Winter Academy for Alpine, Freeskiing and Snowboarding

MSA Freeskiers and Alpiners, Carinthia, State Champs and Eastern Championships

This time of year, competition on the slopes becomes ever more fierce as skiers and riders try to secure their places at regional and national finals.  Many MSA student-athletes are sewing up their spots and planning trips to compete further afield.

This weekend, snowboarders and freeskiers converged on Carinthia for the Red Bull All-Snow competition, an open event in jam format held on an extremely creative course of pipes and jumps.  Eighth-grader and MSA freeskier John Lohnes (Amherst, NH) won in a field of about 50, and Calvin Lyons (Marlboro, VT) took second.  Last weekend, the freeskiers were at Sugarbush on Saturday, February 28, for a USASA slopestyle event.  Ian Bryce (Wilmington, VT) placed first in the Skier Men’s division (ages 16 – 18), followed by teammates Ryan Funke (Fairport, NY) in second, Austin Knuth (Harwinton, CT) in fifth and Joe Nichols (Granby, CT) in sixth.  John Lohnes placed first in the 13–15 year old group.  The following day, the action moved to Attitash, NH, where several of the same folks competed successfully.  Ian Bryce again took first, trailed by Ryan Funke in fifth place, Joe Nichols in eighth and Austin Knuth in ninth.  John Lohnes came in third in his age group.  Snowboarder Chili Graves (Walkersville, MD) was at Crotched Mountain, NH, for a double event, from which he brought home wins in the Men’s Open class in both slope and rail jam.

MSA alpine racer Alex Welter (Babylon, NY) competed in the second weekend of the U16 State Championships at Sugarbush, where she placed ninth in GS and sixteenth in slalom in a field of over 100.  This performance was good enough to allow her to advance to the USAA Eastern Championships at Whiteface, NY,  March 16-20.  The U14 action was at Stratton, where almost 170 boys and girls competed in super G, GS and slalom.  Charlie Coffin (Ridgefield, CT) placed sixth in super G, which earned him a chance to compete in the Eastern Championships at Stowe this coming Friday to Monday.  Ariana Welter (Babylon, NY) was thirteenth among girls, which gained her an invitation to the VT-NY Invitational at Stratton March 19-20.  There was also a U12 and U14 race at Haystack, part of the Spring Series, on Sunday, March 8.  Alex Bornstein (Ridgefield, CT) won in the U12 group, and Inge Hughes (New York City, NY) came in eighth in the U14 dividion.

Last weekend, alpine racers from the U12 group were at Mount Willard, NY, for the final Southern Vermont Council slalom of the season.  Tess Beyer (North Salem, NY) placed second among the girls and Alex Bornstein of MSA’s Jump Start program placed sixth among boys in their respective races.  Overall placements for the Council were tallied, leaving Tess Beyer in first place and Alex Bornstein in fourth for the season.  These placements secured their rankings in the top ten Southern Vermont skiers in their age class, and qualified both to take part in the Piches Invitational, a slalom and giant slalom competition at Gunstock, NH March 12–15.

Coming up in the next week are the Carinthia Open, a slopestyle event that will draw highly ranked freeskiers and snowboarders to the Deerfield Valley for some fierce competition on March 14 and the Vermont Open for snowboarders at Stratton.  Freeskiers Ian Bryce, John Lohnes and Ryan Funke will head to Park City, Utah, where they’ve qualified to compete in the USSA Free Ski Junior Nationals.  Alpiners will be at the Eastern Championships at Whiteface (U16) and Stowe (U14).