VAIL, Colo. – United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) age class athletes as young as seven years old from the Rocky Mountain Division travelled to Telluride, Colorado this weekend to participate in the USSA Rocky Mountain Division U10 Alpine Championships. Eighteen Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) boys and girls battled it out in a field of over 115 athletes in the slalom and giant slalom events over the course of two days.
After the initial training day, the young athletes were ready to take to the course in the first of two single run giant slalom (GS) races. On the girls’ side, SSCV’s Kristina Shamshuryn came out of the gate with intensity and purpose, finishing her first run tied for 6th place. Just 13 hundredths of a second behind her was teammate Piper Anderson in 8th. The second run proved to be equally successful for the girls, with Elizabeth Keannealey bouncing back from a crash on her first run to finish just outside the podium in 4th place. Trailing right behind her was Shamshuryn in 5th, then Stella Phillips closing out the top 10.
SSCV boys saw similar results when they took to the GS course later that day, with their focus being on technique and control with increased speed. Aidan Wick, a 4th grader at Red Sandstone Elementary School, stood above the rest with two back-to-back 1st place finishes. Seger Pomerantz joined Wick on the podium after he tied for 3rd on his first run, followed by a 7th place finish on his second with a big mistake at the bottom. Max Hudgins took 9th in the first run. Calen White closed out the first run in 10th and the second run tied for 10th.
Sunday, March 8, wrapped up with two single run slalom races for both the boys and the girls. Building on his speed from the day before, White fought to distance himself from the rest of the competition. The 9-year-old demonstrated composure and dexterity in the final day of the championship series – enough to secure him a silver medal for his first run and 4th place for his second. Teammates Pomerantz, Wick, Cooper Dolsen and Rylan Sinclair were among the top ten in 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th, respectively. In the second run SSCV’s Hudgins came in 6th and Dolsen in 8th.
The girls had a great final day on the hill as well. 9-year-old Piper Anderson showcased her quick consistency with two 4th place finishes. Elizabeth Kennealey and Winter Phillips came in 6th and 7th on their first runs, then 7th and 6th on their second in a bout of friendly competition.
SSCV Youth Alpine Program Director, Alissa Consenstein, was thrilled by the performance of the U10 athletes this season, “Telluride hosts a phenomenal championship for our U10s each year. We are so lucky to be able to go down a day early in order to have our athletes train on the race hill, followed by a community ski around the mountain with athletes, siblings and parents in the afternoon. We are very proud of the effort that each of our athletes has put in this season. All of our athletes have made tremendous progress and we were happy that some were able to showcase the progress they have made at this event! This year at Telluride proved to be another successful championship with smiling and confident kids.”