AVSC’s freeskiing team on a nonstop roll
With 10 competitions in four days, the AVSC Freeride Team 2 is adhering to a schedule that would tax even a seasoned NBA player.
According to coach Greg Ruppel, the team started on a high note when skier Gage Carr won a halfpipe competition last week at a USSA-sanctioned event in Park City, Utah.
Andrew Tierney was also on the podium in that event, finishing third.
From there and with no break, the freeskiers traveled back to Colorado and sought a home-field advantage at Snowmass, where they jumped into two full days of halfpipe, big air and slopestyle events.
On a low visibility Saturday at Snowmass, Carson Campisi got the win in both of the women’s halfpipe competitions. Simone Augspurger of Basalt took third in a halfpipe that she considers to be best on the tour.
On the men’s side, Keenan McIntyre, a sophomore at Aspen High School, enjoyed a great weekend.
In the Snowmass halfpipe, McIntyre had second- and third-place finishes. The following day, he was eighth and 11th. His tricks included a frontside 270 out and a rodeo five bow and arrow (which features a two-handed grab).
The weekend’s cumulative results gave McIntyre the title of divisional freeride champion.
AVSC’s team includes upstarts Kai Morris and Tristan Feinberg as well as “veterans” including Tyler Spence, Cassidy Jarrell, Joey Lang, Brooks Gorsuch and Ethan Burkley.
Now through Feb. 7, Freeride Team 2 is competing at the Revolution Tour in Seven Springs, Pa., continuing an action-packed schedule during high season for events.
AVSC’s fast growing big mountain team traveled to Crested Butte, which was able to offer extensive terrain for its two days of the IFSA Freeskiing events.
“The recent snowfall made for ideal conditions and the athletes skied their best,” said coach JF Bruegger.
Saturday was the preliminary round. The finals venue was the headwall, a steep 600-foot vertical run with lots of exposure, Bruegger said.
“The athletes were able to ski clean lines and link features to build their scores.”
Just about everything went AVSC’s way during the CU Invitational at Steamboat Springs.
“We had a really great weekend in Steamboat,” said Maria Stuber, who is program director and head coach. “All of the athletes raced their hearts out. The next couple of weekends of RMN races will be very exciting, with many athletes on the Junior National bubble,” she said.
Highlights include a victory by U14 skier Chelsea Moore in the 2.5-kilometer skate event.
Over the weekend, the following other athletes finished in the top 10 of their respective age classes: Nick Sweeney, Taiga Moore, George Beck and Hank Sweeney.
Graham Houtsma, Jack Sweeney, Nina Beidleman, Logan McNamee, Jozie Willie and Hazel Wille finished in the top 20 in their races.
Next weekend, Aspen Highlands and AVSC will host the Bolle RMD Age Class Series slalom races. Two races will be run each day on Lower Thunderbowl for skiers U14 and younger.
The USASA Series slopestyle and halfpipe competitions will be held at Snowmass and Buttermilk.
The 2014 IPC Alpine Skiing National Championships and NorAm Cup will take place Feb. 10-13 at Tiehack.
Look for additional coverage next week in The Aspen Times about the series of adaptive races that will attract a prestigious and international field, many of whom are Sochi-bound in March for the Paralympics.
On today’s (Feb. 5) edition of “Weekly with Walt” on Grassroots TV (channel 12 upvalley and channel 82 below Catherine’s Store), Walt Evans will speak with AVSC Base Camp Director Trish Shepard, Nils Koons (Nordic Base Camp coach), and Brooke Peterson, (co-founder of the club’s Base Camp programs).
The program airs at 7 p.m. and is repeated during the weekend.
Also this week, on Aspen Public Radio, Carolyne Heldman, host of CrossCurrents, interviews Evans, Tyler Lindsay and Amy Throm about myriad AVSC issues of interest.
The program airs at 91.5 FM (downtown Aspen, 88.9 FM in Carbondale) Wednesdays and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. (or any time at aspenpublicradio.org).
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