After two days of U.S. Selections competition, moguls skiers Brittnay Loweree (Steamboat Springs, CO), Ryan Dyer (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Jay Panther (Park City, UT), have been named to the 2011 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.
Loweree and Dyer led the U.S. Selection competition series at Steamboat Springs. Kayla Snyderman (Winchester, VT), who is making her competition debut after a sidelining injury last season, and Panther were second overall.
The newly named U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athletes have earned a start at the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup – part of the FIS World Cup tour – in Lake Placid this January.
“The U.S. Selection event is probably the hardest of the year,” said Head Coach Scott Rawles. “This is their one big shot to open the door. It is really a make or break event.”
Snyderman, who is already a member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, used the event to prove she is back in form and ready for the World Cup stage. Snyderman finished eighth on day 1 and stormed the course, finishing first in Tuesday’s competition.
“It feels awesome, I’m extremely happy,” said Loweree after earning her spot on the Team. “My day went really well, consistent.” Loweree qualified for the finals in second and finished second Tuesday behind Snyderman.
Loweree’s tricks were a heli off the top jump and a back lay off the bottom jump.
On the men’s side, Dyer showed real consistency over the two days of competition, which earned him the top spot overall. Dyer’s run consisted of a back full off the first jump and a cork 7 off the bottom hit. Combine solid air with a good time and Dyer landed in fifth place on day 2.
“I’ve worked for this since I was seven, this is huge,” exclaimed a very happy Dyer.
Panther’s morning almost didn’t happen. His equipment was missing when it was time for qualifying rounds. He was able to track down his skis, but his poles had run off. Borrowing his coaches poles, Panther raced down the course qualifying for finals, breaking the poles along the way.
“I qualified in 11th, so in my second run there really wasn’t much to lose. I skied fast and clean and the judges rewarded that.” said Panther, who had to go back to his coach and borrow a second pair of poles for the finals.
Panther finished second on the day, which was enough to finish second overall and snag the final spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.
The Team is anticipating issuing a fourth World Cup start to Alyssa Lawson (Boulder, CO) who finished third overall since Snyderman is already a member of the Team with a World Cup spot.
Tuesday’s U.S. Selection winners were Bryan Zemba (Bridgewater Corners, VT) and Snyderman.
Competition continues Wednesday in Steamboat with the men’s and women’s dual moguls.