Okemo was scheduled to host a pair of slopestyle events on Saturday and Sunday, but ended up running them back-to-back on Sunday when mountain and road conditions were more favorable. Caroline Claire (Wilmington) proceeded to put together back-to-back wins in the skier girls division (ages 10-13) Kirk Scully (W. Simsbury, CT) had seventh- and eighth-place finishes in the skier men’s division.
A USASA Southern Vermont Series slopestyle event at Carinthia on Sunday also saw MSA riders and freeskiers making strong showings. Snowboarder David McCarthy (Pawling, NY) took the gold in the junior men’s group (ages 16 -17), followed by teammate Ryan Gormley (Wyckoff, NY) in sixth place. Ali Hsueh (Closter, NJ) captured the top spot among youth women (ages 14-15), and Bradley Harper (W. Simsbury, CT) took fifth among youth men. Alex Atno (Lavellete, NJ) came in fourth in the breaker boys division (ages 12-13). Freeskier Thomas Neal (Wallingford, CT) came in a close third among skier men (ages 13-15).
Alpine skiers also had some events canceled, but a U12 skills assessment day was held at Stratton on Saturday. This fairly new category of competition is part of a nationwide USSA initiative to encourage skills development among young Alpine ski racers. Skiers compete in events that test their abilities at single and double pole plants and at completing a course on only the right or left ski. There is also an event called apex, which is based on a drill in which the racer skis a series of doubled brush gates designed to improve the ability to effectively set up gates and carve arcs through them. Each competitor is rated one through seven on each skill, and the winner is the young man or woman with the highest overall total. MSA racer Ariana Welter, a sixth-grader from Babylon, NY, came in third in the competition, which included approximately 70 young athletes.