The 2013-14 freestyle, freeskiing and snowboard teams are off to a fast start, according to Andy Ware, freestyle and snowboard director of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
Ware, now in his 15th year with the organization, said the SVSEF decided to merge the snowboard team with the freestyle and freeskiing program for the first time this season.
He said, “We now have three separate teams under one central program director.
“Freestyle (moguls) head coach is Joey Cordeau. The Freeskiing (halfpipe and slopestyle) head coach is Clint Lightner. Snowboarding (halfpipe, slopestyle, boardercross) head coach is Jacob Tyler.
“The assistant coaches are all returning to help ride and ski with the athletes throughout the various teams. The snowboard team has adopted the same team structure and training schedule as the freestyle and freeskiing team:
“Development teams are on snow 45 days, Prep Teams on snow 59 days, Competition Teams at home on snow for 75 days and Comp travel teams on snow for 100-plus days.”
All the teams also train during the summer and fall at the Community School/SVSA Airbarn at Sagewillow, Elkhorn.
Ware said, “This facility is a joint effort to provide space for our athletes to train aerial maneuvers. We have four trampolines, a skate halfpipe, 40-foot roll-in ramp into a foam pit, six fit walls and agility center for footwork and balance.
“The Airbarn is used by all SVSEF athletes. This facility along with the new training center at the base of Warm Springs has provided an atmosphere where athletes can set lofty goals and pursue them will all their might.”
Ware said the freestyle and freeskiing programs have seen a significant increase in enrollment this season.
“There are currently 110 athletes registered,” he said. “Our snowboard team has 25 athletes. These increases are a result of the incredible coaching staff. Their enthusiasm and passion is electric and the athletes really thrive because of it.
Ware added, “The competitive season gets under way in January. We have four major freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding events here in Sun Valley this season.
“They are the Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular Jan. 23-26, the USASA Big Mountain West ski/snowboard event Feb. 6-9, the USSA Intermountain Division freestyle championships Feb. 20-23 and the USSA Revolution Tour finals for freeskiing and snowboarding March 6-7.”
Athletes on national teams
Ware said the SVSEF currently has four athletes named on the U.S. Freestyle, Freeskiing and Snowboard teams.
They are Shane Cordeau (Freestyle, moguls), Tai Barrymore (Freeskiing, halfpipe), Kaitlyn Farrington (Snowboard, halfpipe) and Chase Josey (Snowboard, halfpipe).
Cordeau recently returned from the U.S. Freestyle Selections event with a gold medal in the men’s dual moguls event. The Selections event is a qualifying event for the Nor-Am tour with athletes from around the world.
Ware said, “This is a terrific result for Shane as he prepares for the Nor-Am tour this season. Shane will serving as a player/coach for our program this year. He is the most skilled skier I have ever seen and his enthusiasm and energy fuels our team. He is a tremendous asset to our team.”
Josey and Farrington have been moving their way up the Olympic qualifying points list, competing at the Dew Tour and World Cup Grand Prix events this season.
Farrington has had two fifth-place results and is currently fourth overall on the points list. Josey is sitting in 14th place with three remaining Grand Prix events before the Olympics.
Ware said, “Just one podium result for them will change their Olympic chances dramatically. Both are capable of winning right now.”
Barrymore also has three remaining chances at earning a spot on the first-ever Olympic skier halfpipe team. Barrymore has sat out the first two qualifying events while healing his knee that was injured in May.
“If he’s strong and feels ready he will give a shot,” said Ware. “You need to be 100% healthy to attempt the tricks Tai does. No one in the world goes bigger in the halfpipe than Tai.”
2014 SVSEF Freestyle/Freeski/Snowboard Team roster
Freestyle/Snowboard program director—Andy Ware (15th year).
Head Freestyle (mogul) coach—Joey Cordeau. Assistant freestyle coach—Shane Cordeau.
Head Freeskiing (park/pipe) coach—Clint Lightner. Assistant freeskiing travel coach—Ross Falcone.
Freestyle/Freeski Comp Team home coaches—Chris Rybak, Jeremy Lato, Penelope Murray, Reed Snyderman and Josh Zuck.
Freestyle Prep/Devo head coach—Jennifer Diehl.
Freestyle coaches—Joe Marx, Mike Sheehan and Alden Carter (Prep/Devo); Jamie Collins, Todd Bracher, Justine Kaiser, Christine Cordeau and Kurtis Fieguth (Devo).
Head Snowboard Travel coach—Jacob Tyler.
Head Snowboard Home coach—Jon French.
Head Prep/Devo coach—Andy Gilbert.
Snowboard coaches—Patrick Hurley (Home assistant coach); Heather Black, JaNessa Gilbert and Jim Slanetz (Prep/Devo coaches).
Freestyle Gold Team (2)—Shane Cordeau (moguls) and Tai Barrymore (skier halfpipe).
Freestyle Travel Team (24)—Jacob Beebe, Brody Buchwalter, River Curtis, Evathea Drougas, Wilson Dunn, Cutter Grathwohl, Will Griffith, Blake Harmon, Hannah Haupt, Noah Hecht, Alysha Herich, Alvaro Jiraldo, Justin Juice Kennedy, Alex LaFleur, Parker Nance, Trevor Norris, Jack Rizzo, Luke Rizzo, Eli Roberts, Renee Shapiro, Claire Siderman, Zac Siele, Tobias Verheijen and Wyatt Wilson (tuition $3,100).
Freestyle Comp Home Team (32)—Ben Anderson, Logan Anderson, Hanna Blackwell, Perry Boyle, Devon Brown, Henry Cherp, Wilder Curtis, Hunter Diehl, Enrique Dolores, Hayes Gilman, Freddie Grathwohl, Giselle Harmon, Trevor Hattabaugh, Claire Holzman, River Kelly, Eliza Marks, Katherine Markthaler, Anders Nelson, Aloe Orison, Christopher Pedersen, Alec Poster, Charles Trey Potter, Addison Rafford, Toby Rafford, Jamie Rollerson, Savannah Rush, Mikel Sanchez-duPont, Lieder Schwartz, Morgan Shaver, Kobe Tamura, Rainey Wilson and Logan Wojcik (tuition $2,300).
Freestyle Prep Team (18)—Alex Austin, Wilson Baker, Luke Beebe, Tripp Benners, Axel Diehl, Ridge Dirksmeier, Ethan Duran, Brian Heekin, Adam Kind, Harper Mallett, Joseph Markthaler, Jack Morton, George Murray, Charlie Price, Will Price, Cameron Rawlings, Samuel Ware and Kohler Wood (tuition $1,500).
Freestyle Devo Team (36)—Erik Babcock, Tilly Babcock, Will Benners, Amanda Brown, Braden Buchanan, Berkeley Canfield, Luke Carlson, Zephyr Carruth, Frances Cherp, Caden Clifford, Ruby Crist, Cole Curci, Charlotte Davis-Jeffers, Avery Griffin, Luke Higgins, Anton Holter, Holden John Kleiner, Noelle LaFleur, Maya Lightner, Asher Maxwell, Lachlan McFarland, Dylan Mills, Jamie More, Astrid Murray, Huntley Nabors, Peyton Post, Tanner Post, Harley Pullen, Ari Roberts, Gavin Rutherford, Adelyn Shandro, Samantha Smith, Isabelle Thomson, John Tumolo, Tatum Ware and Gage Wilson (tuition $1,200).
Snowboard Gold Team (2)—Kaitlyn Farrington and Chase Josey.
Snowboard Travel Team (8)—Payton Bacca, Phebe Ericksen, Clara Jenner, Clyde Montgomery, Landon Moore, Cora Schneider, Elk Spencer and John JD Stark (tuition $3,100).
Snowboard Competition Home Team (7)—Jackson Dies, Clare Evangelista, Matthew Fisher, Bryce Gillespie, Jack Harris, Gavin Hunter and Reide Whitehead (tuition $2,300).
Snowboad Prep Team (5)—Zoe Bacca, Jake Evans, Angus Gilbert, Cole Shaun Peterson and Jack Verhaeghe (tuition $1,500).
Snowboard Devo Team (5)—Olive Gilbert, Tague Higgins, Elias Murcko, Walker Pate and Dylan Prabowo (tuition $1,200).