SVSEF Freeski Team Brings Passion, Talent, and Heart to USASA Freeski Nationals 

Progression and strong potential shine bright for the future of the SVSEF Freeski Team

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) Freeski Team traveled to Copper Mountain, CO April 8-12 to partake in the USASA Freeski Nationals. SVSEF had 14 athletes qualify and compete in three different events: Slopestyle, Halfpipe, and Rail Jam. Woodward and Copper hosted more than 1500 snowboard and freeski athletes from across the United States over the course of the week. The competition was strong, with 32 regional divisions competing. 

“This past week of competition proved that this crew of young skiers has something far more important than medals or points, they have immense passion and huge hearts,” said SVSEF Freeski Futures Head Coach Gui Mattheis-Brown. “Their character is top notch, and their support for one another is surreal.”

First up was the Men’s Open Class Slopestyle, where Anton Holter shined bright with an extremely technical second run featuring a switch unnatural 1080 with a mute grab, securing him a spot in the finals and winning the hearts of several coaches with this very difficult maneuver. This was Holter’s first crack at the National Open Class level of competition, and he made the valley proud by making his way into finals with an incredibly stacked field. 

“Congrats to this young man for his impeccable style and steely determination,” said Mattheis-Brown. 

The same day, Blue Allen took to the Rail Jam course, with a smile on her face and radiating positivity. Allen skied incredibly well during qualifiers, earning a spot in the final. She earned a solid eighth place finish and her energy and passion earned her much respect from the other competitors and coaches. 

Next up, it was the Breaker Girls (13-14) and Menehune Boys (11-12) turn to show their skills on the Slopestyle course. Blue Allen skied flawlessly during training, putting down a run which included a massive right side 540, but was unable to transfer that momentum into her qualifying runs. “This girl has what it takes, and her future is very bright!” said Mattheis-Brown.

For the Menehune Boys, Barrett Beyer displayed his talents with very technical runs, but unfortunately missed out on the finals. Emmett Crist skied his heart out, spun in every direction, but he ended up missing finals by less than one point, earning him a solid 11th place finish. 

Leo Hayes put down a solid first run with a stylish cork 720, earning him a place into the final. In the finals, Leo continued his strong skiing and barely missed out on the podium, securing a well-deserved fourth place finish amongst an incredibly talented field.

On Wednesday, the Youth Men (15-16) and Breaker Boys (13-14) took to the Slopestyle course with tenacity and determination. George Corkery and Zeppelin Pilaro represented SVSEF in the Youth Men category. Corkery showed some serious character after taking a nasty fall in training and chipping a tooth. He came back to compete and posted a respectable score and a ninth-place finish in his qualifying heat. Pilaro put down an insane run featuring a massive double cork 1260 with a mute grab, but unfortunately fell on a rail and was unable to make it through to finals. 

“Respect to both of these young men for their heart and character. Big things to come in the future from these two!” said Mattheis-Brown.

For the Breaker Boys, Leon Vo, Anders Coulter, Zack Torres, and Kai Van Bueren all took on the Slopestyle course. Vo skied the best he skied all season, and his style was apparent throughout his run. Coulter linked some very technical tricks and locked on to the rails, but unfortunately neither of these two made it to the finals. 

Torres put down a very clean second run with big 900’s in multiple directions, earning him a score of 79.00, just out of the bubble to make it to the finals. “Zack’s improvement this season has been phenomenal, and his 11th place finish solidifies his status as a big-time threat for years to come,” said Mattheis-Brown.

Van Bueren was the last of the SVSEF Breaker Boys to drop, and on his second run he earned a spot into the finals with some extremely unique grabs and uncanny creativity through the rail section. During the finals, he gave it his all and earned a very respectable ninth place. 

“These young men and women are definitely hungry, and their progression over this season has been tremendous,” said Mattheis-Brown. “Although the results were maybe not what everyone was hopeful for, the quality of athletes on this team cannot be overstated. We are so proud of these young men and women for their commitment to having fun and seeing where it takes them; after all—that’s what freeskiing is all about!” 

For complete event results, visit: USASA Freeski National Results