Winter Park Resort hosts over 100 in moguls for a chance at the World Cup
From Jan. 9-12, Winter Park Resort kicked off the competition season for the annual U.S. Freestyle Selection Events as 130 athletes raced down moguls and hit jumps at the Ambush Mogul Course in an International Ski Federation competition.
The event showcased skiers from around the world, including the United States, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Italy. In addition 10 local athletes, six boys and four girls, competed on their home snow. Olivia Maurais, Ali Homans, Izzy Mont, Claire Boyle, Asher Michel, Hayden Guldy, Stephen Boone, Porter Huff, Beck Ward and Eli Rosenberg represented the Winter Park Competition Center. All athletes competed each day, getting their chance to shine through snow or sun.
Jan. 9 and 11 featured single moguls and Jan. 12th featured dual moguls — a nail-biting, head-to-head race, which will be a new addition to the Winter Olympics in 2026. Geoff Henderson, head coach of the Winter Park Freestyle team, explained that athletes are judged on turns technique, jumps and speed during dual moguls. In both men’s and women’s single and dual moguls, 16 athletes advanced to the finals, before six went on to the finals.
Despite the weather, 17-year-old Asher Michel excelled on his home turf.
“Today’s a little rough because it’s snowy and cold … it’s still fun overall,” he said, after coming down from his singles run on Jan. 11. “This was more of a safety run to solidify my place in the finals. We’re just trying to keep it fun up and keep the mood light so no one’s really too stressed out.”
The atmosphere was cheerful at the bottom of the course, as athletes congratulated each other, traded high fives and gathered around for photos.
“My favorite part has been being here and being part of the whole experience,” Michel said. “I ski six days a week with (the competition center), I’m here all the time.”
Asher began skiing in International Ski Federation competitions in 2021. In 2022, he made it to the Freestyle NorAm Cup competition tour (a stepping stone to the World Cups), skiing at both Deer Valley Resort and Killington Resort. He also competed in the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Divisional Championships in Winter Park, then the U.S. Freestyle Championships at Deer Valley Resort in 2022.
He’s off to a good start for this year’s federation competitions. On Jan. 9, he earned sixth place and a spot in the super finals, then placed 10th on Jan. 11. In dual moguls, he made it into the quarter finals with a seventh place finish.
Jan. 9 Single Moguls
Asher Michel – Rank: 6 Score: 79.00
Hayden Guldy – Rank: 17 Score: 73.23
Stephen Boone – Rank: 24 Score: 69.70
Beck Ward – Rank: 31 Score: 66.75
Eli Rosenberg – Rank: 44 Score: 56.35
Porter Huff – Rank: 59 Score: 25.83
Olivia Maurais – Rank: 17 Score: 65.42
Claire Boyle – Rank: 38 Score: 52.49
Ali Homans – Did Not Finish
Izzy Mont – Did Not Finish
Jan. 11 Single Moguls
Asher Michel – Rank: 10 Score: 74.54
Hayden Guldy – Rank: 13 Score: 73.23
Stephen Boone – Rank: 14 Score: 70.13
Porter Huff – Rank: 41 Score: 58.42
Eli Rosenberg – Rank: 44 Score: 57.10
Beck Ward – Rank: 46 Score: 54.90
Ali Homans – Rank: 21 Score: 62.90
Izzy Mont – Rank: 28 Score: 59.33
Olivia Maurais – Rank: 33 Score: 56.93
Claire Boyle – Rank: 39 Score: 52.93
Jan. 12 Dual Moguls
Asher Michel – Rank: 7 Score: 14.00
Porter Huff – Rank: 15 Score: 14.00
Stephen Boone – Rank: 20
Hayden Guldy – Rank: 44
Eli Rosenberg – Rank: 41
Beck Ward – Rank: 48
Ali Homans – Rank: 23
Olivia Maurais – Rank: 25
Izzy Mont – Rank: 30
Claire Boyle – Rank: 56
Notable Colorado athletes’ results
Landon Wendler won second on both Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, and finished in first place in dual moguls. Wendler, a Steamboat Springs athlete on the U.S. Moguls Team, grew up training with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Charlie Mickel placed first on Jan. 9, third on Jan. 11 and then sixth in dual moguls. Originally from Durango, Mickel is a U.S. Moguls D Team athlete. He has been involved with multiple clubs, including the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Durango Winter Sports Club.
Anabel Ayad earned seventh place on Jan. 9, fifth on Jan 11 and 18th in dual moguls. Ayad is keeping the tradition of high-level skiing in the family as her mother, Ann Battelle, is a four-time Olympian. A senior at Steamboat Springs High School, Ayad is a Rocky Mountain All-Star and the top-ranked skier in Colorado for women’s moguls.
Evelyn Harris earned 29th place on Jan. 9, 22nd on Jan. 11, and 37th in dual moguls. The Summit County native has trained with Summit Freestyle, and her top accomplishments include three top-10 finishes in Junior National competitions.
U.S. competitor Skylar Slettene performs an iron cross during the women’s dual moguls competition on Jan. 12.
Next up: the NorAm Tour and World Cups
According to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, results from January’s event will be added to the Grand Prix List. The list ranks athletes from their results at both U.S. National Championships and U.S. Selection Events. These results qualify athletes for starts on the NorAm Tour and then in domestic World Cups.
The selections events and NorAm Tour are the second-highest level of competition in the U.S., designed to prepare athletes to compete on the World Cup stage. International Ski Federation competitions will continue around the world this season. For those ready to watch another head-to-head competition at Winter Park Resort, the competition center will host the Alpine Giant Slalom races from Jan. 28-29 at Lower Hughes.
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