Vail, Colo. January 18, 2023 –   This past Sunday 220 development level alpine ski racers, part of the US Ski & Snowboard (USSS) Rocky Mountain Division (RMD) Youth Ski League (YSL) descended upon Golden Peak to demonstrate the strength of those skills deemed foundational by USSS for the next generation of alpine ski racers. The athletes were year of birth 2007 to 2016, representing clubs across the RMD division, in the 2nd annual, ‘Head Rebels RMD YSL SkillsQuest Extravaganza’.  Hosted by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV), SSCV athletes performed well in the SkillsQuest competition, including 19 athletes in the top ten between the U8-U16 age groups.

Another component of the SkillsQuest event was a ‘skiing scavenger hunt’ around the Vail ski area. The coaches and athletes were given clues to find certain items, landmarks, or specific ski runs, while it led them around the Vail ski area. “A huge part of this event is to develop a passion for the sport, and we accomplish this goal by making it an all day fun event for the kids, while they are challenged to learn important skills in their skiing. The schedule for the day keeps the kids focused and busy, and is a great way to get the athletes and coaches out on the mountain exploring. For most of the visiting teams, it was the first time they had skied all around the Vail ski area”, said Anje Worrell, SSCV Alpine Part-Time Programs Head Coach.

During the SkillsQuest portion, the competitors made their way through four skills stations dispersed throughout Golden Peak. This event is designed to provide an engaging learning environment where athletes, coaches and parents are able to gain insight on the strength of a ski racer’s fundamental skills, the essential building blocks to a successful alpine ski racing trajectory.

The SkillsQuest had four separate skill stations where 8 seasoned evaluators scored athletes on balance (free ski with pole usage), edging (outside ski turns), pressure (pole jumpers), and rotary (straight run to side slip with edge set).  The individual scores of each athlete from each station are averaged to come up with an athlete’s overall results. “Mastering these skills is imperative in order for the athletes to take their alpine ski racing to the next level, which is why it is so important to enable all young USSS ski racers to know where they stand in their personal progression, and to be able to set personal goals to attain these skills,” said Worrell.

The SkillsQuest evaluators were all high level professional coaches, including former US Ski Team coaches, as well as former and current club leaders from across the Rocky Mountain Division. “We are very grateful for the involvement of the 8 evaluators whose thoughtfulness and knowledgeable eye in scoring these athletes contributed a great deal to the overall success of the SkillsQuest event. The availability of a SkillsQuest competition at not only the age class level but, for the second year, at the YSL level greatly progresses these development level athletes, and the sport itself,” said Worrell

At the end of the day, the athletes all received goodie bags, and an awards ceremony took place, which packed the SSCV clubhouse patio. Athletes in the top ten in each age class by gender were recognized, and this was just some of the fun team-building moments that took place this past Sunday.

Worrell said, “Many thanks goes out to Vail Mountain, the parents, coaches and athletes for making this past Sunday such a great day.  The growth this season to date has been phenomenal for our SSCV Age Class Prep athletes, and I hope all athletes left on Sunday inspired to work harder to keep improving their skiing skills, and to be able to apply them in the race environments this season and beyond.”

See below for the top three athletes in each age group, and top ten placements for SSCV athletes:

U8 Girls:

1 – Alexandra Teno (LSC)

2 – Sadel Helmle (SUM)

3 – Kaya Martinez (SSCV)

U8 Boys:

1 – Dustin Ward (SSCV)

2 – Asher Grohman (SUM)

3 – Callum Murchison (SSCV)

10 – Sidney Wall (SSCV)

U10 Girls:

1 – Lauren Mihan (SUM)

2 – Gabrielle Kozicki (LSC)

3 – Anderson Siebert-Werner (SSCV)

4 – Caitlin Knapp (SSCV)

9 – Elizabeth Perkins (SSCV)

U10 Boys:

1 – Hux Mond (LSC)

2 – Wyatt Schaefer (LSC)

3 – Patrick Coyne (SSCV)

10 – Forrest Cannava (SSCV)

U12 Girls:

1 – Riley Armstrong (SUM)

2 – Eleanor Coyne (SSCV)

3 – Mackenzie Steensland (SUM)

5 – Margaret Owens (SSCV)

U12 Boys:

1 – Callum Kaier (WPK)

2 – Luca Bacchierello (SUM)

3 – Colin Arnold (SUM)

9 – Milo Zupan (SSCV)

10 – Marshall Laney (SSCV)

U14 Girls:

1 – Charley Broenniman (SSCV)

2- Finnely Stanek (CLD)

3 – Mila DelGiudice (LSC)

5 – Keira Raftery (SSCV)

8 – Tessa Csajghy (SSCV)

U14 Boys:

7 – Connor Sims (SSCV)

U16 Girls:

1 – Katherine McAbee (SSCV)

4 – Lyla Childress (SSCV)