Beaver Creek is host to dozens of big alpine races. It is no surprise that Beaver Creek is the host of the U16 Regional Championships, which are two weeks away. Racers from all parts of Colorado and beyond have been competing season long, and the championships will be the culmination of their efforts. Last weekend there was a technical qualifying event at Winter Park for the championships. The technical aspect simply meant that the weekend consisted of two combined slalom events and two giant slalom events. On top of the technical event the U18 racers were competing at the event to earn spots for their nationals competition. Needless to say, pressure was high. With over 200 athletes competing from all across Colorado, the deep field of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) exceeded expectations and came away with top ten finishes across the board.
“I was proud of all my athletes this weekend to perform so well under pressure. This is really the pinnacle of this season and the last opportunity to earn spots for the big races coming up. The conditions out here were pretty good but the snowfall slowed things down a little bit on Monday,” said SSCV’s men’s ability coach Ben Babbitt.
Saturday kicked off with great results from SSCV in the men and women’s giant slalom event. On the men’s side Colbey Derwin from SSCV placed sixth overall and third in his U16 division. Bryan Bailey tied for 8th place and Jack Keane placed 11th followed by his teammate Sands Simonton who placed 12th. The Vail girls also raced well with Rachael Desrochers, who has been on fire this season, in fourth overall and third for her age division. Grace Merriman followed closely behind Desrochers placing in fifth overall and second in her U18 division. SSCV’s Megan McGrew rounded out the top ten in ninth place.
Sunday was another day of beautiful sunshine in the morning, with the course conditions improving slightly due to the clear weather from the day before. Bryan Bailey had a great second day of racing winning the event. SSCV’s River Radamus followed Bailey on Sunday placing third. In fifth was Nick Santaniello, Logan Martin in eighth, and Jack Keane rounded out the top ten for SSCV placing ninth. Sands Simonton had a great race and tied for 12th followed by Luke Vickerman in 14th, and Tagert Mueller in 15th. In total there were 8 SSCV male athletes out of the top fifteen in Sunday’s Giant Slalom competition. The SSCV girls placed respectively well in day two of the technical event with Montana Marzario placing in third. Marzario is no stranger to the podium but skied much better on the second day of the event compared to the first. Marzario is actually coming back from an injury where she sustained a broken leg during a race last season. She has been skiing very well this season despite the set backs she has had. Desrochers showed her consistency as a skier and placed in fourth on day two of the event as well. Heidi Livran made it to the top ten after skiing a quick well executed run and finished in seventh. SSCV’s Grace Merriman placed 11th followed by Camilla Trapness in 13th and Anna Martin in 14th.
Presidents Day started the two days of slalom racing with more decent finishes from the Vail team. Due to the snowfall on Sunday night, Winter Park had slower racing conditions than the previous days of giant slalom. The SSCV men crushed the competition at the slalom race earning numerous spots for nationals. Florian Szwebel skied to a great first place win followed by Nick Santaniello in second, Bryan Bailey in fourth, and Jack Keane in sixth. On the ladies side, Rachael Desrochers placed eighth followed by her teammate Grace Merriman in ninth.
Tuesday’s final race day came and went with more local racers placing in the top ten. Bryan Bailey skied well in every race of the weekend and it was no surprise when he ended in second place on Tuesday. Jack Keane also held his ground ending in seventh place. The ladies did better on day two of the slalom race with Grace Merriman placing sixth, followed by Rachael Desrochers in seventh, Jennie Symons in ninth, and Genevieve Soden in 10th.
As the competition wrapped up, these racers wait on the calculations to see if they made the cut for either nationals, or the championships. Either way, many of these outstanding racers have a shot at competing in the aforementioned events and could even come out with a win.