By Stan Pawlik

The freestyle skiing competition season is now upon us. This past weekend, the Holiday Valley Freestyle Team (HVFT) had team members competing at Bristol Mountain, NY and Waterville Valley, NH.

Bella Bacon, Corgan Garrison and Caleb Darnley travelled to Waterville Valley to compete in the REV Tour freeride event. This is an open event for freeriders that are working to qualify to earn a spot to compete at Junior Nationals and Nationals. Bella led the way with a third-place podium at her first REV tour competition.

HVFT’s mogul skiers had a busy weekend as well. Eighteen team members competed at Bristol Mountain in the Eastern Championship Series (ECS) and the Eastern Qualifying Series (EQS). The ECS has the top mogul skiers in the east, competing in single mogul competitions where each skier is individually judged as well as dual moguls where two skiers compete against each other with the winner of the run advancing to the next round. The EQS consists of events in single moguls, aerials and slopestyle/freeride. Saturday, there was a mogul and a dual mogul event for the ECS. Sunday had the ECS competing in a mogul event and the EQS competing in two separate mogul events.

In the ECS single event on Saturday, Kaitlyn McGuire had the top result for HVFT. She had her best run of the weekend and narrowly missed out on a top 10 result – ending up in 13th place. Mike McGuire was the top male skier with a 16th place finish. In the dual mogul event in the afternoon, both Bryce Butler and Mike had wins. Mike led the way and advanced to the third round before being eliminated while Bryce was eliminated in the second round by the third-place skier.

In the single event on Sunday, Mike again had a 16th place result while all three HVFT girls cracked the top 20. Morghan Socha finished in 14th, followed by Kaitlyn in 15th and Lauryn Socha in 20th.

Sunday was a busy day for the EQS skiers, with two mogul events being held. Each event consisted of two runs, so it was a long day of competition. HVFT was well represented in these events. There were several top 10 overall results and many team members took medals in their age groups. In the morning event, five HVFT girls finished in the overall top 10. Ashley Hubert led the way with a 3rd place, followed by Zoe Schaab 4th, Patsy Oberholzer 6th, Summer Celani 8th, and Brooke Butler 9th. For the boys, William Hamilton led the way in 5th place followed by Matt LaRusch 7th, and Bennett Socha 10th. In the afternoon event Patsy had a 2nd place with Brooke 7th, Ashley 8th, Zoe 9th and Summer 10th. William had a 3rd place and Bennett was 5th.

HVFT came away from the two events with a total of 12 age groups medals. Winning gold medals were Ashley Hubert, Patsy Oberholzer and William Hamilton. Silver medals went to Zoe Schaab, Patsy Oberholzer and William Hamilton. Bronze medal were won by Ella LaRusch (in the morning and afternoon), Ashley Hubert, Sophie Barnum, Matt LaRusch and Bennett Socha.