Vail, Colo. March 8, 2022 – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) is honored to have the opportunity to represent at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Snowboard and Freeski Junior World Championships. SSCV has nine qualifying athletes in the Slopestyle / Big Air and Halfpipe sector of Junior Worlds to be held in Leysin, Switzerland – seven snowboarders and two freeskiers. These prestigious invites are the result of years of dedication and determination from the athletes and coaches involved, and of course, SSCV’s principle of the 3Cs (Character, Courage, and Commitment) guiding them through their athletic journey.
The Snowboard and Freeski Junior Worlds Slopestyle / Big Air and Halfpipe competitions enable athletes of birth year 2004 – 2008 to compete against the greatest junior athletes from around the world. Athletes who qualify for Slopestyle will compete in both slopestyle and big air, with a qualification round, followed by the top 12 competing in the finals. The halfpipe competition consists of a qualification round, followed by the top 12 competing in the finals.
Athletes who qualified for Snowboard or Freeski Junior Worlds have been progressing towards this for years. Athletes first worked their way through the grassroots United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) competition series in their local region, scoring enough points to eventually get invitations to the Futures Tour, a collaboration between USASA and US Ski & Snowboard designed as the entry level into FIS competitions. From there a competitor can score enough points (or alternatively, take a first or second place podium) in order to qualify for the Revolution Tour. From there, the top six U18 athletes in each event are invited to Junior Worlds for their respective discipline. Athletes that compete and score particularly well at Junior Worlds have the potential opportunity to be named to the US Ski & Snowboard National Team and/or obtain World Cup starts, eventually tracking to Olympic nomination.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for these athletes to qualify for such a world-class competition,” said Chris Laske, SSCV Freeski & Snowboard Program Director. “Watching them grow from young skiers and riders to the top of the junior ranks as U18s has been huge, and it’s been an honor to help them on their journey.”
When Laske joined SSCV in 2015 as Snowboard Program Director he was very focused on creating a robust development pipeline, starting as young as six years old in the one day a week Rookie Team, in order to create a strong foundation for athletes to excel from. Not long after Laske joined the Club , SSCV transitioned to a model that emulates that of US Ski & Snowboard’s model with both the snowboard and freeski disciplines falling under one umbrella with Laske at the helm, resulting in freeski and snowboard athletes training together. Under Laske’s leadership and the world-class coaching staff he has been able to surround himself with, this reinvention, combined with SSCV’s on-snow training regiment, off-season training emphasis, and incredible facilities such as a pump track, super tramp, rail garden with rope tow, mini ramp and two strength and conditioning facilities along with access to a nearby skate park and summer and fall water ramp camps for freeskiers in Park City, makes for the development of and progression to world-class athletes.
“It has been awesome bringing the snowboard and freeski athletes together to train. They have the same essential needs and having a larger group makes for such an incredible community,” said Laske. “With such a strong group of kids, they all push and motivate each other, and themselves, to be the best they possibly can be. It’s really amazing to watch.”
Below are the SSCV athletes who have qualified for Junior Worlds Competition:
Brooklyn DePriest – Slopestyle (USA)
Evan Wrobel – Slopestyle (USA)
Hayden Tyler – Slopestyle (USA)
Kade Martin- Halfpipe (USA)
Olivia Lisle- Halfpipe (USA)
Oliver Martin- Halfpipe (USA) (declined invitation to compete stateside in Slopestyle)
Gus Teixeira- Halfpipe and Slopestyle (Brazil)
Matthew LaBaugh – Halfpipe (USA)
Elaina Krusewski – Slopestyle (USA)