Mad River Glen Freeski Team (front row L to R): Quinn Killian, Jack Guy, Seamus O’Neill, Lynsey Nagle, Sadie Haskell. Ava Killian, coach Matt McGinnis, Ben Killian, Evers Gladchun, Ryan Nagle. (Back row L to R): Coaches Harrison Myers, Edie Doemland, Emily Crofton and Jose Darias, skiers Ryan Lacey, Wyatt Babic, Jack Lacey, Tara Nagle, Addison Brooks and Adeline Lazorchak.

The high-altitude sun was blazing, Vermont junior freeskiers were shining bright, and more than 3,000 athletes, spectators and coaches gathered in Breckenridge, Colorado for the International Freeskier & Snowboarder Association’s (IFSA) Junior Freeride Championships (JFCs) April 7-14, 2024.  Each year, thousands of U19 freeskiers from Canada, the United States and South America compete in IFSA competitions, where skiers are judged on their ability to navigate a challenging single run on ungroomed, varied terrain, with scores awarded for difficult line choice, control, fluidity, technique, and style, including jumps and tricks like 360s.  At the end of the season, approximately five percent of the skiers from each age category (U15 and U19 male and female) are invited to JFCs, where they try to make the cut on day one to ski in the finals against some of the best young skiers in the world. With as many as 1200 skiers competing in a single category, being among the 30-60 athletes invited in an age category is quite an accomplishment.





This year, the Mad River Glen Freeski Team had an incredibly strong showing at JFCs, with the most athletes ever making it to the day two finals. Mad River Glen Freeski leader José Darias and coaches Edie Doemland, Matt McGinnis, Harrison Myers and Emily Croften led 15 young skiers, coaching them through inspection to choose their lines, and encouraging them as they hiked up and then stood facing down the steep wall, rocks and cliffs of Peak 6 at Breckenridge.  Quinn Killian, Ava Killian, Ben Killian, Evers Gladchun, Tara, Nagle, Lynsey Nagle, and Charlie LaMonia (who skis with Sugarbush during the regular season) went for it on Day 1, with Adeline Lazorchak, Addison Brooks, Sadie Haskell, Seamus O’Neil, Luke Miele, Jack Guy, Wyatt Babic, Jack Lacey and Ryan Lacey skiing through to the Day 2 finals, which can be watched at Seamus O’Neil and Jack Guy truly went for it in the men’s U19 final, resulting in spectacular crashes and fortunately no injuries. As he always does, Miele put down two fantastic runs to finish in 15th place. Miele was also elected the Jim Jack Mayor of Freeride, an honor presented to the IFSA junior skier who embodies the spirit and values of the IFSA. 

In their first year competing at JFCs, U15 women Adeline Lazorchak and Addison Brooks blew everyone away with their poise and their skiing, finishing in eighth and tenth place, respectively. Sadie Haskell’s incredible runs allowed her to finish in 11th place, having entered the competition in 35th place among the U19 women.  U15 men Jack Lacey, Ryan Lacey and Wyatt Babic had great runs, with Ryan Lacey landing one of the only 360s in the finals, Jack Lacey’s smooth skiing moving him from 48th to 10th place, and Babic finishing just off the podium in sixth place. 

“The Mad River Glen kids really took it to the next level - and considering they’d never skied this terrain before their competition runs, and rarely ski the type of terrain they saw at Breckenridge, their skills and runs were stunning. We are so proud of them!” said John Lacey, part of the Mad River Glen fan crew who traveled to Colorado, and who were mentioned by the announcers multiple times as the loudest and most enthusiastic followers during the competition.