Little Silver Youth To Race in National Ski Championships
- Name: Julia Schneider
- School or league: Markham Place School
- Team: Belleayre Freestyle Team
- Award: USASA National Championship
When the USASA National Championships kick off at Copper Mountain, April 7th two young ski cross racers from the New York / New Jersey area will be vying for medals with competitors from around the country. Eleven year old Julia Schneider of Little Silver NJ, and eight year old Joshua Cohen, of New York City and Woodstock NY will race representing the Catskills Region of the United States Snowboard Association.
Julia, a fifth grader at Markham Place School in New Jersey is ranked 11th in the nation in her age group. She earned her way into the national competition by medalling in two out of the three regional races for her Belleayre Freestyle ski team.
Joshua is a third grader attending Lower Lab School in Manhattan NY is the #1 ranked Ski Cross racer in the Catskill Region , and is ranked 16th in the nation in his age group. Joshua, who also represents the Belleayre Freestyle team, took the gold medal in his two regional races to earn his trip to the Colorado nationals.
The two skiers will have their work cut out for them since over 1,700 athletes will be competing in ski and snowboard events over two weeks at Copper Mountain. Introduced at the 2010 Olympics, Ski Cross is a particularly exciting and difficult event. The discipline combines the speed of downhill skiing, the agility and balance of freestyle skiing over jumps, and a little bit of the bravado of roller derby since the four competitors race on the course simultaneously.
Belleayre Freestyle ski team head coach, Erik Tompkins thinks these two kids have the right stuff to compete with the nation’s best young skiers even though it is the first time at Nationals for both of them. “Julia a three year veteran of the team has become a serious competitor. She is just a great natural athlete,” said Mr. Tompkins. “Josh came out of nowhere this year and clearly Ski Cross is a sport for him. He’s a relaxed skier who loves to fly through the banks and take the jumps, and for his age he’s a strategic racer. He came from behind to win a number of heats this year, a rarity in Ski Cross.”
To reach this point both Julia and Joshua have put in serious training hours. Their team requires all day practices Saturdays and Sundays all winter. After the competition in Colorado they will return to the more typical athletic pursuits of youth soccer and martial arts.