February 2023 Team Update
Things are in full swing and we have passed the mid-season mark. EVERY group within the team has recently had competitions, see below for group-by-group highlights. There are many!
Little Cottonwood Canyon is quite literally the epicenter of good skiing this year, with bountiful snowfall and fantastic training conditions. I want to thank all of you for powering through what at times can be very challenging conditions to operate in, with (if my math is correct) 17 canyon closures and lots of time waiting in line. Although the spoils are worth the struggle, it requires dedication and flexibility to make it work at times!
I am very proud of our athletes, our coaches, and all of our families, as well as our many sponsors and supporters, to see the growth on and off the slopes is rewarding and humbling. It is a wild and beautiful journey and this team is the best!
Work Hard. Dream Big.
~ Bridger Call
2023 March Championship Grant Application is open!
It is part of the SBSEF mission to foster and enable the participation of athletes from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. SBSEF understands the financial burdens associated with its programs and strives to provide need-based financial assistance as available. SBSEF also encourages athletes to explore scholarships potentially available from outside sources as well as SBSEF Grants.
Snowbird Sports Education Foundation is offering need-based financial assistance to athletes who meet the following requirements:
1. Athlete must be a current team member (2022-2023) in good standing with tuition and account.
2. Athlete must be 12 years of age or older, participating in a multi-day training program.
3. Athlete must comply with all SBSEF Team rules and policies, including standards of conduct.
4. In addition to financial need, the athlete’s character, sportsmanship, work ethic, and respect for team members, coaches, and staff will be substantially considered. Coaches’ input and evaluation will also be considered.
Applications are due February 28, 2023. For more information, click HERE.
The JFAST crew competed in their second south series race for the 2023 season On February 4 and 5. The race was held at the Utah Olympic Park. SBSEF athletes skied extremely well, earning podiums in every age category. On Saturday February 4th the Boys competed in two slaloms under blue skies and sunshine, On Sunday the girls were back to racing in blizzard conditions.
Here are the podium finishes:
Boys: U10’s – Chase Kunigenas (3rd), U12’s – Arlo Hochman (5th, 5th), Brody Eaton (3rd), Vonn Kunigenas (3rd, 2nd), Miles Young (2nd, 4th), Cedric Sullivan (1st, 1st) U14’s – Leo Cai (1st, 1st) Issac Cheung (3rd, 3rd).
Girls: U12’s– Liz Eden (1st), Heidi Baudendistel (5th).
A huge thank you goes out to parents for feeding both athletes and coaches all weekend long. Ski racing would not be possible without your tireless effort and support. ~ Bo Maciejko
The U12 boys put on an impressive show of dominance during the South Series slaloms at UOP. SBSEF boys put 8 athletes in the top 15. Leading the charge was U12 athlete Cedric Sullivan winning in commanding fashion. Cedric won the first race by over 4 seconds and 2.5 seconds in the second race. Cedric put on an impressive show, winning in almost flawless fashion.
The U16 team has had a big block of speed training and racing these past few weeks with SG races at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Bogus Basin Resort. The speed training and especially jump training were hard to come by due to copious amounts of new snow in Feb. Unfortunately, we lost four of the 6 scheduled races at Jackson Hole, however, the weather for the Bogus Basin series was nearly perfect.
The Bogus Basin track has not been run since 2018 leaving the entire U16 field blind to it and its famed (or feared) 4 jumps. The boys took to the track first proving that jumping cliffs makes jumping in speed easy. Leading the SBSEF charge was Everett Paulman who skied from 35th to the middle teens each race with Maddox Comey not far behind. It was Devon Harman who had the biggest move up of the boys races going from 47th to 22nd in the third race. The girls had three great races with Bea Martin just off the podium in 4th in the first race and teammates Halle Hipple, Talise Larsh, and Avery Costello in 10th, 11th, and 17th respectively. The girls second and third races had a little more excitement in terms of air time, however, our girls did a great job with line adjustments allowing for Talise to take 2nd place with Bea in 7th, Halle in 15th, Avery in 16th and Molly Jarvie in 18th. Alta Brower and Avery Johnson also had three good races moving up as much as 18 places!
This month’s cowbell award goes to Will Butterworth and Molly Jarvie for their awesome enthusiasm at the start, their willingness to help their teammates, their dedication to improving their skiing, and always having a great attitude even when the weather is not so fun!
The U16 team will be traveling to Sun Valley next week for the last of the Regional Championship qualifiers. We currently have 4 boys and 4 girls qualified and several on the bubble, thus making it an important series. It will be fun to watch our skiers take to the steep and often icy hill there and shred it like cheese!!!! ~ Fritz Wood
In February the Snowbird U14 Team found speed in our SG training block as we prepared for the qualifiers. This was a big deal for our first-year U14 athletes as this is a new event for these athletes, and the first time they would be racing at these speeds. Snowbird brought 10 first-year U14s to the IMD Speed Camp at Soldier Mountain, ID. Our athletes showed top-of-the-division development as they learned the mechanics of jumping at speed. In the speed trap, Axel Dain was clocked at the top speed in IMD, reaching 79 MPH!
At the SG qualifier at Brundage, Idaho- our athletes showed they had mastered the jump mechanics by consistently making the strongest moves in the air. The boys showed steady improvement each day, led by Cortland Parker finishing each of the 3 races in the top 15. Dylan Hersh joined Cortland with a 14th on the second day, then a 6th-place finish in the third race. Cedar Knight and Alex Butrum joined Cortland and Dylan in the top 15 on race three. The girls raced the following 2 days and showed a similar trajectory of improving finishing placements each day. Sam Eden led the charge with a 2nd place finish, a victory in the second race, and a strong 10th place finish as the light got flat and conditions got bumpy for the last run. The improvements these athletes made this month is remarkable, and incredibly rewarding to see how hard work pays off. ~ Ben Reeder
Cortland Parker is the Athlete Highlight of the Month. Cortland has one of the best attendance records on the team, has incredible focus and has made huge strides in his skiing this year. At the SG Open race in Jackson he was the first U14 Snowbird finisher with top 10 and top 15 results. At our SG qualifier in Brundage, he was our top male finisher 2 out of 3 races with a 13th, 8th and 7th place finish. Cortland shows that dedication and hard work pays off! Not only is Cortland a great athlete, but he is a great teammate, and really respectful to his coaches. Way to go Cortland!
February has been a blast so far! We made it through a crazy 2 weeks with 6 separate competitions amidst 117 athlete starts and it’s hard to think we only have 7 weekends of regular season training left! Our only event in the next 10 days is the Crystal National, but March will embody the madness with 4 Nationals and 4 Regionals taking place between March 1 and March 19 to wrap up the competitive season prior to NORAMs invites. Thank you for all your support and efforts making this season happen so far! We are definitely going to be using the next 2+ weeks at home to refocus on our fundamental technique and get a lot of top-to-bottom runs in to build some endurance for the March Madness coming up. The Snowbird National is March 3-5 on Silver Fox and hopefully North Baldy for Finals, so come support your AltaBird Freeride team!
AltaBird Freeride Podium Hunting Highlights!
Grand Targhee National: Rowan Lamont 1st, Maddie Johnson 2nd, in 15-18 Ski Girls. Ainsley Larson with a 5th in 12-14 Ski Girls!
Red Mountain National: No Podiums but the crew learned a lot against a stacked Canadian field and I think we will be making this trip to the Great White North again.
Copper Mountain National: Kellen Larson 3rd in 15-18 Ski Boys
Palisades Tahoe National: Max Morris 2nd in 15-18 Boys
Snowbasin Regional Vol 1 + 2 had a lot of AltaBird Athletes on the podium!
- U12 Ski Girls Vol 1: Natalia Vars 1st, Willow Arens 2nd
- U12 Ski Boys Vol 1: Sandrs Vedejs 1st, Will Fallis 3rd
- 15-18 Ski Girls Vol 1: Lucy Collins 1st
- 15-18 Ski Boys Vol 1: Owen Carlson 1st, Berenger Croise 2nd
- U12 Ski Girls Vol 2: Grace Poulsen 1st
- 12-14 Ski Girls Vol 2: Samantha Russell 2nd, Brynn Copinga 3rd
- 15-18 Ski Girls Vol 2: Sasha Bills 1st
- 15-18 Ski Boys Vol 2: Ethan Newton 3rd
FIS Team Update:
The FIS program has been busy as usual. In between the many trips that our diverse group has gone on, the coaching staff has watered the Race Hill twice so far in hopes of creating a solid layer to race and train on. Though mother nature has continued to make it challenging to maintain a solid surface, the watering has provided a couple of amazing days of hard snow training, as well as vastly improving the conditions of the FIS U and Wester Region Elite Slaloms that our FIS athletes competed in.
The majority of the team has just returned from Schweitzer Mtn. Idaho, our last qualifier for U18 Nationals (Shout out to Brandon Mayhew and Sara Jane Mikell for consistently moving up 30 or more spots each day at the series). After two tech qualifiers and one speed qualifier, 3 of our SBSEF athletes appear to have qualified for this Elite Race that pits the best U18’s from across the country against each other. The schedule to qualify these athletes for U18’s has meant LOTS of travel for our whole. Looking ahead, the schedule lightens up somewhat, and I am excited for our athletes to have more time to have fun skiing their own mountain, as well as refocus on making improvements in their skiing in preparation for the end-of-season races.
Athlete Spotlight: Lauren Rothman and Audrey Moody – This season, these two athletes have been returning from their own individual knee injuries. Unfortunately, injuries (especially to knees) are apart of this sport, and both athletes have been doing a great job finding their way through the process to come out of the other side better skiers and better athletes.
Audrey is intensely passionate about ski racing and, understandably, has found it difficult to sit on the sidelines. But she took excellent ownership of her dry-land program this fall, where she worked actively to coordinate the guidance from her PT with our coaching staff so that we could push her fitness as quickly as appropriate before getting on snow. She also actively looked for ways to improve her skiing in the off season through visualization and World Cup video analysis. After returning to snow, she has continued to progress, and has already achieved her best results to date. ~ Brennan Rubie
Snowboard Team Update:
All our athletes did well at the Canadian NorAms – each of them working on personal goals in time trials. Declan Murray and Felicia Turcotte did make it into heats multiple times with Feli advancing into Small Finals – her first after total knee reconstruction. Since then almost the entire snowboard team has had a couple weeks off to focus on training before heading back out on the road. Europe this week for some para-athletes and fingers crossed some invites to World Championships in Spain in March. The NorAm team is preparing for another trip to Canada but on the Eastern side this time.
And on the Big Mountain Freeride side of things, Kaito has been doing very well with a very good shot at North American Champs.
Alpine Spring / Summer Camp schedule
Below is the tentative schedule for Spring and summer skiing. As always these dates may change with athlete interest and snow conditions. If you are interested in any of these options be sure to discuss with your head coach.
- May 8 – 11 Speed project at Snowbird
- May 12-14 (Fri, Sat, Sun) Tech at Snowbird
- May 19-21 (Fri, Sat, Sun) Tech at Snowbird
June – U16/U14 Whistler
- Depart June 4
- June 6-10 GS Focus
- June 11 – day off
- June 12-16 SL focus
- Return on June 18
July – U19 / U16 Southern Hemisphere- More details to come
August – Mt Hood
- Aug 1 – Aug 8 Mt Hood, U12, U14, U16, U19
- Depart July 31
- August 1-4 GS focus
- Aug 6-8 SL focus
- August 9 return to SLC