Intense Training Pays Off for Skiers, Snowboarders in Historic Competition


Lynchburg, VA (PRWEB) December 09, 2011

Liberty Universitys Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre made its mark in the ski and snowboard world on Saturday, Dec. 3 when it hosted Trails 2 Rails, the first event of its kind to take people who had never been on a slope before and turn them into competitive skiers and snowboarders.

Its the first time its ever been done in ski and snowboard history, in the country or even in the world, that were aware of, said Drew Sherwood, manager of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, the universitys year-round ski slope that is the only facility in North America made of Snowflex, a synthetic material that simulates the effects of snow.

More than 400 students tried out for Trails 2 Rails at the beginning of the semester and were narrowed down to 18 participants. They trained for two months three days a week with a certified instructor.

In just two months, going from never skiing or snowboarding to performing in a contest is unheard of, Sherwood said. Just to see the progression shows how well Snowflex really works and how blessed we are as a university to have this event in our backyard.

He said Snowflex allows skiers and snowboarders to progress twice as fast as they would at other ski resorts.

Our facility offers consistent run. It never changes with snow or icy surfaces.

Jeremy Ganse, a freshman exercise science major, was the winner of the Trails 2 Rails competition, and walked away with $ 800 worth of gear and a love for the sport of snowboarding.

Its a lot of fun being able to snowboard. You can have the opportunity to ride for free because youre a student here, and just get really good, said Ganse, who added he also practiced on his own two hours every day. Im going to keep riding. Im going to try jumps now instead of rails. I cant wait.

Freshman Tyler Knopp said the experience was worthwhile.

Not knowing how to do anything (when trying out) and then being in such a big competition like this was very nerve-wracking but I learned to love it, and I wouldnt want to do anything else.

Sherwood said the event was so successful, they will offer it again next semester with all new participants and a focus on jumps. They are also hoping to offer a similar experience for area high school students.

Trails 2 Rails was followed by the second annual DeMoss Rail Jam, featuring expert skiers and snowboarders competing for cash and prizes. (Last year, snow was brought in to the steps of the Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center for the competition, but due to warm weather this year, the event was moved to the Snowflex Centre.)

More than 40 competitors showed off their best tricks, including members of Libertys Freestyle Team and riders from Lynchburg College, Roanoke College and Virginia Tech.

The next competition at the Snowflex Centre will be the College Freestyle Series on Feb. 4, 2012.

Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., is the worlds largest Christian university. More than 12,000 students attend classes on its 6,500-acre residential campus and more than 60,000 study in its thriving online education program.

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