Whether he is racing through the snow or flying off a ramp, Jason White of Baltimore, Md., a senior majoring in civil engineering in the College of Engineering, says he has a passion for skiing.

White is in contention to be sent as a Snow at Virginia Tech team representative at the mini series 2012 Dew Tour event at Snowflex in Lynchburg, Va. Since Snowflex is a year-round facility, it is usually one of the last stops of the tour and takes place in April.

“This event is held annually, and the best riders on the east coast show up for it,” said Nathaniel Slemp of Sugar Grove, Va., a junior majoring in wood science and forest products in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Slemp is president of Snow at Virginia Tech, a club with the goal of progressing in freestyle sports. “It's still incredibly early in the season to tell; however, I'm quite proud to say that we have some phenomenal riders who may be able to represent us come this fall. One of the top riders you should look out for is Jason White.”

White describes himself as a fairly relaxed and outgoing individual. He finds time to participate in the Outdoor Club and intramural soccer while also being a member of the Skydiving Club, Delta Upsilon fraternity and Snow at Virginia Tech. He started practicing with Slemp and other members of Snow at Virginia Tech last year after they saw what he could do on a pair of skis.

“We met Jason at the terrain park at Snowshoe. He was so sick," Slemp said, referring to White's amazing skills. "We had to introduce ourselves, and as it turns out he was a student at Virginia Tech.”

White has been skiing for more than 18 years. Prior to his participation with Snow at Virginia Tech, he was not involved in any formal groups or training dedicated to the sport. Despite this fact, he was very successful and says he was self-motivated at a young age.

“By the time I was 12, I was already going off large jumps and attempting tricks, White said. “I pretty much just taught myself how to do tricks.”

Through Snow at Virginia Tech, White said he hopes to continue to improve and attempt even bigger stunts. His involvement with the team might soon pay off even more than he imagined. In the past the team has competed in United States of America Snowboard Association and United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association competitions, but they are looking to move up to bigger events. With the Dew Tour stopping at the team’s training grounds in Lynchburg, Va., Slemp says he has high hopes for the competition. 

The Dew Tour features various types of action sports and numerous competitors from around the country. In the Dew Games at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, skiers and snowboarders compete in a range of events to showcase their abilities. White said he is hopeful that he will compete next year and put his skills to use. He says he attributes much of his growth and success to his involvement with Snow at Virginia Tech.

“I can see the club making a lot of progress, and I wouldn't be surprised if it contributes some great athletes into the competitive skiing and snowboarding league within the next couple of years, “ White said. “I can only hope to be a good example of what results from being a part of this club.”

The club formed when a few students decided they wanted to represent Virginia Tech at local freestyle competitions. Snow at Virginia Tech offers year-round training and many different resources to more than 60 members. In the fall, the group practices three times a week at Virginia Techniques with a foam pit and trampoline. Louis Cirillo of Breckenridge, Co., a senior majoring in computer engineering in the College of Engineering, said practicing on trampolines is the first step to gaining aerial awareness. The club then takes what they have been learning and practicing to Snowflex.

“Once the snow comes, we take it to the real thing,” Slemp said. “It's very basic in concept of how we progress, but incredibly elaborate in the steps to learn all that is necessary. It’s a challenge, and every day you can improve.”

There are more than 600 student clubs and organizations at Virginia Tech. To learn more, visit the searchable database or contact Student Centers and Activities.        



Written by Lauren Marshall of Marshall, Va., a senior majoring in communication and human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
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