Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Freestyle racers wind up over Roundhouse

Sun Valley girls dominate, Schwartz takes second in overall moguls, duals


The Sun Valley girls were flying high. McKenna Collins rips off a 360 in Saturday's competition. Photo by Willy Cook

On a perfect Sun Valley weekend, with a bright sun warming the freestyle course on Baldy's Roundhouse Slope, the Sun Valley freestyle team hosted 85 skiers for their annual intermountain event. As is usual on perfect days, Sun Valley skiers delivered outstanding performances with 10 skiers earning 12 medals on two days of competition and 3 girls finishing in the top 5 overall moguls.

"We had a fantastic event with the snow conditions and the light and the weather," beamed Freestyle Team Director John Zuck. In fact, Zuck, added, due to the recent 3 feet of snow, this was "the best snow conditions we have ever had."

Competition-wise, "some kids really stepped it up," Zuck reported.

Sophia Schwartz, 14, placed herself squarely on the top of that list by taking second in the overall female singles and, as if this feat were not enough for this J3 racer, she built her medal stash by taking second overall in Sunday's dual moguls as well.

Schwartz has been having a superb season thus far. Before her recent home turf domination, she had an even better weekend in Snowbird with a first in duals, second in Singles, and first in pre-dual qualifying run.

Schwartz has been finishing neck and neck with another J3 skier, Olivia Akerley of Snowbird. So far this season, these girls have been dominating a high school field, trouncing on much older girls and taking golds and silvers two weeks in a row.

Alongside such age-obliterating performances, Katie Fieguth and Britt Vanpaepeghem should not feel outdone. Both can be proud of their weekends as well: firsts in their own age groups and 4th and 5th overall, giving Sun Valley 3 of the top 5 female finishers.

For the boys, Ross Falcone and Reed Boeger had noteworthy overall finishes—top 12—both days on Roundhouse. Karl Fostvedt took second in his J3 class in singles and did not compete on Sunday as he was travelling to ski in the US Open in Vail, CO. Kurtis Fieguth was also a top performer for Sun Valley, placing third in a difficult J1 field and 11th overall.

Sun Valley ski team veteran Nic Hanscom, now living and competing out of Park City, UT, honored his racing past with a second in overall singles and third in duals.

In addition to these, Zuck was also pleased that the team's "younger kids showed a lot of promise—this was the first or second competition for many of them," Zuck said.

Jake Kaiser finished second in his M4 class while teammates Trevor Brand and Adam Vorsteveld took silver and bronze in M5.

Zuck thanked the mountain crew and coaches who did "a lot of work" on a freestyle course that was, according to several visiting athletes, the best they had ever skied.

Next week, freestyle boys travel to Park City for a freeride event including halfpipe, big air, slopestyle and aerials.

Roundhouse results: F1: 1—Britt Vanpaepeghem. F2: 1—Katie Fieguth, 5—McKeanna Collins; 6—Chloe Gordon; 7—Lauren Phillips. F3: 2—Sophia Schwartz; 7—Kali Phillips; 8—Sierra Brand; 9—Alexandra Haupt. F4: 3—Aunika Phillips; 4—Hannah Haupt; 5—Zana Davey; 6—Camille Bourret.

MS: 1—Nick Hanscom; M1: 3—Kurtis Fieguth; 4—Reed Boeger. M2: 5—Ross Falcone; 14—Jeremy Lato. M3: 2—Karl Fostvedt; 5—North Parker; 7—Austin Moses; 8—Austin Bourret; 10—Trage Page; 11—Alexander Conn; 12—Austin Grill; 13—Sam Colesworthy; 15—McClain Porter. M4: 2—Jake Kaiser; 4—Page Parker; 5—Nathan Moses. M5: 2—Trevor Brand; 3—Adam Vorsteveld.

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