Maureen Lebel, more commonly known as Mo, comes from a family of skiers. The youngest of her siblings, she grew up skiing on the Sugar Bowl Ski Team and later made the move to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team. As a kid, she could always be spotted shredding the slopes in speed suits with stand-out prints including one in a cow pattern.

The California-native has come a long way since those days. Lebel is a member of the U.S. National Training Group (NTG) and was crowned the 2018 U.S. National Champion in downhill.

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“It’s pretty surreal,” says Lebel. “It’s crazy to me, and it hasn’t really hit me yet honestly.”

The race that was used to determine the title winner was also a Nor-Am at Copper Mountain, Colo., in early March. She found out in the start area that the impending race would determine a national champion. Lebel was able to take her fast training runs into the competition and win. While the season ended with high notes, her path was anything, but smooth.

“I had a really tough start to my year,” Lebel said. “I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in both of my legs. I also got a concussion in Lake Louise and then I also had major equipment issues that I changed mid-January. Then my skiing really turned around for the better.”

Over the course of her young career, the nineteen-year-old has earned super-G and downhill podium results on the NorAm circuit and was ninth in the 2017 World Junior Championship super-G. While she wasn’t able to represent the U.S. at World Junior Championships for a second time, Lebel wrapped up this season ranked third in the women’s NorAm downhill standings. Lebel will be looking to take her end-of-season momentum into the 2018-19 season.