Weekend Preview: April 5-7
STRATTON—Who’s ready to send the 2018-2019 Competitive Season out with a bang? This may be the last hectic weekend of the winter, and it’s a big one. Keep reading to find out what’s on tap and how you can follow along!
SMS Freesking Ramps up for USASA Nationals
When only one member of your team doesn’t qualify for USASA Nationals (he was a bit busy winning a Crystal Globe), you know you’re doing something right! The entire SMS Freeskiing squad is headed to Colorado’s Copper Mountain for USASA Nationals this weekend, taking place between Sunday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 10 (with a weather day scheduled for April 11). All of our athletes will compete in both Rail Jam and Slopestyle, with the exception of Charlie Gnoza `21 who will focus on Slopestyle. So far this season Freeskiers has dominated at USASA events including the first Stratton Rail Jam of the season, a battle through high winds in the second, an impressive 13 podium finishes in Slopestyle at Carinthia, gold in the RideMass Double Header at Powder Ridge, and further podiums at the Ragged Mountain Rail Jam.
“It feels great to have all of our kids qualify!” said SMS Freeskiing Director Jesse Mallis. “It’s a pretty clear indicator we’re doing things right. Our kids are passionate about their skiing—they work hard, and we look forward to seeing them compete out at Copper.”
Osinski, Fitzgerald Take on Junior World Championships
While Freeskier Montana Osinski `21 and Snowboarder TJ Fitzgerald `19 also qualified for USASA Nationals, it won’t be the biggest comp on their Spring schedule: both have also qualified for the 2019 FIS Freestyle and Snowboard Junior World Championships, and will represent the U.S.A. in both Slopestyle and Big Air. (Read the full announcement from U.S. Ski and Snowboard here.)
“We are proud to send a very talented team of athletes to Sweden and Slovenia to compete in the Junior World Championships where we will be vying for the Marc Holder Trophy for the second year running in snowboarding,” said Halfpipe, Slopestyle, Big Air, and Parallel Giant Slalom Sport Development Leader Ashley Deibold. “In addition, the athletes will be competing to secure a personal World Cup spot for the 2019-20 season.”
These two athletes will compete throughout the week, with Fitzgerald also dominating at USASA Nationals (Snowboard competitions have taken place this week) before departing for Junior World Championships in Kläppen, Sweden. Fitzgerald most recently placed 1st among the Pro Men in the Rail Jam Competition at Stratton’s Vermont Open, alongside a 3rd place podium in Slopestyle. He also finished 25th among the pro field at the Revolution Tour and FIS Nor-Am Event hosted by Mammoth Mountain, following 8th and 12th place Nor-Am finishes earlier in the season (both in Slopestyle). Additionally, the athlete has claimed both a 1st and 2nd place podium in Rail Jam and Slopestyle respectively at USASA Southern Vermont Series events this season.
“TJ has been pushing his riding on the Nor-AM tour all season,” said SMS Snowboarding Director Ross Powers. “It’s so great to see his hard work pay off with a Junior World Championships invite to represent Team USA in Snowboarding Slopestyle and Big Air in Sweden next month. Way to go TJ!”
“We are so proud of Montana and all of the hard work she’s put in this season,” said SMS Freeskiing Director Jesse Mallis. “We’re so hyped for her to be invited to Junior World Championships!”
Congratulations to both! We’ll be posting updates from Junior World’s on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow along.
Stratton Mountain School is an independent boarding and day school that focuses on college preparatory academics and competitive winter sports. Located at the base of Stratton Mountain, SMS serves students in grades 7 – 12.