The Killington Mountain School Freestyle Team has just returned from their first competition of the season. The US Freestyle Selection Events were held in Winter Park, Colorado earlier this month. The Selections are an extremely important event for the Freestyle community. The top 20 finishers overall qualify for the Nor Am Cup Tour and the overall champion earns a start at the Deer Vally world cup. KMS had a total of nine athletes competing in the event.
KMS Freestyle Program Director Kris Pepe commented, "The Selections are always a major target for our team. It is important for our athletes' competition schedule for the year, but it is also serves as our first real indicator of how our off season preparation has prepared us for the season."
As their final pre-season training opportunity, the KMS team held a nine day camp in Apex, British Columbia. With consistent cold temperatures, early season snowfall and a commitment to building the first mogul course in North America every year, Apex has become the meeting place for mogul teams from across the US, Canada and even Japan in late November and early December. Pepe reported that the conditions in Apex were perfect this year. The venue provided the KMS athletes the ideal opportunity to perfect their runs, warm up for the US Selections and hit the ground running into their competitive season.
The US Freestyle Selections is a three day event. Two days of single moguls and a final day of dual moguls are all considered in determining overall placements and event qualifications for the 2018 season. The KMS team came out strong on the first day with four athletes (Ian, Beauregard, Kalman Heims, Alex Lewis, Lexi Crotty) making the final round of 16 competitors. Beauregard led the way with a career best fourth place finish.
Day two saw USFST member and KMS athletes Hannah Soar make the final alongside Alex Lewis and Ian Beauregard. Soar and Lewis led the way, both finishing in fifth place --a career best result for Alex Lewis.
The KMS team stormed the dual mogul competition in the third and final day of the event. Hannah Soar took her first ever FIS victory. Alex Lewis was not far behind in fifth. Kamlan Heims, Lexi Crotty and Adam Stiefel all landed in the top ten.
"It is really satisfying when you see all the hard work the athletes put in over the summer translate into some amazing performances in the competition season," Pepe shared. "The strength and depth of the team is really impressive right now. It's going to be a good year."
Next up, the KMS Freestyle Team will tackle the Eastern Freestyle circuit running through January and February. Many of the athletes will head of on the Nor Am tour later this month. Best of luck to everyone!