Heavenly Foundation freestyle ski team makes season debut
ALPINE MEADOWS, Calif. — The Heavenly Foundation freestyle ski team took the hill in competition for the first time last weekend — and produced a number of strong results. Four skiers competed for Heavenly at the first Far West Freestyle divisional event of the season, held last Saturday and Sunday at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort.
“For not jumping at all this season and only being able to trampoline train, the athletes did great,” Heavenly head coach Erik Skinner said.
Zach Shearer, Mia Idzorek, Range Chapman and Karli Anderson competed for Heavenly at the two-day event — it included a singles event Saturday followed by singles and a dual moguls event Sunday. South Tahoe High freshman Gabbi Fisher was also scheduled to compete, but took a bad fall in training on Saturday.
“The athletes were uneasy jumping most of the training day, which was understandable as it was their first event of the season and their first day jumping on snow for the year,” Skinner said.
Shearer starred on Saturday. The South Tahoe High senior won the U-17 age group and fourth overall in the singles competition; on Sunday he didn’t compete due to illness.
Idzorek, a freshman at South Tahoe High, delivered strong performances on both days of competition. Idzorek took second in the U-15 age group and seventh overall on Saturday, and came in fourth overall in duals the following day.
Chapman and Anderson — both from Gardnerville, Nev. — rounded out the Heavenly contingent at the team’s season-opening event. Chapman took fifth in the U-15 age group and 23rd overall on Saturday and was eliminated in the round of 32 on Sunday; Anderson finished second in the U-13 age group and 12th overall on Saturday and came in sixth on Sunday.
“Our team had top-to-bottom runs in difficult conditions with little training,” Heavenly assistant coach Hannah Curtzwiler said. “I am so proud of them for standing up their runs.”
The event field included SquawFree, Wasatch Freestyle, Sun Valley Freestyle and teams from Vail, Colo. It was originally scheduled to take place at Squaw Valley Ski Resort, but moved because of a lack of snow base for Squaw’s mogul course.
“It was bittersweet being on a mogul course for the first time this year,” Skinner said. “Even though we had to treat the event like training, the athletes came away with some age group podiums.”
In Saturday’s girls singles event, SquawFree skiers swept the podium led by S.J. Grundon. Grundon won with a score of 73.27 to finish ahead of teammates Lynne Hickman and Sophia Marseilles — Marseilles won Sunday’s singles competition, with former Heavenly skier Tayrn Baker (now with Vail) placing second.
On the boys side, SquawFree’s Trevor Semmens won both singles competitions — on Saturday he completed the course in 20.64 seconds threw a pair of giant airs to earn a score of 80.69. Semmens sat out Sunday’s dual moguls event, and teammates Jack Kariotis and Kyle Wescott met in the finals — Kariotis edged Wescott, finishing second but winning with solid turns and a cork 720 on the bottom air.
In the girls dual event on Sunday, SquawFree’s Emily Tewksbury of Truckee earned gold on the difficult course. She edged SquawFree’s Payton Saca, with Marseilles placing third.
Heavenly returns to competition Jan. 13-16, when it will compete a Noram Invitational event at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Heavenly Mountain Resort will host the next Far West Freestyle divisional event, which is scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
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