January 2023 Team Update
I am writing this email from a snowy Kitzbuhel, Austria on the morning of the 83rd running of the Hahnenkamm, the “Super Bowl” of ski races. The “Streif” is a mind-boggling difficult and dangerous downhill track that is widely considered to be the ultimate test of skiing meddle. Last week SBSEF Alumni Jared Goldberg finished 4th in a World Cup Downhill on the Streif. This is a remarkable feat that few ski racers in history have accomplished, rare air indeed!
Meanwhile, Bella Wright finished 11th in the Women’s World Cup Downhill just around the bend in Cortina, Italy yesterday, and will compete again in the next leg of her already successful World Cup campaign this year. SBSEF Alumni are at this point proving on a daily basis to be among the very fastest in. the world!
This week Owen Carlson will be competing in the Freeride World Junior Championships in Kappl, Austria for the 2nd year in a row. It is with anticipation that I will make the trip over the hill to see that event, scheduled for January 24th, as Owen competes with the best 15-18 big mountain athletes in the world yet again.
- Watch the competition live on YouTube on Jan 24 starting at 2AM MST: CLICK HERE
Our Snowboard and Adaptive Teams are competing at multiple international venues including Europe and Canada right now as well and continue to produce impressive results in BoarderX events. It is safe to say that SBSEF is spanning the globe!
On the home front, it has been an amazing start to the ski season in terms of snow, with over 400″ already it is safe to say that the skiing has been good. Of course the gratuitous snowfall does create significant challenges in terms of logistics and conditions for training at times, particularly on the Alpine side. Still, I think we can all agree that it is great to have the snow and the fantastic conditions. It does appear that the weather pattern is going to shift a bit in the coming weeks. The coaches have been doing a fantastic job of adapting to changing conditions and pivoting training plans for their groups.
SBSEF athletes have already competed at nearly every age group on the Alpine and Freeride sides, see below for more detailed group highlights.
This weekend also marked the first IFSA Regional competition of the season, and at Snowbird no less, in the legendary Silverfox venue.
The excitement is tangible, the results are incredible.
SBSEF Executive Director
Alpine Jfast Update
JFAST competed in their first race of this season this past Week (Jan 17, 18) The race, two giant slaloms, held at Snowbird, was one for the books. With over 12 inches of new snow, a road closure, and soft conditions SBSEF athletes really did have a home field advantage. Congratulations to all Snowbird Athletes as they skied extremely well in very tough conditions.
Our podium finishers were: U10 Girls – Violet Loeffler, 4th (Devo Transition team), U12 Girls – Liz Eden 1st, 1st, U10 Boys – Chace Kunigenas 1st, 1st, U12 Boys – Brody Eaton 1st, 1st, Vonn Kunigenas 2nd, 3rd, Cedric Sullivan 3rd, Arlo Hochman 5th, U14 Boys – Issac Cheung 2nd, 2nd, Leo Cai 3rd, and Benson Scoffield 3rd.
Getting this race off was truly a team effort. A big thank you goes out to parents for keeping athletes energized and on time all day long, our coaches and course crew who worked all day long to keep athletes racing.
~ Bo Maciejko
Jfast Athlete SpotLight:
Farah Kaukab has made huge strides in his GS skiing this season. She has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to improve not only her racing, but her freeskiing as well. She is eager for feedback and always has thoughtful questions about technique and tactics that help her whole group improve. All of Farah’s hard work paid off as he had some exceptional results at this last South Series GS finishing 8th overall in the second race. Great Skiing Farah!
SBSEF Snowboard Update
The Snowboard team has been super busy this month with a lot of international travel.
In early January the Para Team headed to Pyha Finland for some Boardercross World Cup and Europacup races as well as a Camp for about 2 weeks. The course was very good and temps were warmer than we are used to for Finland in January. Not much daylight makes it a challenge to switch time zones – they are currently only about 3 hours between sunrise and sunset (although rarely do you see the sun as it mostly sits behind the horizon). Here are some photos of the one day we actually saw some sunlight.
All our athletes saw some real improvement on that type of a course as well as some great results including a second place for Becca in her first Europacup.
Alpine U14 Update
Snowbird’s U14 Team is off to an impressive start. While record snowfall has cut into our gate-training, the freeskiing has been all-time! Powder skiing this season has shown to improve balance, recoveries, and general hard-charging with our U14 athletes. After days of freeskiing, our athletes have returned to gates with noticeable higher skills. At our first qualifier in Jackson, WY the girls led the charge with impressive results! Samantha Eden was 5th in the GS, won the first SL and was 2nd the next day. Quinn Costello joined Samantha on the podium with a third place finish with Georgia Mikell and Riley Eaton putting in consistent top 15 finishes. Cortland Parker had consistent top 15 finishes, with Sebe Baudendistel finishing with a top performance in 7th place in the first SL. Several of our boys had really impressive runs in the series and are looking forward to building off fast skiing in our next SG qualifier. ~ Ben Reeder
|U14 Athlete Spotlight:
Samantha Eden is our Athlete Highlight for January– not only was she consistently fast in our qualifier- Sam was one of the top U14’s in December at the Sean Nurse Memorial race, also in Jackson. Working hard to improve her technically strong skiing, Sam is also a great teammate, and really respectful of her coaches. Strong work Sam!
Freeride Team Update
Our first weekend of competition is in the books! Snowbird hosted our first two Regional events of the season with 60 (!) AltaBird Freeride athletes getting a start on Saturday and 50 starting on Sunday. The stoke was high with athletes throwing down on Silver Fox in bluebird conditions on Saturday and light snow and cold on Sunday. The team defended their home turf with podium sweeps in many categories on both days, highlighted by double podium weekends from Jack Reynolds in 15-18 Boys Ski (1st and 2nd), Sasha Bills in 15-18 Girls Ski (3rd and 1st), and Izzy Utgaard and Brooke Copinga in 12-14 Girls Ski (3rd and 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively).
Meanwhile, as mentioned in Bridger’s note above, Owen Carlson is throwing down on the Quellspitze at Kappl, Austria, in the Freeride Junior World Championships, tomorrow at approximately 2-5 AM MST on www.freerideworldtour.com, representing AltaBird Freeride, SBSEF, the IFSA, and the USA! LET’S GO OWEN!!!
We’ll have a really busy start to February with athletes competing at IFSA Nationals at Grand Targhee, Red Mountain (BC), Copper Mountain, and Palisades Tahoe with 2 IFSA Regionals at Snowbasin all within the first two weekends of the month! Stay tuned!
~ Will Dujardin
- Jan 26-27 – Westminster FISU
- Jan 28 & 29 – The Devo Cookie Cup GS
- Feb 6 & 9 – Bryce Astle Memorial WR FIS Elite Slaloms
- Feb 25 & 26 – The Devo Hot Cocoa Cup SL
- Mar 2-5 – IFSA Jr National Freeride Comp @ Snowbird
- Mar 17-19 – IMD U12 Championships
- Mar 25-26 – Devo Good Vibes Freeride Comp
- April 8-11 – Snow Cup
- April 15 – Team Duals and BBQ