It’s not quite time to break out the skis here, but that hasn’t stopped the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club athletes from kicking off.

Three club student-athletes were recently selected to participate in the Western Regional Development Project in Europe. Sophia Tozzi, Oliver Parazette and Grant Hagen traveled with Ski Club Alpine Head Coach Seppi Stiegler on Oct. 10 to Italy, where they will be training through Oct. 26 with the Western Region Development Project.

“Sophia, Oliver and Grant have shown incredible commitment during summer training, and Seppi continues to take a huge leadership role,” Brian Krill, the Ski Club’s executive director, said in a release. “Their selection, and Seppi’s selection as a regional coach on the trip, shows the strength of our program right now. It’s really important for these young athletes to have exposure and experience in Europe, where they will ultimately need to have success to reach the highest levels of the sport.”

The goal of the development camp is to create a fun and competitive environment for student-athletes to put finishing touches on their offseason preparation. The sub-national team structures offer complementary cooperative training with other regions.

“After a long stretch in the gym it’s great to be back on snow to finish our preparatory training block,” Steigler said. “Grant and Sophia are first-year FIS athletes and have stepped right into our high-level training environment, led by their teammate Oliver. Early snow and cold temperatures on the glacier puts our team in the perfect place to get ahead for the year.”

Stiegler, Tozzi, Parazette and Hagen traveled to Schnastal/Senales, Italy, where they will spend about two weeks training with the rest of the Western Region team. They’ll train alongside athletes from the Italian and Canadian national teams.

“This trip is a whole new experience for me,” Hagen said. “From the different cultures to the level of work ethic on the hill, the quality of training I am getting will help me ski my best this season.”

“The experience is super cool to be in a whole new place with new people and coaches,” Tozzi said. “The volume of training and level of coaching will help with my upcoming season.”

Contact Chance Q. Cook at 732-7065, sports@jhnewsandguide.com.

Sports Editor Chance Cook has lived in rural Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Butte, Montana. He is no stranger to spending time in the woods chasing animals. If you see him out, challenge him to a game of pool. Send tips and questions.

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