Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) ski racers are in the midst of championship season. It has been an action packed week for our alpine athletes with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) sanctioned U16 Rocky / Central Junior Championships for 2000 and 2001 birth years at Golden Peak, U14 Rocky / Central Junior Championships for 2002 and 2003 birth years in Winter Park and U12 Rocky Mountain Division Championships for 2004 and 2005 birth years at Powderhorn Mountain. The Rocky / Central Region includes all of the clubs from the Rocky Mountain and Central Divisions of USSA.
SSCV hosted 180 of the top U16 athletes in the region and their families for downhill, super g, giant slalom and slalom competitions along with social events and banquets. Many thanks go out to Vail Resorts, Vail Race and Cat Crews, our sponsors, including Title Sponsor Alpine Bank, parent volunteers, coaches and athletes for making this event a huge success.
Going into the championships, SSCV had qualified forty-two out of a total of ninety available Rocky Mountain Division spots available. Coming out of the championships, SSCV athletes captured fifty-four of eighty available top ten race spots and seventeen of twenty-four available gold, silver and bronze medal finishes. This resulted in SSCV athletes capturing eight of ten “Top 10 Overall Awards” for both boys and girls:
Fourth –Taylor Brandt
Fifth –Tegan Wold
Sixth –Allie Resnick
Seventh – Michaela Strizencova
Eighth – Caroline Jones
Tenth – Ainsley Profit
First – Gus Leblanc
Second – Burke Fancher
Third – Zane Worrell
Fourth – Max Bervy
Fifth – Eric Negomir
Sixth – Kellen Kinsella
Seventh – Blake Bathum
Ninth – Maxwell Timm
These eight boys and nine girls including injured athlete Kaitlyn Harsch were selected for U16 National Championships out of a total of eleven spots per gender for the region. The U16 Nationals in Snowbird bring together the top U16 alpine racers in the country to compete, as well as participate in on-snow skills and assessments, hoping to earn a national championship and spot on USSA’s National Training Group.
SSCV qualified twenty-four girls and fifteen boys to compete against the top 2002 and 2003 alpine racers from the Rocky Central Region in super g, giant slalom, slalom and kombi at these regional championships. SSCV girls captured twenty-two out of sixty top 10 spots and seven out of eighteen top 3 spots while the SSCV boys captured eight top 10 spots and two top 3 spots across all races. Wyatt Hall, Fletcher Holm, Kai McGuffin, Berit Frischholz, Nicola Rountree-Williams, Hailey Harsch, Gabriella Holm and Taylor Hoyt captured eight of the “Top 10 Overall Awards” for the championships. The next closest club in the region captured two, reaffirming the depth of the field and the SSCV team. Frischholz was U14 Overall Champion for the event.
Five top performing 2002 year of birth U14 boys and girls qualified for the U16 National Championships coming out of this event, including SSCV’s Frischholz, Rountree-Williams, Gabriella Holm and Kai McGuffin.
Five U14 boys and girls had the opportunity to qualify to compete against the top eastern and Canadian racers birth years 2002 and 2003 at the CanAm, including SSCV’s Wyatt Hall and Hailey Harsch.
The U12 Rocky Mountain Division Championships attracted over two hundred USSA age class racers birth years 2004 and 2005 from throughout the region to compete in two slalom and two giant slalom races and a USSA SkillsQuest competition at Powderhorn Mountain. SSCV took twenty-four of the available forty top ten spots for both girls and boys and ten of the available twelve top three podiums for both boys and girls. SSCV also won the USSA Rocky Mountain Division First Place Team Award and our athletes won the top spot for both boys and girls in the SkillsQuest competition. There were great performances seen by everyone. SSCV boys comprised 15% of the boy’s field and received 83% of the top three podium finishes. SSCV girls comprised 33% of the girl’s field and also received 83% of the top three podium finishes.
Winning incidental to the process
Each of the SSCV athletes participating in these championships pushed their limits and strove for their personal bests to highlight their season long progress. It is the life lessons learned through a competitive snow sport that build character traits that last a lifetime. As a 2015 SSCV Wall of Excellence inductee shared last February, “My teammates taught me how to lose and that participating in the sport was the important part. If winning happened that was a bonus!”