Summit County snowboarders eager to continue success at their first junior world championships
Two Summit County snowboarders are bound for Switzerland after being selected to the 2022 U.S. Junior World Championship team for snowboarding.
Alyssa Moroco and Kaitlyn Adams are Summit County locals who train mainly at Copper Mountain Resort. Moroco, who is 15 years old, trains under private snowboard coach Terri Hunter, while 16-year-old Adams trains under Will Rivera.
Moroco and Adams were two of four female U.S. junior athletes selected to the U.S. junior team that will compete in Leysin, Switzerland, from March 6-13. Moroco and Adams will face some of the best junior level international competition in snowboard slopestyle and big air events.
This snowboard season especially, the Summit County duo has made its mark at competitions, which is why the pair was selected to represent the U.S. on the junior team.
Throughout the season, Moroco and Adams have been competing in the North American Cup series as well as Federation of International Skiing series competitions.
Moroco recently won her first slopestyle event of the season Thursday, Feb. 24, when she topped the competition at Copper. Along with the first-place finish, Moroco has also had fourth- and fifth-place finishes this season at highly competitive events.
Adams has also had success this season with a first-place finish in slopestyle at the Canadian National Junior Championship on Feb. 6. Additionally, Adams placed first at a Nor-Am Cup event at Mammoth Mountain and second at a Nor-Am Cup event in Canada in January.
Moroco and Adams said the successes they have had this season have greatly increased their confidence in their riding.
“Last year, I didn’t have the best season. I couldn’t land a run,” Adams said. “Every contest I would go to, I would fall, and my confidence would go down. This year, I have been doing really well, and it has made me feel good about my snowboarding and allow me to push myself more.”
“Doing well in competitions definitely helps with confidence,” Moroco said. “Going into the next one, you feel better based on how you did in the last one.”
Moroco and Adams are thrilled to continue their success this season and get a chance to compete overseas at what will be their first Junior World Championship event.
Moroco said they were not surprised when they were selected to the team, due to where they were ranked among other junior-level athletes, but that it was still exciting when the official announcement was made.
“It was definitely exciting when it was confirmed that we were going,” Adams said. “We kind of knew because of the points, but at the same time, we were kind of like, ‘What if we don’t go though?’ So it was still exciting to officially find out.”
Both Moroco and Adams have been riding most of their lives, beginning when they were around preschool age, and started competing just a few years later around the age of 6 or 7.
Adams said she found her way into the sport when she started being able to hit the rails at her local mountain back in her birth state of Ohio. From there, she started competing regularly and gaining even more experience.
“I’ve been doing it for like ever,” Moroco said. “It’s kind of just the natural progression to start competing.”
Along the way, both riders made the move out west to Colorado in order to train at Copper, which has some of the best terrain and facilities in the nation. Adams made her way from Springfield, Ohio, while Moroco moved from Sharon, Pennsylvania.
The duo said they are not necessarily focused on specific results in Switzerland, but rather looking forward to riding in Switzerland for the very first time.
“My goal is to put down the best runs to my abilities and see what happens,” Moroco said.
“I’m excited to just ride there,” Adams said. “My goal is to put down a clean run and hopefully do good with whatever I can put down.”
Moroco and Adams said they draw inspiration for their runs and look up to some of the best women slopestyle and big air riders on the circuit. Moroco looks up to Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and U.S. Olympian Hailey Langland, while Adams is inspired by Sadowski-Synnott and Matty Cox.
Both Moroco and Adams will head to Switzerland on March 3 before starting competition March 6.
Adams, with the help of her coach and family, is hosting a pinball tournament March 3 at Co. Bar in Frisco in order to help pay for her trip to Switzerland and other competitions.
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