The Killington Mountain School Freestyle Team just returned from the U.S. Junior National Championships in Park City, Utah. The top 60 junior mogul skiers from all over the country gather to crown a Junior National Champion. KMS had a strong presence, with 12 athletes qualifying for the championship event. The team had another exceptional showing in what is always an important event for the program.
Hannah Soar led the way, winning her first Junior National title in Single Moguls. Soar doubled up with a victory in the Dual moguls as well.
Hannah commented, "It feels good. I've been chasing this for a long time. I have finished on the podium at this event three times in the past. I'm happy to take the victory in my last Junior Nationals."
Soar was not alone, as the KMS team finished the week with four age group podiums, four overall podiums and several other top ten finishes.
In men's singles, Kalman Heims lead the way with third place overall. Not far behind, Ian Beauregard finished sixth (first after qualification), Alex Lewis was ninth and Adam Stiefel took 12th (second U17). KMS Elite Academy Program athlete, Jack Patrone, took home the victory in the U13 category. This was Jack's first Junior National Championships.
The Team came out strong again for the Dual moguls competition. Soar's victory was not the only highlight. Sofia Robinson finished a career best ninth overall, while Adam Stiefel and Kalman Heims both finished in the top four overall.
Freestyle Program Director Kris Pepe commented, "It's always good to come to big events like this and see how we stack up against the rest of the country. We knew we were coming here with a chance at some great results. It was awesome to see all the athletes really go for it and push their limits."
The team will head to Waterville Valley, NH this week for the U.S. National Championships. The biggest event of the year gives the athletes an opportunity to ski against World Cup and Olympic athletes.
In addition, the team will be well-represented at this year's Junior World Championships. Hannah Soar, Kalman Heims and Ian Beauregard have all been selected to represent the the US in Arė, Sweden next month. The three KMS athletes will make up a large part of the eight person (four per gender), U.S. roster.
Pepe shared, "Having nearly half the U.S. roster consist of KMS athletes is incredible. It shows that we are one of the best development programs int he world. It feel good."
The athletes qualified for the JWC based on their performances on the 2018 NorAm tour. The event will give the KMS team a chance to ski against the best U20 skiers in the world. The start list will be peppered with top World Cup skiers, Olympians and National Team athletes. The Championship will consist of two completions. Single moguls will be held on April 14 with Duals on April 15.
Heims reflected on being selected to compete, "It's very exciting to have this opportunity, and we are all looking forward to competing against some of the best junior mogul skiers in the world."
"Qualifying for Junior Worlds has been a major target for our athletes this year," said Pepe. "It's a really cool event and it will be exciting to see how our team stacks up against the best in the world."
Congratulations to all the KMS Freestyle athletes on an incredible season!