AVSC freestylers shine in Durango
DURANGO Local Torin Yater-Wallace keeps turning heads in devo freestyle.After winning the qualifier for Sports Illustrated Kids’ NextSnow Search in January, the 11-year-old AVSC ripper claimed silver in slopestyle and finished second overall March 16-18 at the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Devo Championships at Durango Mountain Resort.In 70-degree temperatures, AVSC’s devo freestylers (ages 9-14) squared off against their top Rocky Mountain rivals in slopestyle, aerials and moguls.Friday morning’s slopestyle had a nice mix of features to keep things interesting, said AVSC coach Jamie Lawson. “The snow was soft, but it was the best slopestyle course so far this year with a box, a rail and two kickers,” Lawson said in a club news release.Yater-Wallace made the most of his run, unleashing spins onto and off the box and impressing the judges with a clean railslide and 360s off both kickers – the first with a grab, the second an iron cross.
“Slopestyle is one of Torin’s strongest events,” Lawson said. J4 teammate Alex Ferreira also had a solid run that featured lots of amplitude off the kickers to finish seventh.Ten-year-old J5 skier Mikey Schumacher took sixth place on the strength of his jumps. “Mikey opted to skip the rail but still had some nice spins,” Lawson said.In the afternoon aerials competition, AVSC’s lone female devo freestyler, Caitlin Safchik took the J3 bronze with her highest-scoring jump of the season – a textbook spread eagle and a solid landing. Yater-Wallace delivered another big 360 iron cross to take silver among the J4s.”It was the perfect jump, and Torin only lost out to a kid who threw the best 720 of the competition,” Lawson said.
Teammate Matt Hirsh won bronze for his well-executed 540. “He’s been working on that jump all season, and I told him I wanted to see him land it cleanly,” Lawson said. “Matt came through when it counted and stood it up.”The judges liked Schumacher’s signature triple twister so much the 10-year-old took the gold. He was miles ahead of the rest of the field,” Lawson said. “That’s his bread-and-butter trick, and he blew everyone away.”In moguls Saturday, Lawson Pisani was AVSC’s top J5 finisher, taking 13th overall with a run that Lawson said had “everything you want to see from a moguls skier.”AVSC’s J3 and J4 skiers had their shot at the moguls course Sunday. Safchik took the silver based on her second run.
“We used the success she found on the bottom part of the course in her first run as aspringboard.” Lawson said. “She put it all together from top to bottom her second time down the course and really separated herself from the pack.”Ferreira also scored a sliver for the J4 boys, just behind rival Bruce Perry Jr. of Summit.”Alex has been working hard on his amplitude, and the judges were impressed,” Lawson said. Yater-Wallace added a seventh-place finish among the field of 38, which included Keegan Swirbul (11th), Carson Leydecker (12th) and Ky Sciarrone (13th). Yater-Wallace’s final silver medal came for his overall points total.Hirsh was 13th overall and Ferreira was 15th out of the 76 competitors in all age classes.”The 11 kids who went to the championships were my core group of competitors all season long,” Lawson said. “I’m really proud of them and want to thank the parents for traveling to support them. Durango put on a fun event, and it was a great week for all of us.”
Derek Franz is the editor-in-chief and lead content decision-maker for the famed and highly respected magazine, whose corporate offices are in Jeffersonville, Vermont.