By Eric Smith
Special to The SUN
On Friday, April 9, a Pagosa Springs athlete competed and medaled in a freeride ski and snowboard regional competition at Cooper Ski in Leadville.
Eric Smith, sixth-grader at Pagosa Springs Middle School, placed third in U12 male snowboard.
The competition was an IFSA-sponsored event and included athletes from Vail, Crested Butte, Jackson Hole and many other Rocky Mountain ski teams. Smith competed on behalf of the Continental Divide Freeride Team based out of Wolf Creek Ski Area.
These team competed at competition locations such as Monarch Mountain, Crested Butte and Wolf Creek. Coached by Liz Callard, Ben Callard and Brian Neufeld, the local team consisted of approximately 20 young skiers and snowboarders judging their competitive runs on line choice, fluidity, control, style and energy.
These athletes would often be seen around Wolf Creek donning red team vests and likely skiing and riding the steepest most challenging lines, cliffs, drops, chutes and pow.