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Sun Valley Snowboarder Headed to Nationals
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Tuesday, March 14, 2023
 

BY HEATHER FOSTER

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation snowboarder Callie Allen has earned an automatic spot at the USASA National Championship following her showing in Halfpipe for Breaker Girls 13-14 in the Big Mountain West Series’ final event.

The Championship will be held March 31-April 12 at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Snowboard Team drove south to Woodward Park City for the final events of the USASA Big Mountain West Series Thursday through Saturday, March 9-11.

On tap was the final Slopestyle and Rail Jam followed by the first and only four halfpipe events of the season for most SVSEF riders.

Riders competing this weekend were also gunning for another Slopestyle result to gain points for the USASA National Championship.

Rylan Olson took to the course with a smooth 540-FS180-360 combo that put him in the mix with a really competitive field of riders from the Intermountain region. Callie Allen, in her first away-trip of the year, stepped up with stylish straight airs and also used the most challenging of the rail features.

Camille Armeen and Vivian Smith showed what’s to come in the Menehune 11-12 Girls group as they charged the line all day long. Karsen Miller stomped his first run, spinning both directions. On his second run, he threw his first BS Rodeo he’s ever done in competition—unfortunately he overcooked it a bit and took a spill in the landing. But, even with the fall, the stoke level was high for the attempt.

Woodward Park City Slopestyle SVSEF Athlete Results:

Menehune Girls 11-12

  • Camille Armeen 2nd
  • Vivian Smith 3rd

Menehune Boys 11-12

  • Rylan Olson 4th

Breaker Girls 13-14

  • Callie Allen 1st

Breaker Boys 13-14

  • Henry Georgiades 6th

Youth Men 15-16

  • Karsen Miller 3rd

The SVSEF Snowboard Team had two riders take part in the Rail Jam.

Snowboard 11-14 group athletes Bixby Swanger and Henry Georgiades showed a variety in both trick selection and the features they used.

Bixby had a really cool FS Smith on the down tube that made the judges and announcers take note. Henry decided to spin 360 on and off of the flat box in front of the judges, which seemed to raise the stakes as things heated up. Bixby “Bix” has such a different take on rail riding, and at least one judge shared afterwards they liked his style during the event.

Woodward Park City Rail Jam SVSEF Athlete Results:

Snowboard 11-14

  • Bixby Swanger 12th 
  • Henry Georgiades 13th

For the final events on Friday and Saturday, athletes took to the halfpipe. Sun Valley riders have a long and storied history in the halfpipe. People ask how SVSEF athletes train without one. The reality of this discipline is that the best freeriders make for many of the best pipe riders and that Baldy’s steep pitch teaches the great edge control needed to ride a halfpipe wall.

The progression in the halfpipe over the four days the team was at Woodward was amazing and the stoke for this new skill was on the face of the whole team. 

Callie Allen worked super hard getting out of the pipe with a mix of grabs on her straight air and an FS 360 to Cab 360 combo that gave her the win in the Breaker Girls 13-14 group.

Rylan Olson was rewarded for charging the pipe with style, landing in third in the Menehune Boys 11-12 group in his first-ever pipe event.

Henry Georgiades showed maybe the most natural adaptation to the halfpipe, looking clean between the walls and going bigger with each run. Miles Hatzenbuehler started right where he left off in the pipe last year, throwing a couple of nice runs during the two events on Friday. Enzo Schmillen was super consistent all week, gaining confidence and skill along the way; and had a nice alley-oop 360 to finish his runs. Naomi Gorringe, who was splitting time between a hockey tournament in Salt Lake City, managed to squeeze in two of the four pipe events, blasting out of the pipe and making the most of only getting four hits with combo grabs and 360’s.

Park City Head Coach, Rick Shimpeno, and SVSEF Head Coach, Andy Gilbert agreed this event seemed to be a turning point for halfpipe in the Intermountain region. “Great field size and the riding was really good!” said Gilbert. “The kids are indeed alright!”

Woodward Park City SVSEF Athlete Results in Halfpipe (HP) 1 through 4

Breaker Girls 13-14

  • Callie Allen HP2 1st, HP3 1st, HP4 1st 
    • Callie is the Big Mountain West Series Champion, earning an automatic spot at Nationals in Halfpipe
  • Naomi Gorringe HP1 1st, HP4 2nd 

Breaker Boys 13-14

  • Henry Georgiades HP1 4th, HP3 4th, HP4 4th 
  • Miles Hatzenbuehler HP1 6th, HP2 5th 

Menehune Girls 11-12

  • Camille Armeen HP1 3rd 
  • Vivian Smith HP1 4th 

Menehune Boys 11-12

  • Rylan Olson HP2 3rd 
  • Enzo Schmillen HP1 4th, HP2 5th, HP3 4th, HP4 4th

The team also got to participate in the “Ride for Jake” ride out. It was a mass drop-in from the top of the hill at Woodward in honor of Jake Burton Carpenter and his immense contribution to snowboarding.

“This was a great week of progression and bonding for our team!” said Gilbert.

Further athlete qualifications for the 2023 USASA National Championship will be announced in the coming week.


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