Local skiers travel to Sun Valley for junior nationals
It’s no secret that if you go to Winter Park Resort any day of the week you’re bound to see some talented skiers.
What you may find a little surprising is the proportion of those skiers that are too young to drive.
The Winter Park Resort Competition Center seems to be churning out young talent these days, and last month, four young local skiers traveled to Sun Valley, Idaho, to compete in one of the top-tier freestyle skiing competitions for young rippers – the USSA 2016 Junior National Freestyle/Freeskiing Championships.
Hunter Carey, Svea Irving, Sage Michel and Nate Bourgoin spent March 10-13 going head to head with other top talent Sun Valley Resort.
The group spent two days training before the competition.
“It was pretty awesome – definitely a new experience,” Bourgoin said. “Our coach taught us how to clean and do the dishes.”
All jokes aside, it was a prolific weekend for the group.
Bourgoin competing in slope style, half-pipe and big air, took fifth in pipe in his age group, 13th for big air and 12th for slopestyle.
Irving also competing in all the freeskiing events, took second in her age group and third overall in half-pipe, first in her age group for big air, and second in her age group and third overall for slopestyle.
Carey took 9th in his age group for half-pipe and 15th in his age group for big air.
Michel, competing in moguls, took eighth in her age group and 37th overall.
All were competing in the 13-15 age group.
“It was a fun experience,” Irving said. “The weather wasn’t the best, but it was still fun. It was rainy and cloudy and super foggy.”
Michel said the experience was worth the approximately 12-hour car ride.
“It took forever to drive there, but once we got there it was really fun to hang out with my friends,” Michel said. “Except it was really, really rainy weather.”
Carey said a foot injury put a damper on the first couple days.
“The last two got better, and I skied pretty well,” Carey said. “It was an overall fun experience.”
Irving said her favorite part of the trip was “meeting new people and being able to ski a different park besides Winter Park.”
Michel said she enjoyed watching the other girls shred.
“It was so fun to see all the other girls, all my own friends, do so well,” Michel said. “There were lots of high level chicks doing things that I want to do.”
The group thanked their coaches for supporting them.
They’re all currently training for the USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain Resort later this month.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.
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Due to current public health guidance, there will not be an in-person wilderness campsite lottery for Rocky Mountain National Park this year.