Ski &  Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) athletes achieved strong results at the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) Rocky Mountain Big Mountain Regional Series competitions hosted by Ski JETA in Vail this weekend.  Over 100 athletes ranging in age from 8 to 18 years-old came from across the Rocky Mountain region to compete for two days on Lover’s Leap.

In Big Mountain competitions, athletes navigate through natural terrain including trees, steeps, cliffs, chutes, drops and gullies.  Their scores are based on the difficulty of their line which is weighed most heavily, along with fluidity, technique, control and style, and are arrived at by a panel of three judges.

Cat Iwanchuk, Director of Athlete and Mountain Relations for Ski JETA, the event organizer for this weekend’s competitions in Vail, stated, “We were psyched to get two events off the ground in Vail when a lot of ski areas have been having a tough time pulling off Big Mountain events due to tough snow conditions from a lack of natural snow.  Lover’s Leap proved to be a great venue for all ages and levels of athletes and we were really excited to see the energy and level of skiing that was displayed.  We were really grateful for the support of Vail Resorts and its Ski Patrol in making both days of competitions happen.”

This weekend brought great weather and a high level of competitive skiing, resulting in difficult decisions for the judges and top finishes within less than two points of each other.

SSCV athletes had eight top 3 finishes on Saturday and top three finishes in every category on Sunday.

“I am really proud of our athletes of all ages.  Many of them are experiencing personal bests at competitions this season.  They are responding well to pressure and difficult terrain, and demonstrating terrific focus and commitment,” said Tim Luczkow, SSCV Big Mountain Coach.

SSCV Athlete Weekend Finishes in Vail

SSCV Results-March 14, 2015
Female 8-11 Ski
1 Molly Reeder
2 Ingrid Savin
Male 8-11 Ski
5 Finn Griffin
6 Jack Ganley
7 Devin Yarde
11 Noah Gionfriddo
13 Sam Heller
14 Adam Eisenhauer
Female 12-14 Ski
1 Anwyn Urquhart
2 Scout Mattison
3 Austin Obourn
4 Alexandra Carey
7 Rachel Cocchiarella
10 Elsie Hauser
Male 12-14 Ski
1 Max Pierce
2 Finn Andersson
3 Job Hernandez
7 Tait Hargreaves
10 George Savin
17 Ian MacFarlane
23 John Obourn
25 Nate Molloy
36 Ryan Cole
41 Graham Spessard
42 Liam Mattison
44 Cade Cyphers
Male 15-18 Ski
21 Duke Yarde
SSCV Results-March 15, 2015
Female 8-11 Ski
1 Molly Reeder
2 Ingrid Savin
Male 8-11 Ski
2 Finn Griffith
7 Adam Eisenhauer
9 Noah Gionfriddo
10 Devin Yarde
Female 12-14 Ski
1 Austin Obourn
2 Alexandra Carey
3 Scout Mattison
6 Rachel Cocchiarella
Male 12-14 Ski
1 Finn Andersson
7 Max Pierce
16 Tait Hargreaves
20 John Obourn
23 Will Madsen
24 Dylan Stueber
28 Ryan Cole
34 Jack Ganley
35 George Savin
36 Job Hernandez
39 Ian Macfarlane
40 Cade Cyphers
Female 15-18 Ski
3 Jordan Glendining
Male 15-18 Ski
1 Jack Nichols
3 Kevin Nichols
9 Gabe Suszynski
16 Colin Suszynski
27 Matthew Glendining

SSCV Big Mountain Results Consistently Strong

SSCV’s Big Mountain athletes have skied well this season, including most recently at the IFSA Big Mountain National Series competition at Crystal Mountain on February 26-March 1, the IFSA Big Mountain Regional Series competitions in Winter Park on February 28 and March 1 and the IFSA Big Mountain National Series competition in Crested Butte on March 5- 8.

Winter Park Regional Competition SSCV Top Performances

In Winter Park, SSCV’s athletes dominated on the tough terrain on Chutes and Cirque.  On the first day, Molly Reeder took first in the U12 girls category.  Devin Yarde took fifth and Finn Griffith took sixth in the U12 boys category.  Max Pierce took third and Liam Mattison took ninth in the U12-14 boys category.  Kevin Nichols and Jack Nichols took first and third, respectively, in the U15-18 boys category.

On the second day in Winter Park, Devin Yarde finished fifth and Finn Griffith finished sixth for the U12 Boys. Dylan Stueber finished third and Cade Cyphers finished fourth in the U12-14 boys category.  Jordan Glendining took first in the U15-18 girls category. Kevin Nichols and Jack Nichols were first and second, respectively, for the U15-18 boys, with Duke Yarde, an SSCV Freeski athlete, taking 4th in his first ever Big Mountain competition, Gabe Suszynski finishing 7th and Colin Susznski finishing 9th.

“Our team is skiing really well in a large field of talented skiers.  I am really excited to see them grow and demonstrate original lines and strong technique,” said Nick Whittemore, SSCV Head Big Mountain coach.  “The number of very talented up and coming skiers is certainly a testament to the increasing popularity of Big Mountain skiing and the bright future for this sport.”

Crystal City National Competition SSCV Top Performances

Earlier this month Austin Obourn took third for the U13-15 girls and Finn Andersson took 2nd for the U13-15 boys at Crystal Mountain in Washington.

Crested Butte National Competition SSCV Top Performances

SSCV sent 12 athletes to the IFSA Big Mountain National Series Event in Crested Butte on March 7 and 8 where10 of them qualified for finals on the second day:  Austin Obourn, Alex Carey, Finn Andersson, Max Pierce, Tait Hargraves, John Obourn, Jordan Glendining, Jack Nichols, Kevin Nichols and Gabe Suszynski.  In the finals, Austin Obourn and Alex Carey took first and second, respectively, for the U12-14 girls.  Finn Andersson took third, Max Pierce took sixth, Tait Hargraves took thirteenth and John Obourn took eighteenth for the U12-14 boys.  Jack Nichols took third and Kevin Nichols took eleventh for the U15-18 male category.

“As coaches, we were thrilled to see so many great results in Crested Butte.  One third of the SSCV athletes finished on the podium in a field of skiers from across the Continental US,” remarked Whittemore.

Looking ahead, SSCV will qualify a large number of athletes to Big Mountain National Championships in Grand Targhee, Wyoming in early April.