Youth skiers begin training at Copper today |

Youth skiers begin training at Copper today

Ryan Slabaugh

While Ski and Snowboard Club Vail might sing out of tune, its equipment is ready to wail. Because of the amount of white stuff that’s fallen over the last two weeks, the clubbers are heading to Copper Mountain today to begin the first day of practice on powder. After a long summer of dry-land training, a group of the ability-level skiers will get its first taste of gates this season.

“It’s a little bit earlier than last year,” men’s ability level coach Kevin McDevitt said. “We usually get going around the first of November.”

While a group of women’s ability level did travel to Europe this summer with coach Ethan Beck, including Kate Beardsley, Catherine Baskins and Juli Littman, for the most part, today’s action will literally break the ice.

J2s competing in this year’s FIS races include: Max Avery, Andy Banner, Andrew Bowden, Muzi Gaziolgu, Petey Seibert, Ross Herr, Trent Jones, Tyler Kjesbo and Nick Kullas. Other J1s and J2s competing in NORAM races include: Charles Belcher, Graham Dinkins-Eden, Ian Lochhead, Bo Maciejko, Bobby Poehling, Robert Gosiewski, Bobby Poehling and Chris Prem. Brandon Ghetia has moved into the club from Park City, Utah. Ghetia won the slalom championship at the Western Region Junior Olympics last season.

Two riders have crossed oceans to train with the club this year. Australian exchange skier Andrew McDonald raced at last year’s Junior World Championships for Team Australia and will be training in Vail this season. Einar-Marius Elurum, a Norwegian who competed on the Europa Cup Tour last year, will be training and competing in the early-season NORAMs.

The snowboard team will begin Friday, also at Copper. Lindsay Telling, Deacon Maloney, Sabrina Ste. Marie, Caitlin Rapson, Davis Engle, Julya Chapman, Tucker Lewandosky, Ryan Hackett, Ethan Enby and Samantha Russell will all be working towards that first competition Dec. 15 at Copper.

“They’re fit and ready to go,” snowboard coach Ben Boyd said.

The women’s ability level skiers will begin Nov. 13-14 at a Super Series (NORAM) giant slalom at the Loveland Ski Area, followed on Nov. 16-17 by the men, who will be competing in a Super Series (NORAM) slalom event.

Ryan Slabaugh is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at

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