Olympic medalists Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT), Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT) and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (Boise, ID) headline the 2011 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. The Team announced its 2011 roster at Deer Valley Thursday with an autograph signing for local clubs and families at the 2011 Freestyle World Championships venue.
The Team named 28 athletes to the roster, including three Olympic medalists from Vancouver. Among the 28, the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team has 13 Olympians, including three medalists Kearney, Wilson and Peterson, and two 2010 FIS Rookie of the Year athletes, moguls skier Heidi Kloser (Vail, CO) and aerialist Ashley Caldwell (Hamilton, VA).
“Our Team is smaller this year than it has been in the past, but the athletes named to the Team are all training well and ready to compete at a podium level,” said Freestyle Program Director Todd Schirman. “We have returning veterans that can really contribute to the progression of our sport and Team, as well as some young up and comers that can push the veterans.”
Aerials and Moguls Looks Ahead to World Champs at Deer Valley
The U.S. Freestyle Aerials Ski Team named 10 athletes who will be sporting Under Armour Team jackets for the 2010-11 season. Peterson, who won silver at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, will be joined by 2009 World Champion Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, CO) along with fellow Olympians Matt DePeters (Hamburg, NY) and Scotty Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA) as well as Dylan Ferguson (Amesbury, MA) who was named to the 2010 Olympic Team before bowing out due to appendicitis. Veteran and Olympian Emily Cook (Belmont, MA) is one of three women named to the Team including fellow Olympians Lacy Schnoor (Draper, UT) and 2010 World Cup Rookie of the Year Caldwell.
“This is my 13th straight year being named to the U.S. Ski Team and even though that is a long time, it’s just an honor and pleasure,” said St. Onge. “The whole program is excited and energized to really go out there and get better at aerials.”
The U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team named 18 athletes to the Team, with gold and bronze leading the way to the 2011 World Championships at Deer Valley. Olympic gold medalist and 2005 World Champion Kearney and Olympic bronze medalist Wilson head into the season, officially beginning Dec. 11 with the World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland.
Complementing Kearney and Wilson on the roster are Olympians and 2009 World Champion Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA), 2005 World Champion Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) and Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT), who nailed her first World Cup win last year at Deer Valley, as well as 2010 World Cup Rookie of the Year Kloser.
“We’ve got a really strong team, a young team but a really talented team and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said. Wilson, who started off the 2010 season with two World Cup podiums before taking the bronze medal in Vancouver and was in attendance for the announcement.”
Among the 28 named athletes to the 2011 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team 10 are student-athletes hitting the books in the off season, including Wilson, St. Onge, Ferguson, McPhie and Schnoor, as well as David DiGravio (Farmington, ME), Jimmy and Joe Discoe (Telluride, CO), Landon Gardner (Missoula, MT) and Sho Kashima (South Lake Tahoe, CA).
The Freestyle World Championships kick off Feb. 2 with the men’s and women’s moguls competition at Deer Valley and end on Feb. 5 with men’s and women’s dual moguls at Deer Valley and the ski halfpipe, which will be held just down the street at Park City Mountain Resort.
The Championships, last held in Inawashiro, Japan in 2009 were a success for the U.S. Deneen and St. Onge are heading into the Feb. 2 and 4 Deer Valley events on home snow as reigning World Champions, while Kearney looks to best her third place finish in dual moguls on Feb. 5.
“It’s an incredible thing to be a part of and I’m very excited about this upcoming year, especially considering that World Championships are here at Deer Valley, one of my favorite venues ever,” said St. Onge, defending World Champion. “It’s the best venue we come to, so it’s going to be great and exciting. I’m just going to try and work as hard as I can and see how it works out.”
The event will replace the World Cup at Deer Valley, which draws a huge nighttime crowd under the lights. The press conference announcing the Team and the World Championship site was coupled with an autograph signing for local clubs and families.
“The World Championships are a very important event, particularly after such a successful Olympic year,” said Schirman. “We are heading into this season with two reigning World Champions and three 2010 Olympic medalist. These Championships can set the tone for the next couple years leading into Sochi.”
“When I first moved down to Utah, I joined the Wasatch Freestyle Program at Deer Valley,” said Wilson. “To have the World Championships here is pretty cool. It’s kind of a home mountain for me, I’m eager to go there and compete in World Championships.”
2011 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Roster
(Name, Team, Hometown, Club, Skis, Boots, Bindings, Date of Birth)
Patrick Deneen, moguls, Cle Elum, WA (Hart, Lange, Rossignol) 12/25/1987*
Sho Kashima, moguls, South Lake Tahoe, CA, Heavenly Valley Ski Foundation (Hart, Lange, Rossignol) 11/1/1986
Michael Morse, moguls, Duxbury, MA, Killington/Steamboat Springs (Hart, Tecnica, Marker) 4/2/1981*
Jeret Peterson, aerials, Boise, ID, Bogus Basin Ski Racing Alliance (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 12/12/1981*
Ryan St. Onge, aerials, Winter Park, CO (Voelkl, Full Tilt, Salomon) 2/7/1983*
Bryon Wilson, moguls, Butte, MT, Wasatch Freestyle (Hart, Tecnica, Marker) 4/7/1988*
Hannah Kearney, moguls, Norwich, VT, Ford Sayre/WVBBTS (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 2/26/1986*
Heather McPhie, moguls, Bozeman, MT, Bridger Ski Foundation (Moment, Full Tilt, Rossignol) 5/28/1984*
Eliza Outtrim, moguls, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 7/18/1985
Jeremy Cota, moguls, Carrabassett Valley, ME, Carrabassett Valley Academy (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 10/24/1988
Joe Discoe, moguls, Telluride, CO, Telluride Freestyle Club (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 2/23/1987
Dylan Ferguson, aerials, Amesbury, MA, WVBBTS (Voelkl, Tecnica, Salomon) 8/10/1988
Nate Roberts, moguls, Park City, UT, Park City Freestyle Team (Hart, Lange, Rossignol) 3/24/1982*
Ashley Caldwell, aerials, Hamilton, VA (Voelkl, Full Tilt, Salomon) 9/14/1993*
Emily Cook, aerials, Belmont, MA, FLY Freestyle (Voelkl, Full Tilt, Salomon) 7/1/1979*
Lacy Schnoor, aerials, Draper UT, FLY Freestyle (Voelkl, Tecnica, Salomon) 6/12/1985*
Scotty Bahrke, aerials, Tahoe City, CA (Voelkl, Tecnica, Salomon) 7/19/1985*
Nevin Brown, aerials, Streetsboro, OH, Mont Chalet (Moment, Dalbello, Salomon) 4/19/1989
Shane Cordeau, moguls, Sun Valley, ID, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (Nordica, Nordica, Marker) 12/16/1986
Matt DePeters, aerials, Hamburg, NY, Buffalo Ski Club (Moment, Full Tilt, Salomon) 8/20/1987*
David DiGravio, moguls, Farmington, ME, Carrabassett Valley Academy/Planet Ski International (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 11/26/1986
Jimmy Discoe, moguls, Telluride, CO, Telluride Freestyle Club (Moment, Tecnica, Marker) 5/15/1989
Landon Gardner, moguls, Missoula, MT, Missoula Freestyle (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 8/2/1985
Jonathon Lillis, aerials, Rochester, NY, Bristol Mountain Freestyle Team (Voelkl, Tecnica, Salomon) 8/20/1994
Heidi Kloser, moguls, Vail, CO, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 9/18/1992
Mikaela Matthews, moguls, Frisco, CO, Team Summit (Elan, Dalbello, Marker) 12/24/1991
Laurel Shanley, moguls, Squaw Valley, CA, Squaw Valley Freeride Freestyle Team (Voelkl, Tecnica, Marker) 2/19/1983
Kayla Snyderman, moguls, Winchester, MA, WVBBTS (Hart, Lange, Marker) 7/4/1988
Image: Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney trains in Zermatt, Switzerland in September. (USSA)