Young big-mountain skiers square off at Squaw
SQUAW VALLEY USA ” The North Tahoe Junior Big-Mountain Invitational competition went off like a rocket this past weekend.
It was a day of thrills and spills for the talented field of 11- to 14-year-old skiers. Conditions in the Snag Cliffs/Enchanted Forest/Ice Goddess venue offered awesome ski conditions with soft snow pasted onto the slope, providing exciting lines and soft, yet challenging lands.
This three-part series is composed of the top 10 boys and five girls from the Squaw Valley Ski Team, the Alpine Meadows Ski Team and the Sugar Bowl Ski Team.
The day was marked by impressive skiing, creative lines, cliff jumps and strong skiing. Every skier in the event exhibited great skill and courage as they navigated their way down the steep, challenging lines of their choice off the famed KT22 chair. Many boys and girls threw in some big airtime, staccato short turns and giant-slalom-style big turns in the open sections.
On the girls’ side, Sarah Williams of the Squaw Valley Ski Team came out in first with strong, consistent skiing. Zabie Elmgren and Emily Nall, both from Squaw, finished second and third making fast turns and catching air at the bottom. Taylor Briggs of Alpine Meadows was third and Alli Lawton of Sugar Bowl was fourth. The girls all skied well and attacked the steep slope with aggressiveness and style.
On the boys’ side, the competition saw many spills and thrills. Chris Verrue of Alpine Meadows walked out of his ski on the top section, costing him points on the first run. Chase Whitney and Ryan Faye of Squaw Valley both fell on their first runs as well. But all these boys went on to fantastic second runs and finished second, third and seventh respectively.
Tilen Lane of Squaw Valley tore it up in his first run but fell on his second to finish third. With solid skiing on both runs, Colin Putnam of Alpine Meadows finished in a tie for third place and Emmet Seeley of Sugar Bowl finished in sixth.
But the day went to Squaw Valley’s Wildon DesLauriers, who skied two flawless runs that combined steep turns and a jump on the top section with a double-jump through the Ice Goddess cliffs.
The young skiers acquired points through the three-part series to crown the overall champions. Sarah Williams of Squaw Valley ended the year in first place, followed by Natalie Bogardus of Squaw Valley in second place and Taylor Briggs of Alpine Meadows in third. On the boys’ side, Wildon DesLauriers took first and Ryan Faye second while Chase Whitney and Chris Verrue tied for third.
“It was a great first season for this series,” said Squaw Valley Big Mountain coach Eric DesLauriers. “We would like to grow this series next season to incorporate more top junior skiers from the area.”
Place, Athlete, Team, Total score (two runs)
1. Sarah Williams, Squaw Valley, 57.17
2. Zabie Elmgren, Squaw Valley, 54.33
3. Emily Nall, Squaw Valley, 52.83
4. Taylor Briggs, Alpine Meadows, 50.00
5. Skyler Flora, Alpine Meadows, 49.83
6. Natalie Bogardus, Squaw Valley, 49.17
7. Casie May, Squaw Valley, 47.33
8. Alexandra Lawton, Sugar Bowl, 40.83
9. Erin Rose Fuller, Alpine Meadows, 39.67
10. Lauren Huseby, Sugar Bowl, 36.83
11. Jordan Briggs, Alpine Meadows, 32.50
12. Sage Chador, Alpine Meadows, 31.00
13. Julia Nierenberg, Sugar Bowl, 27.00
1. Wildon DesLauriers, Squaw Valley, 67.67
2. Chris Verrue, Alpine Meadows, 66.50
3. Colin Putnam, Alpine Meadows, 64.17
3. Chase Whitney, Squaw Valley, 62.00
5. Tilen Lane, Squaw Valley, 61.50
6. Emmett Seely, Sugar Bowl, 60.67
7. Ryan Faye, Squaw Valley, 60.50
8. Henry Bogardus, Squaw Valley, 56.50
9. Ben Knaus, Squaw Valley, 53.17
10. Nick Oberriter, Sugar Bowl, 51.83
11. Tyler Olk, Squaw Valley, 50.83
12. Ryan Hammarskjold, Sugar Bowl, 46.00
12. Ethan Faye, Squaw Valley, 45.50
14. Mark Heisinger, Squaw Valley, 44.83
15. Blake Lawton, Sugar Bowl, 44.17
16. Parker Brixey, Alpine Meadows, 43.83
17. Demetri Nicoleaus, Squaw Valley, 43.33
18. Brandon Flora, Alpine Meadows, 43.17
19. Drake Dahl, Sugar Bowl, 42.83
20. Kyle Fowler, Sugar Bowl, 40.83
21. Aaron Pado, Alpine Meadows, 40.00
22. Duke Peterson, Sugar Bowl, 38.67
23. Michael Petruzelli, Alpine Meadows, 33.83
24. Clay Peterson, Sugar Bowl, 33.00
Overall series team points
1. Squaw Valley Ski Team 974
2. Sugar Bowl Ski Team 453
3. Alpine Meadows Ski Team 442