U18 Alpine skier closes the season on top, excited for offseason training
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine team closed out the competition season with back-to-back races in the spring speed series at Aspen and Vail from April 7 to 15.
While these races are traditionally smaller events, Aspen was able to pool together prize money to attract some of the top ski racers across the country.
Aspen Olympic skier Wiley Maple competed to help elevate the competition level and give SSWSC athletes like Roman Elvidge a chance to test themselves against the best in the world.
What made the competition in Aspen unique was the downhill race on April 8, which was a two-run downhill format, calling for a whole new strategy.
“After the first run, they flipped the top-30 finishers so the person in 30th ran first and the person in first ran 30th,” Elvidge said. “A tactic that some people were trying to take was maybe not doing quite as well on their first run but starting earlier on their second run when it is warmer so the snow conditions were better for them.
Elvidge was fifth after his first run, which elevated his nerves for run two. Starting 25th, the snow was not quite as ideal for him and he took a combined time of 2:13.03 and a seventh place overall finish while taking top honors of U18 athletes.
Immediately following the competition in Aspen, the team traveled to Vail for two giant slalom and two slalom races.
When getting to the end of the season, Elvidge said a lot of athletes begin to burn out and focus more on staying healthy.
“In skiing there is not only the physical fatigue, but a lot of mental fatigue because before every run you have to get yourself super fired up,” Elvidge said. “Also with inspecting both courses and getting fired up for a second run as well, it can really start to drain mentally.”
Elvidge was second for U18s in the first giant slalom race with his teammate Everett Dooley right behind in third for U18 athletes.
These were the final two Alpine events for the competition season. Elvidge and several others will likely travel to Mammoth Mountain in California to continue getting on-snow training this summer.
Prior to that, Elvidge will have a quick turnaround from the offseason and be in the SSWSC group to train at Steamboat Resort in the coming weeks.
“A week and a half break is a longer break than we have had throughout the whole season, so it is still much needed,” Elvidge said. “I am just thankful that the resort is going to let us go up there after they closed and continue to train. We got so much snow this year, it would be a waste if we did not keep training.”
Elvidge had such a strong season, he made U.S. Ski Team criteria and will soon find out if he will be accepted to the team.
“This year has been a great season,” Elvidge said. “It feels like every year I just keep building. I have not really hit a plateau, which I am thankful for.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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