VAIL, Colo. March 19, 2021 – The U10/U12 East Finale at Winter Park this last week was an exciting championship setting for alpine age class athletes with years of birth 2009 through 2013. At the end of the two days and four races per gender, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail swept two podiums and captured 60 top ten positions between the two age classes.
“We are grateful that SSCV U12 athletes were able to race in the U10/U12 Finale at Winter Park,” said SSCV head U12 coach, Erik Gilbert. “While the RMD U12 teams were split into East/West zones, this event replaced the U12 Championships and the kids viewed it as their “peak” race for this season. They have all been working so hard on and off the hill and we were excited to see how they trusted in the process and raced this week.”
The practice and process certainly paid off in a big way throughout the two days of racing. In the boys’ giant slalom event on Tuesday, March 16, SSCV’s Julian Ciszek and Dylan Kawamura quickly differentiated themselves from the rest of the U10 competition, taking eighth and tenth in the first race and second and eighth in the second race. Among the U12s, Luke Hodgkinson, Seger Pomerantz, and Aidan Wick flew into second, eighth, and tenth in their first race of the morning. The second race saw Luke Hodgkinson score his first win of the day while Pomerantz climbed up to sixth and their teammate, Rylan Sinclair, scored eighth.
In the afternoon, SSCV athletes maneuvered their way to top spots in slalom with ferocity. U10 athletes Jack Hodgkinson and Ciszek landed second and third respectively, with Giovanni Napoli and Kawamura falling in sixth and tenth. In the second and final race of the afternoon, Jack Hodgkinson grabbed bronze for the U10’s while Ciszek backed up the podium in fourth and Matias Gonzalez of SSCV grabbed eighth. On the U12 side, Luke Hodgkinson, Wick, Gunnar Schaub, Pomerantz, and Calen White fell into line at fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth in the first race. The second race featured another U12 win from early standout Luke Hodgkinson, followed by White in second, Pomerantz in sixth, Sinclair in eighth, and Schaub in ninth.
SSCV women also had a number of standout performances the next day, beginning with the giant slalom event. U10s Kristina Shamshuryn, Winter Phillips, Diana Zaytseva, Kalea Barker, and Alyxandra Sumner introduced themselves as forces to be reckoned with in the first race with Shamshuryn in third, Phillips in fourth, Zaytseva in fifth, Barker in sixth, and Sumner in ninth for their age group. In the second race, for the U10s Shamshuryn bolted into second, with Sumner, Barker, and Zaytseva following in fourth, fifth, and tenth for their age group. Similarly, SSCV U12s Mari Renick, Lauren Hopkins, Georgianna Henry, and Xania Gayer established themselves within the field with a first, second, sixth, and ninth-place finish out of the gate. In the second race, Renick claimed silver, Hopkins took fifth, Gayer grabbed eighth, and Henry rounded out the top ten in tenth.
In slalom, SSCV really shined over the course of two races. Phillips, Sumner, and Shamshuryn swept a podium for their U10 age group in the first race, with teammates Zaytseva and Hailey Anderson following fifth and ninth. In the second race, the U10 girls fell just short of another sweep, this time with Shamshuryn in first, Phillips in second, Sumner in fourth, Zaytseva in fifth, and Anderson in seventh. Amidst the U12s, Renick added another gold medal to her collection while Hopkins grabbed bronze and Gayer sped into seventh in the first race. Ending their day on a high note, Renick, Gayer, and Hopkins landed on the podium in first, second and third, respectively for SSCV before heading home to Vail.
“For almost all of our athletes, it was their very first championship race and they stepped up and performed,” said Alex Shorter, the head U10 coach at SSCV. “It was the first time they had seen other U10 competitors in a race, skied gates in rough conditions, and raced while it was snowing. I am super proud of the U10 team.”
For a complete list of results go to https://livetiming.usskiandsnowboard.org/ .
Photo: Ski & Snowboard Club Vail U12 Luke Hodgkinson charging down a giant slalom course at Winter Park at the U10/U12 East Finale earlier this week. Photo by PeakPhotoWP