by Stan Pawlik

The busy competition season continues for the Holiday Valley Freestyle Team. An Eastern Championship Series event was held at Stratton, Vt., while the Eastern Qualifying Series event was held at Seven Springs, Pa. Both competitions were single mogul events on Saturday, Jan. 25, and Sunday, Jan. 26.

On Saturday at Stratton, Macy Putman led the way for the HV girls. She did her first back flip in a competition and ended the day in 8th place. She continued to ski aggressively in the event on Sunday and improve to a 5th place finish. Also improving in Sunday’s competition were Emily Hutchings and Ashlee Schuman. Emily skied well and finished in 12th place while Ashlee just missed out on the top 20. Sage Rifkin had some good runs in training but, unfortunately, had a crash that kept her out of the competition.

In the men’s event, HV was well represented by Rylan Evans, Matt and Nick DiDonato. Matt led the way on Saturday in 9th with Nick 14th and Rylan 15th. Sunday was another good day for the boys. Rylan had a strong run with two back flips. He finished in 6th place, while Nick put together a fast second run that and end up in 9th place.

Nineteen competitors from HV made the trip to Seven Springs where the team had great success. The team brought home medals in every age group that they had competitors. Morghan Socha led the way for the girls finishing in 4th place overall Saturday and improving to 2nd overall on Sunday. Also cracking the top 10 were Kaitlyn McGuire (9th on Saturday) and Haley Saunders (10th on Sunday).

The HV boys were dominant in the overall results with four team members in the top six on Saturday and three of the top four on Sunday. Parker Johnston of HoliMont had a great weekend of competing and was the overall winner each day. Sam Capizzi had the most successful competitions of his career with a 2nd overall on Saturday and 3rd on Sunday. Bryce Butler came away with a 3rd on Saturday and 4th on Sunday. Quinn Rifkin had a great weekend as well with a 6th place on Saturday and improving to 2nd on Sunday. Also cracking the top 10 overall with great runs were Mikey McGuire (4th Saturday) and Jed Rifkin (7th Sunday).

HV had great success in the age group medals as well. Bringing home gold were Bennett Socha (both days), Sam Capizzi (Saturday),  Morghan Socha (Sunday) and Quinn Rifkin (Sunday). Silver medals went to Morghan Socha (Saturday), Bryce Butler (both days) and Sam Capizzi (Sunday). Rounding out the medals with bronze were Mikey McGuire (both days), Quinn Rifkin (Saturday) and Haley Saunders (both days).

The competition season continues this weekend with Holiday Valley hosting a mogul event on Saturday, Feb. 1, and two slopestyle events on Sunday, Feb. 2. The freeride skiers will also be competing in a USASA slopestyle event on Saturday. The Eastern Championship Series travels to Killington for a mogul event on Saturday and a dual mogul event on Sunday.