Tahoe athletes named to 2009 freestyle team
Nevada Appeal News Service
PARK CITY, Utah ” The Tahoe area is well represented on the 2009 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, which begins its season with competitions in France and China this weekend.
A total of 39 athletes were announced to the U.S. team on Tuesday, including Truckee’s Daron Rahlves to head the ski cross team along with Casey Puckett of Aspen, Colo. The sport makes its Olympic debut in 2010.
Moguls skiers Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City and Shelly Robertson of Reno were named also named to the ‘A’ Team, and Laurel Shanley of Squaw Valley to the ‘C’ Team. Aerials skier Scott Bahrke, Shannon’s younger brother, was named to the ‘B’ Team.
Back on the roster after a two-year break is World Champion Jeremy Bloom of Loveland, Colo. Bloom, a two-time Olympian and former football star at University of Colorado, returned to on-snow training this fall with the U.S. Ski Team.
“As we look forward to World Championships in Japan, we’re loaded with successful athletes ” four athletes with World Cup wins, seven more with top-three results last winter,” said Jeff Wintersteen, head freestyle coach. “It’s going to be an exciting winter as we continue to build toward Vancouver in 2010.”
The freestyle season kicks off Thursday with moguls in Meribel, France, and continues with aerials at Adventure Mountain, China, on Friday and Saturday.
World Championships are set for Mar. 2-8 in Inawashiro, Japan. U.S. stops include the Nature Valley Freestyle Invitational in Lake Placid on Jan. 18-19, featuring aerials and ski cross, and the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Utah from Jan. 29-31 with moguls, aerials and skier halfpipe at neighboring Park City Mountain Resort.
First U.S. Ski Cross Team named
The first ski cross team debuts this winter as an official U.S. Ski Team squad. Rahlves and Puckett will be joined by former alpine Olympic teammate Jake Fiala (Frisco, Colo.) as the team embarks on a three-man trek through its inaugural season.
“Our team looks really strong going in to the season,” Ski Cross Head Coach Tyler Shepherd said. “The guys are healthy, in great shape and are excited to get back on snow. They’ve had a lot of time in the gym and they’re just ready to start the season.”
The World Cup begins in St. Johann, Austria, on Jan. 5 and spreads to locations like Lake Placid, N.Y., on Jan. 18-19, and the 2010 Olympic venue in Vancouver for a test event in early February.
In between, Rahlves will look to defend his X Games title.
Peterson leads Aerials Team
Back after a season’s break and ready to show the world a hurricane never forgets how to spin will be Jeret Peterson. After posting the highest score in the history of World Cup aerials with his jump, “The Hurricane,” Peterson promises to be a source of excitement throughout the aerials season as he continues to push his jumps into realms of innovation.
“This is the first year in a long time that we’ve had so many people step up to newer degrees of difficulty where new jumps are being done,” said Aerials Head Coach Matt Christensen.
Olympian Emily Cook (Belmont, Mass.), who won in Moscow last year, headlines the women’s roster, and the veteran is more determined and motivated than ever to push her way to success.
“She’s on a very strict and focused plan. Now she has the degree of difficulty to be competitive day in and day out,” Christensen said. “The goal is to put down good jumps. The results will come with that, but we just want to peak at competition in 2010 so that we’ll be on fire there.”
Pushing the Team further in its pursuit of being the best is Bahrke, who fought his way to two World Cup personal bests in 2008, and Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, Colo.), who pulled in four top-10 finishes on the World Cup before earning his national title.
Veterans and rookies to challenge in moguls
Not to be outdone, the moguls squad spent the summer training for what it hopes will be a season of success. Led by all-stars Bahrke and Emiko Torito, the women’s squad looks to march its way to the tops of podiums.
“We have a really strong group of women. In Emiko’s case, she’s really hopped in and is probably in the best shape of her life physically,” Rawles said. “She doesn’t want to rest on her laurels on what she did last year. She wants to push herself into the top three in the world and continue to be on the podium.”
Returning to lead the men’s side of moguls is World Cup podium performers David Babic (Washington, Vt.) and Nate Roberts (Park City, Utah) and 2008 FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year Pat Deneen (Cle Elum, Wash.).
The 2009 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team (with date of birth, hometown and *if Olympian)
Dave Babic, moguls (6/3/79; Washington, VT; Sugarbush)
Pat Deneen, moguls (12/25/87; Cle Elum, WA; Silver Mountain Freestyle)
Jeret Peterson, aerials (12/12/81; Boise, ID; Bogus Basin)*
Casey Puckett, ski cross (9/22/72, Aspen, CO)*
Daron Rahlves, ski cross (6/12/73, Sugar Bowl, CA)*
Nate Roberts, moguls (3/24/82; Park City, UT; Park City Freestyle Team)
Shannon Bahrke, moguls (11/7/80; Tahoe City, CA; Squaw Valley Freestyle)*
Emily Cook, aerials (7/1/79; Belmont, MA; Freestyle Lives Year-round)*
Hannah Kearney, moguls (2/26/86; Norwich, VT; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)*
Michelle Roark, moguls (11/16/74; Denver; Winter Park Eskimos)*
Shelly Robertson, moguls (4/8/79; Reno, NV; Squaw Valley Freestyle)
Kayla Snyderman, moguls (7/4/88; Winchester, MA; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
Emiko Torito, moguls (7/2/82; Denver; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Scott Bahrke, aerials (7/19/85; Tahoe City, CA)
Jay Bowman-Kirigin, moguls (6/30/87; Salt Lake City; Wasatch Freestyle)
Jake Fiala (5/2475, Frisco, CO)
Landon Gardner, moguls (1/1/85; Missoula, MT; Missoula Freestyle)
Holt Haga, moguls (8/29/83; Boise, ID; Park City Freestyle Team/Bogus Basin)
Michael Morse, moguls (4/21/81; Duxbury, MA; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club/Killington)
Ryan St. Onge, aerials (2/7/83; Winter Park, CO)*
Jana Lindsey, aerials (8/18/84; Black Hawk, SD)*
Lacy Schnoor, aerials (6/12/85; Draper, UT)
Jeremy Bloom, moguls, (GW Creighton, aerials (3/9/88; Boise, ID; Freestyle Lives Year-round)
Matt DePeters, aerials (8/20/87; Hamburg NY; Buffalo Ski Club)
David DiGravio, moguls (11/26/86; Farmington, ME; Carrabassett Valley Academy)
Jimmy Discoe, moguls/dual moguls (5/15/89; Ridgway, CO; Telluride Freestyle)
Dylan Ferguson, aerials (8/10/88; Amesbury, MA; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
Sho Kashima, moguls (11/1/86; South Lake Tahoe, CA; Heavenly Freestyle)
Scott Kiesel, aerials (9/2/84; Waterville Valley, NH; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
Tim Preston, moguls (11/11/83; Campton, NH; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
Bryon Wilson, moguls (4/7/88; Butte, MT; Wasatch Freestyle)
Ani Haas, moguls (12/14/87; Missoula, MT; Park City Freestyle)
Allison Lee, aerials (11/13/89; Manchester, CT; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
Heather McPhie, moguls (5/28/84; Park City, UT; Bridger Freestyle/Breckenridge
Jaime Myers, aerials (3/27/82; Boise, ID)
Eliza Outtrim, moguls (7/18/85; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club/Mount Snow Ski Club)
Laurel Shanley, moguls (2/19/83; Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Freestyle)
Allison Treleaven, aerials (10/20/83; Fort Wayne, IN; Freestyle Lives Year-round)
Jillian Vogtli, moguls (5/26/73; Ellicotville, NY)*