Strong start to competition season sets tone
by Will Dujardin, CBMST head coach; westelkproject.com
The Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team started firing right out of the gate this competition season in the IFSA Junior Series with victories and strong results at Jackson Hole, Aspen, Winter Park and Squaw Valley.
January and February competitions were postponed and cancelled across Colorado, New Mexico and Utah so most of the comp team made impromptu plans for the Jackson Hole Regional, January 27-28.
The trip paid off as Kye Matlock was able to take the victory in his first year in the 15-18 men ski division. He was joined in the top ten by Turner Petersen and Holden Bradford in sixth and eighth, respectively. Dagan Schwartz earned second in 15-18 Snowboard men. Avery Bernholtz came away with fourth after a strong finals run in 15-18 women ski division.
In the younger 12-14 Ski Men, Nate Ball captured his first podium with second place and Rowan Featherman was close behind in fourth. The team also got to ski and ride almost two feet of pow, which has its benefits.
Some members of the team took advantage of some closer regionals as the snow picked up in Colorado in February. Jon Clay Patterson went over to Aspen with some teammates for a regional on the Highlands Bowl February 19 and he took the first place in the 15-18 men ski division. Just this past weekend, Darby Hamilton of Gunnison, in her first IFSA competition, won the 15-18 women ski division at a regional at Winter Park on the Chutes at Mary Jane.
The majority of the comp team used the CBCS winter break to head to Squaw Valley, Calif. for their first IFSA National event of the season. Despite the Lake Tahoe region having a slow start similar to ours, Squaw Valley was able to use North Bowl and the Oly Lady as competition venues. Nine of 13 athletes were able to qualify for finals and the athletes lit it up, all sticking runs to their feet. Ella Haverkampf had the best run in the finals for 12-14 women ski to move up to fifth place. Avery Bernholtz put down second best run in the 15-18 women ski finals to move up to fourth. Gus Bullock made headway moving up to 11th in finals with Rowan Featherman in 13th, who also earned a special mention from the judges for a creative line on day one. Dagan Schwartz had an impressive showing for his first year in the 15-18 men snowboard division with fifth. The CBMST made their presence felt in the 15-18 men ski division with four top 10 finishes: Turner Petersen in ninth, Marko Alling in seventh, Carson Hildebrandt with an impressive second, and Jon Clay Patterson lit up the venue to take first place.
The CBMST freeride squad has an action-packed month ahead with events at Monarch, Snowbird, two at Breckenridge, Vail and even Kappl, Austria. The team is hoping to build on the early season success to qualify for the IFSA North American Junior Freeride Championships and return to Snowbird in April.