AVSC athletes off to fast start
AVSC skiers delivered strong performances in Tuesday’s Nor-Am halfpipe event in Park City.
Club newcomer and former Winter Park skier Jack Sullan advanced to the semifinals with a clean, solid run down the pipe. AVSC’s Jon Lafferty finished 25th overall and teammate Matt Walker threw down a mistake-free run, but failed to generate the necessary amplitude to advance to the semis, finishing 30th.
New AVSC Freestyle Challenger coach Olivia Augusta did very well on the women’s side in the senior division. Her run was good enough for fourth-place finish.
While some AVSC freestylers went to Park City, the bulk of the team headed to Keystone to compete in open moguls and slopestyle in the Rocky Mountain Division’s Return to Keystone Classic on Dec. 17-19. Rachel Weitzenkorn put her rivals on notice with a blistering first run in open moguls to vault her to third place. After a second run in which a 360 momentarily threw her off course, Weitzenkorn dropped, finishing in sixth place overall out of a field of 29. She was, however, the top J1 finisher.
Teammate Julianne Davis cracked the top 15 with a 12th-place and fifth-place finish for her J2 division. Newcomer Christy Severy did remarkably well in her first-ever moguls competition, taking 20th place overall.
Zac Giammarrusco cracked the top 10 for the AVSC men with some outstanding open moguls skiing that earned him ninth place. Giammarrusco was third among J-1 competitors.
AVSC’s Whitney Wickes continued to hone her skills in women’s slopestyle by upping the degree of difficulty on each of her jumps. Wickes threw a 360, a 360 grab and a nice 540 to take second place in a small but talented field. She followed with a third-place finish in the afternoon.
“She’s got fire in her eyes,” AVSC pipe and park coach Geoff Stump said.
Greg Ross, 15, laid down what Stump described as a “stellar” run for a best-ever, fifth-place finish in the morning. Ross was the second-best finisher for his age class.
Andrew Wickes also impressed his coaches, finishing sixth in the morning and eighth in the afternoon. Teammate Sam Ferguson kept the team momentum going by finishing ninth in the morning and seventh in the afternoon.
“I’m really proud of the way the entire team jumped,” Stump said.
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Vail and Beaver Creek resorts Senior Communications Manager John Plack said the company agrees with the state’s assessment that the ski industry must be out-front in its approach to ensure a safe and successful season in Colorado.