Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Snowy slopes at the ‘flex

Flames claim two team victories in competition at Snowflex Centre

Skills — The Liberty snowboard and skiing team opened its season with a home event. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Liberty University’s club ski and snowboard team carved its way to a dominant showing in its first competition of the season Saturday night, Feb. 2 at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre.

Liberty placed first as a team in two of the three events, and three members claimed No. 1 spots in individual events.

In the competition, athletes were scored both individually and as a team, based on their performances on the rails and jumps on the course. Each athlete’s final score was composed of the average of two runs. The team score was a sum of the individual scores.

Liberty won both the men’s skiing and snowboarding divisions. The skiers were led by junior Tim Steltzer, who finished first in an individual event.

“Once I landed my first run, I was really happy about it, and I just had fun with my second,” Steltzer said.

Kevin Hoff and Dave Promnitz led the way for the snowboarders, taking the top spots in the men’s snowboarding event.

“My first run was just what I wanted, and my second one turned out good for the first two features,” Hoff said.

Eden Jones, the only female competitor for Liberty, also carved her way to an individual first place finish in the women’s snowboarding event.

With the success, Liberty’s club ski and snowboard team continued its three-year undefeated streak on the East Coast.

Snowy slopes— A member of the club team throws a trick. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Liberty defeated teams from across the region, including the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, East Carolina University and Appalachian State, and competed as a part of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA).

Liberty also successfully navigated an unpredictable course, due to snow earlier in the afternoon.

“Snow on Snowflex — it’s hard to deal with,” Head Coach Will Scheren said. “Sometimes it’s the best thing in the world. Tonight, it probably made things a little more difficult. Our guys have been riding on it. They’ve gotten to deal with adverse weather conditions, and they did a good job.”

Liberty battled a lack of experience in its first competition as well, as the team consists almost entirely of newcomers.

“These guys stepped up all fall and put in a lot of work, so I’m stoked,” Scheren said about his team.

Overall, Scheren was pleased with the team’s efforts on the night.

“Our game plan tonight was to put down a conservative first run, and then take off the training wheels for the second run, and the guys executed that very well,” Scheren said. “I feel great about how everybody rode tonight.”

The team hopes to continue their undefeated streak and ultimately send several athletes to the USCSA nationals in Idaho at the end of the year.

Liberty will continue its season competing in the USCSA throughout the next several weeks before capping off the regular season with several home competitions at Snowflex. The club skiers and snowboarders will begin their homestand in a ski and snowboard rail jam March 30.

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