SSCV’s Megan McGrew, Quintin Cook, Jack Keane, and River Radamus were among the 26 J3 skiers from across the U.S. invited to attend the 2011 USSA Junior Champions Camp held at Copper Mountain November 5-12. This camp brought together the nations top 13 and 14-year old alpine skiers for early season training, focusing on the same fundamentals used by U.S. Ski Team coaches with their athletes.
“I think it’s so great that out of 26 of the best J3s in the country, 4 of them are from Vail,” said SSCV coach Melissa Jones. “The kids get to ski from 8:30 to 3 P.M. focusing on fundamentals. After their ski day, they’ve played wally ball, participated in pool recovery workouts, and sat in on talks from U.S. Ski Team coaches.”
Jones said she was particularly impressed with the improvement among the skiers during the slalom progression, which included having them skiing on one ski all day.
“It seems like this camp was an incredible opportunity for these exceptional athletes to get their fundamentals absolutely dialed before the race season kicks off, and also learn from top USST coaches,” said Jones.
“It was a really good experience to be able to ski with some of the best kids in the country,” said SSCV’s Quintin Cook. “I got a lot better and had a great time.”
The Rocky Mountain Division of USSA held its own early season training camps this fall called the Podium Projects. These camps were comprised of skiers who reached the podium (the top three) in championship races held during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 ski seasons. These camps included athletes 11 years of age and older.
The on-snow training began for the Podium Project at Copper Mountain on October 27-30 and then came to Vail on November 3-6.
Out of the 71 athletes selected for the Podium Project Team, 23 were from SSCV.
“We really focused on getting a lot of gate training at these early season sessions,” said SSCV coach Rob Worrell. “With the great environment you see the great peer pace. When they see these great skiers go down the course they try to match their intensity and emulate their technique and tactics.”