Rocky/Central Regional News
What a month February was! Rocky/Central athletes were all over the world. Mikaela Shiffrin continues her dominance on the World Cup circuit. It was a sad day to watch Lindsay Vonn retire, Lindsay has been such a strong presence in the ski racing world for a long time, and she will be missed. At World Juniors, Rocky/Central qualified seven of the 14 athletes attending the event, Nellie-Rose Talbot, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Cooper Cornelius, Aspen Valley Ski Club, Jacob Dilling, Opportunity Ski Racing, Bridger Gile, Opportunity Ski Racing, Kyle Negomir, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, River Radamus, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Jett Seymour, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and University of Denver.
Results from World Juniors were fun to watch - Team USA won silver in the mixed team event and finished third overall in the Hodler Cup standings. River Radamus walked away a double gold medal winner. In the men’s giant slalom, Team USA put six men in the top 30, and five of those six were from Rocky/Central. Those were just a few of the highlights.
Rocky/Central finished up U.S. Nationals and Junior Nationals selections. Each of the divisions had qualifiers for U14 and U16 Junior Championships. It was great to see the whole Central Division come together for qualifiers at Marquette. What a great event that was; I heard many good things about it.
A big shout-out and thank you to all the sites and clubs that hosted events for the athletes all over the region. A lot of hard work and dedication went into the events it is very appreciated by the regional staff, athletes and coaches.
Congratulations to Emma Resnick (SSCV) for winning the GS title at OPA Cup in Switzerland and Cooper Puckett (SSP) finishing 5th in GS at OPA Cup. Rocky/Central had a number of U16 athletes qualify for the National U16 European projects: Isabelle Washburn (SSP), Emma Resnick (SSCV), Bayli McSpadden (SSCV), Kjesti Mortiz (SSCV), Cooper Puckett (SSP), Sebastian Kohlhofer (SSCV), Nick Kirwood (SSCV) and Camden Palmquist (BKH).
Congratulations to the male FIS athletes that traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to attend the National Performance Series of racing there. There were numerous podium finish at those races. Isaiah Nelson (BKH), Noah Riemenschneider (SSP), Tucker Strauch (SSCV) all stood on top of the podium and had 2nd place finishes as well. Trey Seymour (SSP) had a silver medal finish in one of the GS’s. Congratulations to the RC Men’s team that attended the event, the came away from that series of racing winning the Regions Cup over the Western and Eastern Regions.
March Madness doesn’t just happen in basketball...it’s an exciting time of year for our athletes. This is the time of year where all the hard work from year really comes into action. The winter has warmed up and sun is coming out, and it is a fun time of year in our sport. I am excited to watch the athletes ski.
Good luck to all RC athletes as they attend their various Championship races.
Darlene Nolting, RC Regional Director
Central Division News
Winter is still upon us here in the Central Division and it doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. It’s been a challenging month with weather, but the skiing has been good, and the racing has been better.
Looking back over the past few weeks - we had a smashing Central Speed Skills Camp at Indianhead February 1-3 following the infamous Polar Vortex. About 160 U14 and U16 athletes came together to work on SG skills such as wave tracks, jump progressions, gliding, and starts, followed by a race day. All the coaches in attendance did a wonderful job at collaborating and working together to create a very efficient and impactful few days. Anje Worrell, our R/C Youth Development Coordinator, came out to help support that event, working with the mountain on terrain design and development to create unique and challenging features for us to utilize.
Additionally, we had great turnout for the CR1 SkillsQuest event hosted at Afton Alps and put on by Anje Worrell with the help of many club coaches. So far this year, she has helped implement in-region SkillsQuest events in CR1, 2, and 3 and she will add one more weekend event in April (6-7), at Granite Peak, for the Central Skills and Thrills weekend. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of some great skiing and a lot of camaraderie.
We had just a fantastic event for our U14/16 Junior Championship Qualifiers hosted by Marquette Mtn, February 22-24. We had about 330 athletes competing over the weekend with a lot of great head-to-head racing. It was the first time in a number of years where all of the Central regions came back together for this event. Dealing with inclement weather, the Organizing Committee, the race officials, volunteers, coaches, and athletes all banded together to put on a very successful and incredibly fun event. Thank you to all involved and congrats to those who qualified to move on to compete in the R/C Junior Championship events. Good luck to all.
Also, a huge congrats to those Central FIS athletes who have qualified for the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Junior Nationals at Waterville Valley, NH. Those athletes are Isaiah Nelson (USST-BKH), Meredith Swirtz (GIL), and Lauren Geary (BKH).
We’re moving into our last month of competition here in Central with a lot of great opportunities still ahead. The Brule Non-Scored Central Finale is March 16-17. The Scored Championships are at Afton Alps, March 23-24th. And the FIS R/C Championships in Vail, March 7-10, followed by the Central Championships in Lutsen, March 21-24.
Remember that after the competition season, there are plenty of skiing and training opportunities in the Midwest after the race season. Including the Skills and Thrills event in April, keep your eyes and ears open for training space opportunities at places like Granite Peak and Lutsen where the snow can stick around through the end of April.
Lastly, please mark your calendars: CASC meetings will be April 26-27 in Chicago, IL. We encourage all coaches and club leaders to attend to hear reports about the past season, to learn of plans for the coming 2019-20 season ahead, and to vet any governance proposals for U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress, which will be held May 14-18, 2019 in Park City, UT. Just before Congress, from May 13-14, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will host the annual Club Excellence conference.
Also this spring, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Coaches’ Academy will be held April 29-May 5 at Mammoth Mountain, CA. This is a golden opportunity for coaches to earn level 300 certification and for participants to engage with U.S. Ski Team coaches on and off the hill.
Eric Cates, Central Division Manager