Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) alpine racers recently competed in the first of two back-to-back regional championship weekends with the FIS, U16 and U10 athletes taking on the best racers from around the USSA Rocky/Central Division. For some, the events were an opportunity to qualify for their respective national championship, which will occur in sequence later this month.
SSCV’s FIS-level racers traveled to Lutsen Mountains in Minnesota to settle their regional championship. The venue is known for its modest pitch and abundant point-scoring opportunities.
Among SSCV’s top finishers was Taylor Brandt, who opened the multi-day competition with a win in the women’s giant slalom. That same day, in the men’s GS, Brendan Keane scored a podium third-place result, while Burke Fancher nailed a second-place finish in the GS a day later. In the first of two slalom races, SSCV alumna, now skiing for Williams College, Madeline Dekko picked up a second-place finish.
From the regional championship in Lutsen, several SSCV FIS racers will now be headed to the U.S. Alpine Championships March 21-26 and the U.S. Junior Alpine Championships March 28-30, both in Sun Valley.
SSCV athletes qualified to the national championships include Bridger Gile, Jake Dilling, Cooper Cornelius, Matthew Macaluso, Kyle Negomir, Brendan Keane, Jack Keane, Max Bervy, Kellen Kinsella, Henry Heaydon and Patrick Ottley for the men, while Allie Resnick and Emma Hall will get starts for the women. Additionally, Jack Stahla and Gus LeBlanc will represent the men at junior champs, along with Cleo Braun, Kaitlyn Harsch, Caroline Jones and Maddox Gayer on the women’s side.
U16s in Winter Park
From their results earlier this season, SSCV qualified 34 alpine athletes to the U16 Rocky/Central Alpine Championships Winter Park.
Top performers in the event included Nicola Rountree-Williams, who came away with a trio of wins in the alpine combined, super G and giant slalom, while Carissa Cassidy snagged a win in the slalom. They were joined on the podium throughout the week by Emma Resnick, Katie Bervy and Taylor Hoyt.
On the men’s side, Fletcher Holm came away with a three pack of podium finishes across multiple disciplines, joined by Wyatt Hall who took second in the slalom.
“We’ve seen huge improvements from these kids and we’re really proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish,” said U16 coach Mike Fairbrother. “We’re focused on ourselves and our own development. Each kid knows exactly what they’re working on, and we can take that momentum into next season.”
With their strong results at the event, SSCV will send the following athletes to the U16 Alpine National Championships at Mission Ridge in Wenatchee, Wash.: Katie Bervy, Carissa Cassidy, Berit Frischholz, Gabi Holm, Taylor Hoyt, Emma Resnick, Bayli McSpadden, Nicola Rountree-Williams, Wyatt Hall, Fletcher Holm, Tanner Rosener and Sam Packer.
U10s in Telluride
SSCV’s alpine U10s culminated their season at the regional championships in Telluride over the weekend. Back-to-back days of racing featured a pair of slaloms and a pair of giant slaloms with spring-like weather and a hard race surface both days. In all four races, SSCV never had less than four athletes in the top 10, and in two of those races the club landed seven in the top 10.
Katie McDonald was the weekend’s top performer, sweeping the championships with wins in all four races. Hadley Reed wasn’t far behind with second-place finishes in all four races.
On the boy’s side, Will Erickson found the podium in all four races. He was joined by Tommy Bartha, who won both GS runs and was second in a slalom race. The other two podiums for SSCV athletes included Gracie Cohn and Makena Thayer.
“All the kids skied very well and the coaches are all extremely proud of their efforts and accomplishments,” said U10 Head Coach Mike Wolfson. “In another event, Skills Quest — which is a battery of fundamental drills assessment — SSCV took the top four spots in the girls, as well as five of the top 10 in the boys. This shows that results are not magical. It proves that hard work and attention to fundamental detail really makes a difference in the racers’ development.”
The alpine regional championships conclude this week with U14 and U12 championships taking place in Steamboat and Keystone, respectively.