Juniors put on a show at IFSA 3* Nationals at CBMR

“It was some of the highest level of skiing I’ve ever seen in Spellbound, including adults”

By Than Acuff 

Over 25 local ski and snowboard athletes competed at the IFSA 3* Nationals held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort,Thursday through Saturday, February 22–24. Once the skiers and snowboarders were done putting on a show, seven local kids finished in the top five with the young guns leading the charge as Brooks Miller and Tucker Pritchett placed first and second respectively in their age group.

“Brooks’s run was pretty standout and Tucker had a high line score without as many consequential moves,” says Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team (CBMST) on snow head coach Grant Spear.

The competition started with two days of qualifier runs on the Headwall for u15 and u19 athletes on Thursday and Friday in both skiing and snowboarding. The CBMST athletes headed into the qualifier days with a variety of plans all focused on skiing and riding within their abilities.

“Some of the kids were looking to play it safer to qualify while others who have top results under their belts already got to push a little harder,” says Spear. “You just don’t want to push it like you would in a finals run.”

Once scores were tallied, numerous local athletes punched their ticket to the Saturday finals and were treated to Spellbound Bowl as the venue.

“It was the first time the juniors have used the entire Spellbound as a competition venue,” says Spear. “It allows for a lot of variation and each athlete is able to put their own fingerprint on their run.”

Nearly every athlete made the most of the venue, with Teagan Turner placing third among the u19 snowboard women and Atalaya Hausdoerffer and Alyssa Lodovico skiing their way to top 10 results. Rowen Downum had the top result among the locals in the u19 men’s age class placing ninth but, across the board, the older athletes made their mark on Spellbound.

“It was some of the highest level of skiing I’ve ever seen in Spellbound, including adults,” says Spear.

Not to mention one athlete, Spear points out, that hit a feature dubbed Space Rock bigger than everyone reaching an estimated 60-70 feet, “in pretty unforgiving conditions.”

The local junior contingent, including a large posse of CBMST athletes, return to the road now for regional events across the state. As many as 12 were slated to compete at another National 3* comp at Kirkwood this week, but with 90+ inches predicted for the venue, the event was postponed to mid-March. As a result, several are pivoting to compete at a 3* event in Snowbird this coming weekend.

“It’s kind of up in the air but we’re going to make the most of it,” says Spear. 

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