Frisco’s Jackson True qualifies for Junior Nationals as the No. 2 14-year-old mogul skier in the country
FRISCO — In the time between finishing his freshman golf season at Summit High School, where he qualified for the state tournament, and the beginning of the mogul skiing season, Team Summit skier Jackson True had a bit of a setback.
While taking part in dry-land training with his fellow Team Summit mogul skiers and coaches at the Team Summit clubhouse at Copper Mountain Resort, True broke his nose when it hit his knee while he was practicing a front flip off a beam. The injury is not an uncommon one for young winter sports athletes who invert their bodies before stomping their landings.
Despite the injury, True easily qualified for the March 10-15 Junior Nationals in Winter Park thanks to his current national ranking of 27th for all American skiers 18 or younger. The standing easily puts the 14-year-old True on the right side of the bubble for qualifying after he got in last year as an alternate.
It also means True is the second best 14-year-old mogul skier in the country, an improvement over last year that True credits to his hard work on and off snow in the offseason.
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“I’ve really been working on tightening up my tricks, skiing more clean runs in general,” True said. “That’s been a help, but also a really big help has been my speed. I’ve been going much faster. That’s what helped me do so good in dual (moguls) this year, too.”
In Winter Park, True will compete on a difficult, steep mogul course that he’s familiar with. It’s one that requires an excellent approach on the jump at the top of the course, sticking the steep landing and maintaining prime balance on the remainder of the course.
This season, True has excelled at various competitions, including a win in the dual moguls contest at Aspen Highlands. At that competition, where he advanced round-by-round in one-on-one competitions on softening snow as the day progressed, True focused on his speed and form. In terms of his tricks, True put the exclamation point on his winning run with a twister spread trick up top before executing an Iron X — a backflip with an iron cross of his skis.
True said his Team Summit coaches Chris Carson, Paul Walker and Zach Watkins have encouraged him to have fun this season with his dialed-in Iron X and a back tuck as his two go-to tricks out on the bumps.
It’s improving his tricks that True feels will lead him to continue to progress his skills out on the bumps. Like most any talented young skier, True has World Cup and Olympic aspirations. But with his success thus far this season as one of the best mogul skiers his age, he is on pace to achieve those dreams.
I’ll be tricky, but he might even be able to qualify for the U.S. Nationals later this season, a competition that features the best mogul skiers in the country, regardless of age. For now, True is skiing about as well as he can expect for someone his age and is just enjoying the thrills that come with skiing the bumps and launching off jumps in the same run.
“I love mogul skiing because I always used to have so much fun jumping around in the trees with little jumps and bumps and cruising around,” True said. “It’s a satisfying feeling to hit the mogul right and get onto the next run and get a good run. … It’s definitely a dream of mine to get that far and compete in World Cups. And to get there, I need some higher, dangerous tricks that can put me up there with the other athletes who are top-10 in the world. But I’m just going to see where the path takes me and hope for the best.”
Find complete results from Team Summit’s season at: bit.ly/TeamSummit2020Results
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