Strong Showing for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s Big Mountain Team |

Strong Showing for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s Big Mountain Team

Daily staff reportNewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

Nine athletes from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Big Mountain Team opened the season at Red Mountain, British Columbia, for the 10th annual Canadian Open Freeskiing Championships, last weekend.Big mountain events like the Canadian Open take place on steep mountain faces allowing competitors to use the natural features of the venue (cliffs, rockbands, windlips, spines) to display their skiing abilities. Competitors are judged on five categories: line choice, control, fluidity, technique and aggressiveness.Athletes from the US and Canada battled some challenging conditions during the qualifier on Friday. Judges had to be repositioned on the course to view the athletes due to blowing snow, low clouds and fog. A record eight SSCV athletes advanced to finals on Saturday,much to the delight of SSCV coaches Garrett Scahill and Mark Fillipini.”I’m really proud of our team,” Scahill said. “We had three athletes who competed for the first time. The team trained really hard and this was a great comp for them to get under their belts. The competition was strong but our kids held their own against athletes from big mountain meccas like Banff, Revelstoke and Fernie.”Christian Nichols skied a high speed, fluid line in finals, finishing sixth in the 16-18 age group. Eighteen-year old Trevor Haley took an aggressive line off Dinosaur Rock, but could not hold on to the landing. He finished 14th. Kevin Nichols put together two solid runs to lead the 12-15 year old boys’ division for SSCV, placing eighth. Mathieu L’Esperance followed him in 12th, who skied two consistent runs and earned high marks for technique and fluidity. Jack Nichols’ skied a strong, fast run in finals moving him into 14th place, followed by Erik Hilb in 15th. Hilb showed great creativity and style on the venue. Grifen Moller and Gabe Suszynski finished 16th and 22nd, respectively, demonstrating great poise and confidence in their first-ever big mountain comp. The team heads to the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships in Crested Butte February 14-16. SSCV cross teams do well at SteamboatSki and Snowboard Club Vail’s snowboarders and skiers took to the hill this past weekend at Steamboat to compete in a USASA boadercross (BX) and skiercross (SX).In Saturday’s BX contest for the SSCV girls, Emily Duncan and Isabelle Deforest placed fourth and fifth in the 12-13 year old age group. For SSCV’s boarders, Jack Coyne placed second for the 8-9 year old boys, Cameron Chaney took first for the 10-11 year old boys, and Reed Courtney and Senna Leith rode to second and third, respectively, in the 12-13 year old group.”Chaney pulled out strong the whole day with a fast qualification run, and took it through to the finals winning the gold in his age group,” said coach Nikita Apostol. “Leith and Courtney battled it out in their division making it to finals.”In Saturday’s SX, SSCV’s Rachele Courtney took first for the 10-12 year old girls, while Izak Little took first for the 10-12 year old boys.In the open class SX, Cristhian Ravelo took second place. “Ravelo had the fastest qualifying run of the day, and in finals pulled out of a three person pile up to place 2nd in his 2nd ever skiercross,” coach Apostole said.In Sunday’s competition, Deforest and Duncan took second and third, respectively for the 12-13 year old girls, Chaney finished first for the 10-11 year old boys, and Courtney and Leith placed third and fourth, respectively, for the 12-13 year old boys.For Sunday’s SX, both Little and Courtney finished first in their age groups.In the open class, Ravelo took the gold. “The most exciting race of the day was the men’s open skier-x,” said apostole. “Ravelo took the lead after playing cat and mouse with the other three men in the final round.”

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