Peak Performers: Young local athletes to watch in the future
A half-dozen youngsters who 'got next' out on the snow
Editor’s note: As part of our Peak Performers project, which honors readers’ submissions for the best and most meaningful skiers and snowboarders in Summit County history, we asked readers another question: to nominate young talented local athletes who may just be in contention for such an honor years from now.
From accomplished ski mountaineers to talented and stylish young snowboarders, here are a few young Summit County winter sports athletes to keep an eye out for in the future, according to you, the readers. Be sure to go to SummitDaily.com/PeakPerformers to read up on the more than 40 finalist nominees across snowboarding, freestyle skiing, Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing in the adult categories.
Jace Guadagnoli, snowboarding
A 15-year-old big mountain and boardercross rider, Jace Guadagnoli competes in dozens of competitions each year and prides in doing whatever it takes to keep pushing himself. This year he joined Team Utah and spent the last two months traveling the world to keep progressing. Last season, he finished fourth overall for the International Freeskiers Association 12-14 boys series and 10th at the United States of America Freeski and Snowboard Association Nationals.
Zabel Parrot, snowboarding
Already familiar to many Summit County locals via his “Z Shreds Summit” Instagram account, the young Zabel Parrot, or “Lil Z” — who’s still not in his teens — has become famous locally for his social media snowboard clips he films riding in the park and out on resort runs with his dad. Parrot also has competed at USASA Nationals and brings a steezy (stylish and easy) flair to his side-hit riding at our local Summit County resorts.
Paige Petersen, Alpine skiing
Known as an athlete who embodies a spirit of positivity no matter what she is doing, Paige Petersen is an up-and-coming multi-sport star who was a member of Summit High School’s state championship slalom team at last month’s Colorado High School Ski League state championship. Throughout the season, the sophomore stood out among the Tigers’ deep pool of skiers, showing she could race with the best of them on any given day.
Jenna Sheldon, Alpine skiing
A teammate and fellow Summit High Alpine sophomore with Petersen, Jenna Sheldon works hard everyday to excel at what she loves, which is ski racing. From the club circuit to the high school slopes, Sheldon has proved to be one of the region’s best young female skiers in recent years while also finding success as a varsity rugby player and track & field athlete for Summit High School.
Jeremiah Vaille, Alpine skiing
Nominated as an Alpine skier thanks to his time on the Summit High School ski race team, Jeremiah Vaille spent this past winter devoting his time to the sport of ski mountaineering. A member of the 2020 American contingent at the Laussane Youth Winter Olympics, Vaille parlayed his cross-country running and snowshoeing endurance and skills to ski mountaineering. The Eagle Scout and top finisher at the Colorado High School cross-country running state championships is a member of the burgeoning Summit County and Summit Endurance Academy ski mountaineering community that has its sights set on setting the standard in youth ski mountaineering ahead of the sport possibly being included at a future Winter Olympics.
Forrest Woodard, freestyle skiing
The 11-year-old Forrest Woodard is regarded by those who know him best as one of the hardest working and motivated youth athletes in Summit County. The up-and-coming Team Summit star just a few weeks ago won the menehune (age 10-11) boys USASA slopestyle competition at Keystone Resort’s A51 terrain park, validation that his strong win the week before at the USASA Re-Railer Slopestyle competition at Winter Park was no fluke.
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