FREESTYLE NATIONALS: Olympic stars, other standouts flock to Killington


FREESTYLE NATIONALS: Olympic stars, other standouts flock to Killington{mosimage}KILLINGTON, Vt. – Killington Resort showcases America’s best freestyle athletes including U.S. Olympians appearing in their first domestic competition since the Games at the 2006 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships March 23-26 at Bear Mountain.

2006 Olympians including moguls skiers Travis Cabral, Michelle Roarke and Hannah Kearney, along with aerialists Eric Bergoust, Emily Cook and Jana Lindsey are just a few of the athletes scheduled to compete.

OLN will broadcast the 2006 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships on Saturday, April 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET and again on April 4 at 4 p.m. ET.

‘We are extremely excited to set the stage and showcase these Olympians along with the top freestyle and ‘new school’ athletes from across the country’ said Allen Wilson, managing director of Killington Resort.

The U.S. championships match the best U.S. team athletes with hundreds of aspiring American skiers looking to measure themselves against world-class athletes as they aim for spots on the U.S. Ski Team. Last year, worlds champion Nate Roberts dazzled hometown fans en route to two U.S. titles in moguls and duals in Park City, Utah.

Also defending their U.S. titles are 2006 Olympians Jillian Vogtli (moguls) and Ryan St. Onge (aerials). In addition, moguls bronze medalist Toby Dawson, who is not scheduled to compete, will come to Bear Mountain to meet his fans.

“Sprint has been involved with the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding for more than a decade, and our company’s support helps these athletes train and compete in world-class events like the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships’ said Chad Biggs, manager of sports marketing for Sprint. “It’s also a perfect fit for Sprint that this year’s event is held at Killington — a premier venue and a resort Sprint has sponsored for many years.”

Moguls and aerials athletes will compete on side-by-side courses for the first time ever at a national championship event with both venues located on Killington’s Outer Limits Trail — the longest, steepest moguls run in the East. All events are free and spectators can view events from the deck of the Bear Mountain Lodge. Meanwhile, Killington’s 430-foot-long superpipe, featuring 18-foot walls and located a short walk from the Bear Mountain Lodge, will host the inaugural U.S. halfpipe championships.

Competition kicks off with halfpipe competition on Thursday, March 23. Skiers will compete in two runs for the opportunity to be crowned the first-ever U.S. halfpipe champion. On Friday, Roberts will defend his national moguls title. Saturday, the aerials competition will feature several recent Olympians including 1998 gold medalist and four-time Olympian Bergoust, four-time World Cup winner St. Onge and Cook, who recently grabbed her first podium in five years at World Cup Finals. Sunday’s dual moguls competition features skiers going head-to-head in a single-elimination format to determine the national champion.

In addition to the athletes, their families and friends, fans from across New England and beyond are expected to attend this free, spectator-friendly event. The championships begin with opening ceremonies in downtown Rutland on Wednesday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. and will include an athlete autograph session.

Live entertainment will follow the events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Bear Mountain Lodge. In addition, fireworks will light up the sky over Bear Mountain following the aerials competition along with live entertainment on Saturday.

- USSA

The schedule for the 2006 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships:

Thursday, March 23
10:30 a.m., men’s/women’s superpipe qualifier
1 p.m., men’s/women’s superpipe finals

Friday, March 24
10:45 a.m., men’s/women’s moguls qualifier
1 p.m., men’s/women’s moguls finals

Saturday, March 25
1:30 p.m., men’s/women’s aerials

Sunday, March 26
10:30 a.m., men’s/women’s dual moguls qualifier
1:15 p.m., men’s/women’s dual moguls finals

FREESTYLE NATIONALS: Hudek, Hibbert take inaugural halfpipe competitionApex WC Finals: Aerialist Cook 3rd for first podium since 2001

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