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AVSC staff report

Nichole Mason

AVSC Snowboard Team 2 Coach

Born in California, Nichole Mason developed a passion for snow sports early on and was on skis by the age of 4.

After moving to Summit County, Colorado, in the third grade, her curiosity for snowboarding grew.

"My parents bought me a brand new pair of skis for Christmas one year. I turned to them and said, 'I want to snowboard,'" Mason said. "They made me ski that year, but the next Christmas my brother and I woke up to snowboards under the Christmas tree."

After a few years of riding, she joined Team Summit where she was a competitive rider for seven years. As an athlete, she traveled to several regional, national and world events.

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When Mason was 15, she qualified to be on the All-American Snowboard Team, which took her to the first Junior Worlds in Trofeo Topolino, Italy.

Although Mason left competing to focus on her education, she soon found her way back to snowboarding, working as an instructor at the Loveland Ski Area.

During her second year as a snowboard instructor, she was offered a coaching job with Team Summit and immediately jumped on the opportunity.

"I wanted so badly to give back what I received growing up; it was an opportunity I could not pass up," said Mason.

While working for Team Summit, Mason connected with the Adaptive Action Sports organization — training several adaptive athletes striving to qualify for the U.S. National Paralympic Team.

"Miah Wheeler was the head coach of the U.S. National Paralympic Team, so we worked closely together for many years," Mason said. "Last year when he took the position of snowboard head coach for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, we both looked at it as an opportunity for me to officially work for him."

Mason, a Team 2 Coach, is currently in her second season with AVSC and holds a level 300 certification with the USASA and USSA.

She prides herself on teaching life lessons and guiding her athletes through challenges, both on and off the snow.

When looking to the future of her sport, she hopes that the love for snowboarding and its way of life stays the same.

"I have always seen (snowboarding) as a lifestyle. We have always been a little different, a little misfit, and I don't ever want to see that fade."

Revolution Tour snowboard

Jake Canter, a new AVSC Snowboard Team member, competed at the Revolution Tour Qualifier in slopestyle, taking first place (boys age group 12-13).

Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Elite

AVSC athletes skied well both days with many obtaining point results.

Overall the team skied solid in giant slalom with Nicholas Mitchell blowing out the field by 2.58 seconds and podiums for both Katy Harris and Erin Spence.

USASA — Snowboard

It was a great day on the mountain with all competitors working hard.

Jonathan Weiss took first place in slalom and giant slalom (boys age group 12-13). Kelanii Scarpaci was the top winner in both events as well (girls age group 14-15).

Roaring Fork Race Series

The first Roaring Fork Race Series competition of the season kicked off last weekend.

Hosted by AVSC, the Roaring Fork Race Series took place at the Stapleton Training Center at Aspen Highlands.

More than 120 athletes, ages 7-13, participated from AVSC, Sunlight Winter Sports Club and Powderhorn.

The race series is designed to fulfill the need for head-to-head competition at a local level, introduce new athletes to racing and minimize travel costs.

"The Roaring Fork Series is such a great event for these athletes. For many of the racers, it is their first-ever competition. For the older kids, it allows them to get a race under their belts before they begin traveling to the Junior Olympic qualifiers," said AVSC Alpine Race Director Pat Callahan.

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