Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
The Sandy High Freestyle Ski team consists of just two 16-year-old skiers, but they’ve got some serious skills.
Up until the last two years if you were a freestyle skier and competing in High School and in the USASA you most likely skied for (or under) the Hood River team. Hood River skiers have dominated Mt. Hood Freestyle skiing for a long, long time. But Sandy High has been dethroning the champs - with just 2 freestyle skiers.
Led by Junior Kaymen Izer and Sophomore Mac Potter, both 16, the Sandy High Freestyle team finished top in the league in several events and medaled at State, where Kaymen got silver in halfpipe and Mac got Bronze in Slopestyle. Both skiers got invites to Nationals in April in Copper Mountain, Colorado along with just the top 65 kids in the nation for their age group.
Kaymen Izer will be heading to CO on April 7th to compete in Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Railjam (he turned down the invite to compete in Skiercross to focus on the other events). Mac Potter has declined his invite to Copper this year.
In Colorado Izer will be competing against the best of the best, future X Gamers and Olympians. The jumps at Nationals are huge, higher than anywhere on Mt. Hood.
For skiers who do well at Nationals, the hope is they can earn an invite to the Rev Tour, the next to top level events like the Dew Tour, XGames, and the Olympics. What makes this really impressive is that just two winters ago, Kaymen was a racer, not a freestyle competitor. He had never even been on a rail or in a half pipe. As a freshman he started following around the local freestyle skiers and made a backyard ramp to practice on. As a Sophomore he started competing in freestyle events as well as racing and started moving up the ranks quickly enough to earn an invite to nationals in his first year competing.
This year as a junior Kaymen has given up on the racing to focus solely on freestyle and this season his parents hired a local freestyle coach, Nathan Goddard. In just one season with Nathan fine tuning his tricks and landings, Kaymen has been landing Cork 9's and even the illusive Dub 10. Kaymen has high hopes at Nationals in a couple weeks. Going into the competition he is ranked 7th in the nation in skier cross, 19th in slopestyle, 34th in rail jam, and 2nd in half pipe.
Good luck in Colorado, Kaymen!