SNC Freestyle Ski Team: Keeping Freestyle Fun
JANUARY 31, 2013
The Sierra Nevada College Ski and Snowboard teams are a prestigious bunch of snow sliders, leaving no collegiate title left behind. In its third season of competition, the Freestyle Ski team has shown itself as a major force in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA). Last year, the women’s Freestyle Ski team won titles in halfpipe, slopestyle, and the overall combined title. But in a discipline with “free” in it’s name, a discipline that can trace it’s roots back to “HotDogging” in the ‘70s and ‘80s, how does the Freestyle Team balance fun with collegiate domination?
“We go out there and have fun, that’s how we progress. It never feels like we’re training,” said Sophomore Katie Souza, who brought home the 2012 USCSA National Title for women’s halfpipe. “There’s no pressure, we all have a blast.”
SNC’s Freestyle Ski Team has 10 members composed of three women and seven men. Souza said everyone is on the same page when it comes to training and working hard with a positive attitude.
“Having fun with friends and pushing each other keeps me motivated,” said Junior Alden Spence, SNC Freestyle team member.
According to Freestyle Team Coach Jon Cherry, official training for the Freestyle Team was optional over winter break, but many athletes were still at Squaw Valley USA and Northstar California Resort taking advantage of the great conditions. Those who traveled home over break met up with old friends and ski teams to keep the training going.
SNC Junior and Freestyle member Jason Arens, along with Alden Spence, recently put out a ski edit with the Good Enough crew.
Some athletes participated in the U.S. Revolution Tour, a competition put on by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA).
“I saw many of the athletes skiing five days a week getting prepared for the Revolution Tour.” said Cherry.
The SNC team primarily competes in the USCSA series, but many of the athletes also choose to compete in events like the Revolution Tour. The first stop of the tour took place Jan. 12-19 at Northstar.
REVOLUTION TOUR participant, Junior Alden Spence, poses for a quick picture inbetween runs during the Jan. 12-19 competition at Northstar California Resort.
At the Rev Tour, SNC Freestyle demonstrated their sunny dispositions. For most athletes, the results didn’t come together on paper, but everyone showed very impressive skiing. Souza, known to specialize in halfpipe skiing, claimed a sixth place in slopestyle with smooth 360s and a giant 180.
Sophomore Rebecca Roberts, last year’s USCSA National Slopestyle champion was one to watch, floating huge 720s. Unfortunately Roberts slid out on a box and was unable to to get on the podium. Cherry was keeping it fun at the top of the course, distributing gummy bears to his athletes, a long standing ski coaching tradition.
To catch a glimpse of SNC’s Freestyle Athletes in action, go cheer them on at one of their competitions. Ski teams will be competing two weekends in a row on Feb. 2-3 and Feb. 9-10 at Diamond Peak. For a full list of Freestyle competitions see http://www.sierranevada.edu/athletics/eagles-freestyle-skiing/schedule/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: FISHER
Raised in Sierra City, Ca where the Yuba River meets the Pacific Crest and the Sierra Buttes tower above an old gold mining town, population 225. Fisher studies Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Journalism at Sierra Nevada College.