was an impressive win for her.”In the men’s 15K skate race, Cal Deline skied to a first for the J1 men and third overall, with SSCV teammate Mike Vigers on his heels to finish third for the older juniors and fourth overall. Christian Kloser raced his way to fifth for the older junior men, and Shanley took a fifth for the J1 age class.”It was a great weekend for our team,” Weiland said. “From here, we will be going to the Junior National Qualifiers in Durango on Feb. 24 and 25 with high hopes.” Freestyle team takes on Breck’s Mach 1Known as one of the steepest mogul runs around, Breckenridge’s Mach 1 is a very challenging hill just to ski down and even more challenging trying to go fast in a competitive bump contest.”The Mach is a legendary mogul venue,” coach Mike Friedberg said. “And competing on the run is a right of passage.”Billed as the Breckenridge Rock on the Mach, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Hunter Bailey rocked the course to reach the podium in third place for Saturday’s open mogul competition.”This is the first time I’ve been able to put two runs together down this course,” Bailey said. “It’s nice to go into the competition here on this hill and not struggle the whole time.””Saturday was Bailey’s first podium finish at this level,” Friedberg said. “This is the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.”Bailey’s teammate Erin Coyne skied to fourth for the women in the open moguls on Saturday, and this was her first competition after a concussion injury at Steamboat three weeks ago.”I’m super proud of Coyne for coming back after being out of training and competition for as long as she was,” Friedberg said.Sunday had the bump skiers in a dual mogul contest, and Bailey charged the hill to a fourth, with Chris Leseur in eighth for the men.In the women’s dual moguls, Coyne took her runs to a fifth-place finish.SSCV’s next stop on the freestyle mogul tour will be in Telluride on Feb. 3-5.J5 team shines at SunlightSki & Snowboard Club Vail traveled to Sunlight Mountain Resort with 46 boys and girls for the J5 Festival slalom on Saturday. The boys and girls had two one-run slalom races on Saturday, with the SSCV girls taking control of the leader board in the morning race with a podium sweep.Cleo Braun, Allie Resnick, and Falyn Pykkonen, took first, second, and third in the morning slalom. Jordon McMurtry, Kaitlyn Harsch, Caroline Jones, and Samantha Trudeau made the top ten finishing fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively. Marley Chappel and Jenevieve McMurtry finished in 11th and 15th.In the morning slalom for the SSCV boys, Fletcher Holm took the win, with teammates Henry Heaydon and Kellen Kinsella finishing third and fourth.In the afternoon slalom for the SSCV girls, well, they took control again placing ten racers into the top 15.Braun took her second win of the day with Jones getting the silver. Harsch, Resnick, Pykkonen, Jenevieve McMurtry, Austin Obourn, Chappel, Trudeau, and Jordan McMurtry, rounded out the first page of results (top 15) finishing fourth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, 11th, 12th, and 15th, respectively.The SSCV boys saw Heaydon, Kinsella, Andrew Stevens, and Ian McCormick finish fourth, sixth, tenth, and 13th, respectively, in the afternoon SL.”It’s great to have our kids step it up against clubs from four different states,” said J5 coach Penny Hietala. “Being our first slalom event of the season, SSCV’s J5 team got to put their technical skills to use on race day.”The SSCV J5 team travels to Winter Park this weekend.
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