Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Big Mountain Team traveled to Wyoming for the fourth stop on the Junior Freeskiing Tour (JFT) last weekend, 3/16 through 3/18. Ten SSCV athletes competed in three age classes at Grand Targhee’s Resort in Alta, Wyoming.
The JFT, a premier event series for Junior Big Mountain Freeskiing, is open to girls and boys ages 12-18. Points are awarded for the top 15 finishes at each stop and tallied for overall tour standings.
And on this stop, Kevin Nichols scored some serious points.
SSCV’s Nichols won the boys 12-14 age division with the highest line score of the day earning him 39.00 points and a first place finish. This win catapulted 13 year-old Nichols from 34th on the overall tour standings to fifth. Kevin’s older brother, Christian, currently stands in fourth on the tour for the 15-18 year-old boys.
“Kevin skied a line that many of the boys in the older division were skiing,” SSCV’s big mountain coach Garrett Scahill said. “Nichols has one more year left in this age class. He has been struggled this season to put together two winning runs back to back. He did it this weekend and ended up beating three of the top tour leaders.”
SSCV’s Aidan Stege was the top finisher for the boys 15-18 year-old division. Sitting in 12th place after his qualifying run with a score of 32.83, 16 year-old Stege skied a high speed, aggressive run in finals scoring 39.50 putting him comfortably into 8th place.
“This is Aidan’s first year in this age class,” said Scahill. “He’s really stepped up his skiing. We’re looking forward to more great results from him.”
For the girls, SSCV’s Anna Suszynski took 4th for the 15-18 year old division. Anna’s 4th place finish moved her into 5th place in the overall tour standings with two events left to go.
Scahill’s team had seven athletes qualify for finals at this national tour stop including Mathieu L’Esperance, Christian Nichols, Max Pierce and Zeke Pierce.
“Our team consistently skis above their age ability. They ski fast, fluid lines and demonstrate great control,” Scahill said. “Our club is well respected on the tour and our athletes have a reputation for being aggressive, technical skiers. I’m proud of every athlete on this team and all that they’ve accomplished, individually and collectively.”
The Big Mountain Team heads to Taos, New Mexico for their next event March 30-April 1.