VAIL, Colo. – A-Basin was the place to be this past weekend for Rocky Mountain Freestyle’s Rocky Qualifier Series (RQS) Championships on March 6 and 8 and Rocky Development (Devo) Mogul Championships on March 7 and 8. The RQS featuring talented mid-level athletes aged 10 and above and the Devo championships inviting promising skiers under the age of 15 to go head-to-head in moguls and dual moguls.
And though the course was well built, the snow was less than optimal for a smooth bump run. Despite the challenges presented by the conditions, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) skiers had several standout performances.
In the Devo championship, SSCV’s Elle Keenan finished 3rd overall in the female U13 age group after rocking through the mogul event. Teammates Landon Glover and Micah Torres also did well in the open moguls, coming home with silver and bronze respectively in the male U9 division.
The RQS championships were equally successful for the SSCV skiers that participated. One standout performance came from Mahlia Torres, a 5th grader at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy. The 10-year-old beat out 28 other skiers – most of whom were three to four years older than her – with poise beyond her years to grab second place overall. In the men’s open mogul event, SSCV’s Leo Soulakis finished 8th in a field of 48. He was followed shortly by teammates Simon Cope and Beckett Dickson who came in 11th and 12th respectively. As a result of his strong performance, Dickson won the M11 age division with more than 5 point lead between him and the second place finisher.
“All of our SSCV athletes skied well in the largest field of the season,” said SSCV’s mogul devo head coach, Brad Kreuz. “Conditions were very difficult due to freeze and thaw cycles that left a firm sun crust with sugar beneath into which skiers began to punch early in the day. Nevertheless, our skiers were up to the challenge. They threw down some impressive runs and had a blast doing it.”