Halfpipe season kicked off at the U.S. Revolution Tour at Copper Mountain last week. With the halfpipe competition at the Dew Tour cancelled, the event, on both sides, featured heightened competition as top names from the sport were looking to score time in the pipe.
“The athletes who usually compete at the Rev Tour are usually the second level in the sport, but many of the best athletes were here because the Dew Tour was cancelled,” said SSCV Freeskiing Program Director Elana Chase. “It was a great opportunity for our athletes to compete side by side with the top guys.”
SSCV’s Lennon Vaughn and Sammy Schuiling skied to bittersweet results. They finished in the first two spots outside qualification for the finals, 13th and 14th respectively, but on the bright side, each qualified for the World Cup, aka U.S. Grand Prix, to be held at Copper this week.
“This is a good starter event,” said Chase. “Everyone just put down their runs. That’s a good way to build confidence. It’s a great start to the season, even though it was a really late start.”
For women’s freeski, Allison Welsh was the leading competitor in 26th, followed by Brynn Wedlake in 28th. Welsh has also qualified for the World Cup.
“(Welsch) doesn’t have any easy tricks in her run, with corked left and right nines. That’s just the way she chooses to do it,” said Chase. “Adding those elements didn’t get her the score she wanted, but she got confidence going into the World Cup.”
In the snowboard contest on Thursday, there was equally heavy competition. Former SSCV athletes Ryan Wachendorfer and Zoe Kalapos, now members of the U.S. Snowboarding team, finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Wachendorfer had the leading result for the Americans.
Current SSCV athletes Jack Coyne and Ian Kalapos finished 29th and 42nd, respectively.