Summit County teenager Alyssa Moroco shines at snowboarding’s junior level
FRISCO — Last week, Team Summit snowboarder and Breckenridge resident Alyssa Moroco advanced to the finals at a Woodward Park City U.S. Revolution Tour girls snowboard slopestyle event. The accomplishment for the native of Sharon, Pennsylvania, was eye-opening to the youth snowboard community.
At just 13 years old, Moroco proved she could compete against fellow rising-star snowboarders several years older than her in some cases at the Rev Tour, which is regarded as the highest-level contest circuit beneath World Cup and Grand Prix events.
“I never thought I’d be able to make it to finals, but I did,” Moroco said.
From the Rev Tour finals qualification to her win at the USA Snowboard Association’s New Year’s Eve Rail Jam at Copper Mountain Resort to her runner-up finishes at Futures Tour events at Copper and California’s Mammoth Mountain, the 2019-20 winter was a true breakout season for Moroco. Before the season, Moroco said she and her Team Summit coaches chatted during summer camp in New Zealand about how the competition scene would be for her this year. Previously, Moroco had competed at some higher-level USASA contests, including finishing runner-up a couple of years back in the menehune girls (10-11) division at USASA nationals at Copper.
But working with Team Summit coaches, Moroco understood 2019-20 would be different. With the growth of her skills, the one-time Level 7 gymnast turned elite youth snowboarder was set to contend at the higher-end youth competitions that shake out who can excel in Rev Tour and at the World Cup and Grand Prix one day.
“So in New Zealand, we were getting a really good foundation down to get all my tricks,” Moroco said. “And that was really important for me so I could excel with my snowboarding.”
As part of that preseason goal setting, Moroco listed one of her main goals as performing her best at the Futures Tour, which is a collection of competitions jointly put on by USASA and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. After Moroco worked in the offseason and through the early season to vastly improve her skills on rails, she used those skills to finish second at the Futures Tour stop at Mammoth Mountain on Feb. 11 and at the Futures Tour contest at Copper on Feb. 26.
Those two results then led to her success at Woodward Park City Rev Tour last week. Competing against the best young female slopestyle snowboarders in the country, Moroco, who born in 2006, was the only athlete born in 2005 or 2006 to advance to the final. Moroco said she was able to advance to the final on a run through the tricky Woodward Park City slopestyle course that included a 50-50 boardslide on the down-flat-down, a 50-50 front boardslide on the next feature and a 180 out of the final feature, landing switch. On the course’s big jumps, Moroco landed a half-cab 180 and a backside 360.
In practice, Moroco said she’s dialing in learning a backside 720 and a cab 540. Moroco is also working to improve her frontside spins, as those are harder for her to do, she said. At the Copper Mountain New Year’s Eve Rail Jam, Moroco won thanks to bigger rail tricks, including 270s.
“On rails, I’ve progressed so much because now I am more willing to try new rail tricks,” Moroco said. “And they are really fun for me as well as jumps, but rails I can definitely try stuff on. I like the whole rail and jump all together because it’s really a creative way to put all your tricks together and show off something that you are really proud of during your run.”
A huge fan of American slopestyle legend Jamie Anderson, Moroco said she’d like to become known as a snowboarder like Anderson who is renowned for how smooth she is on jumps and rails. Moroco also looks up to up-and-coming American star Hailey Langland, a pro, like Anderson, who Moroco has been able to meet on the hill here in Summit County.
Filming an epic backcountry part like Langland did in “Joy,” that’s something the avid powder rider Moroco would like to do one day. World Cups, X Games and Olympics also are high on the list of dreams. But for now, she’s just focused on the next piece in her personal progression, dialing in a backside 720, after wowing herself at Rev Tour.
“I wasn’t expecting to make it to finals because the girls are so good,” Moroco said. “They are really pushing it.”
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