Nine Olympians among 30 named to U.S. freestyle team
REIGNING MOGULS WORLD CHAMPIONS Nate Roberts and Hannah Kearney plus former Olympic medalist Shannon Bahrke are among a 30-member U.S. freestyle ski team for the 2006-07 season.
Freestyle Program Director Polly-Jo Clark said the squad includes 14 men and 16 women; nine athletes are Olympians.
"I'm excited for this season. We've got a great crew of athletes who've been working hard all summer and are looking forward to the competition season," Clark said. "It's a great mix of veterans and young guns who will keep everyone on their toes.
"These athletes are fantastic people with a lot of character to go with their talent. It's fun to be a part of it and we're expecting some intense competition for the World Cup spots and for the World Championships team in January. Some will need to gain experience on the World Cup and everything that comes with it. And the veterans know exactly what it takes — it's time to do it."
Although named to the U.S. Ski Team for the '07 season, Bloom, 2005 World Cup aerials champion Peterson, Reed and Hilliman are not expected to compete this winter, Clark said. Hilliman is recuperating from injury, Peterson and Reed are taking the year off, and are expected to return for the 2008 season. Bloom, a two-time Olympian, two-time World Cup moguls champion and 2003 dual moguls world champion, is attempting to play in the NFL but has been sidelined by a hamstring problem.
Several headline athletes retired: Olympic bronze medalist and current dual moguls world champ Toby Dawson, 2002 Olympic aerials silver medalist and two-time World Championships bronze medalist Joe Pack, 2002 Olympic moguls silver medalist Travis Mayer, 2003 moguls World Cup champion Travis Cabral and aerialist Eric Bergoust, the 1998 Olympic champion, '99 worlds gold medalist and a two-time World Cup aerials king.
The World Cup aerials season lost its season opener Sept. 2-3 because of poor snow conditions at Australia's Mount Buller. The aerials season resumes Dec. 9-10 at Jilin Beida Lake, China, and the first moguls contest is Dec. 14 in Tignes, France. U.S. World Cups are Jan. 11-13 at the Chevrolet Freestyle International at Deer Valley, Utah, and the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Jan. 18-20 at Lake Placid, N.Y. The World Championships will be Jan. 23-28 in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
The 2007 U.S. freestyle ski team (with age, hometown, event and * if an Olympian):
A team - men
David Babic (27; Washington, Vt.; moguls), Jeret Peterson (24; Boise, Idaho; aerials*), Nate Roberts (23; Park City, Utah; moguls) and Ryan St. Onge (23; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; aerials*)
A team - women
Shannon Bahrke (25; Tahoe City, Calif.; moguls*), Emily Cook (27; Belmont, Mass.; aerials*), Hannah Kearney (20; Norwich, Vt.; moguls*), Michelle Roark (31; Denver; moguls*), Laurel Shanley (23; Squaw Valley, Calif.; moguls) and Jillian Vogtli (33; Ellicotville, N.Y.; moguls*)
B team - men
Jeremy Bloom (24; Loveland, Colo.; moguls*), David DiGravio (19; Farmington, Maine; moguls)
B team - women
Kelly Hilliman (28; Amherst, N.Y.; aerials), Jana Lindsey (22; Black Hawk, S.D.; aerials), Kate Reed (22; Montrose, Colo.; aerials) and Shelly Robertson (27; Reno, Nev.; moguls)
C team - men
Zac Amidan (24; Ogden, Utah; aerials), Jay Bowman-Kirigin (19; Salt Lake City; moguls), Austin Cummings (22; Heber City, Utah; aerials), Landon Gardner (21; Park City, Utah; moguls), Sho Kashima (19; Zephyr Cove, Nev.; moguls), Tim Massucco (23; Park City, Utah; aerials), Michael Morse (25; Duxbury, Mass.; moguls) and Tim Preston (22; Campton, N.H.; moguls).
C team - women
McKenzy Golding (19; Reno, Nev.; moguls), Heather McPhie (22; Bozeman, Mont.; moguls), Eliza Outtrim (21; Hamden, Conn.; moguls), Lacy Schnoor (21; Draper, Utah; aerials), Kayla Snyderman (18; Winchester, Mass.; moguls) and Emiko Torito (24; Denver; moguls)