Strong finishes by Ski Club in Aspen
VAIL — Ski & Snowboard Club Vail has much to celebrate following the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s second National Performance Series project, held last week in Aspen.
This project brings the nation’s best 16- through 18-year-old boys together three times throughout the season in an educational environment for training and competition while working with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association and club and academy coaches.
The first of the National Performance Series projects focused on slalom and was hosted by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail in November. Due to limited giant slalom terrain in the east, the giant slalom segment of this series was moved from Stowe, Vermont, to Aspen.
Each of the three United States Ski and Snowboard Association regions can send a quota of twenty athletes to the National Performance Series. The following athletes, ordered below by year of birth, were invited to participate in this project, the largest representation by far of athletes of any club in the Rocky Central Region:
1999: Jacob Dilling, Bridger Gile, Brendan Keane, Colby Lange, Matthew Macaluso and Patrick Ottley.
1998: Jack Keane, Kaison Lavicka, Kyle Negomir and River Radamus.
1997: Logan Martin and Tagert Mueller.
Following two days of training, these athletes competed in two giant slalom National Junior Races and one Federation of International Skiing giant slalom race.
Top 1995 and 1996 birth year racers from across the country were invited to join the athletes in this race series, creating a field of 80-plus racers.
Six Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes placed twice in the top fifteen across the three races — Dilling, Gile, Jack Keane, Lange and Radamus, as well as recent alumnus Clay Kirkwood, with Gile, Radamus and Keane seeing three top-15 finishes. Macaluso and Negomir also earned top-15 finishes.
Radamus finished first for juniors (birth year 1997 and younger) in all three races, while also taking second overall in two of the three races and third overall in the third race. Kirwood also took an impressive third overall in the second race.
“We are extremely proud of the performances of our athletes and alumni in these races,” said Karen Ghent, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Alpine Program Director. “Their hard work both on and off snow year round at their age is paying off. And to have four athletes — Dilling, Gile, Lange and Macaluso achieve top 15s as 1999 year of birth athletes during their first year competing at this level is truly notable.”
The super-G portion of the National Performance Series project is scheduled to take in Mount Bachelor, Oregon, from April 10-12.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.