Hail Henceroth! Moguls phenom is top dog
Justin Henceroth continues to pave a path like few others.On track to be Summit High School’s valedictorian next year and ranked No. 13 nationally in men’s dual moguls after this winter’s freestyle season, the 17-year-old Summit Cove resident and Team Summit whirlwind was named the All-Star Male Athlete of the Year this week by Colorado Ski Country USA, one of the top awards available to Rocky Mountain Division skiers.
How impressive was Henceroth’s honor? For one, Rocky Mountain Freestyle could nominate only one skier to represent its chances against similar nominees from the nordic, alpine and snowboard fields. Then he had to be selected among that ultra-competitive group – by all accounts anointing him the cream of the crop’s leader.Not that it’s a new role for Henceroth.”His academics are fantastic, his skiing is fantastic, and he’s a great teammate,” said Team Summit Freestyle head coach John Dowling. “He definitely fits the bill.”Although the award was, by title, an athletic award, Henceroth was chosen for much more than just his splendid skiing talent. During the selection process he went to Denver for an extensive interview that gave the voting committee an insight into his character, and his reputation as a selfless competitor among the tight-knit freestyle community surely helped as well.
Despite those qualities, however, the rising SHS senior wasn’t expecting to win.”I was really surprised – when I was nominated, I was really surprised, and when I found out I won it I was even more surprised,” said Henceroth, who sports an eyepopping 4.3 GPA (101.7 percent average) and has never earned anything less than an A despite missing hundreds of hours of class time each winter for skiing. In addition to the recognition, Henceroth – who grew up skiing at A-Basin, where his dad Alan is director of mountain operations – received a $500 scholarship to be used toward his freestyle career.At this point, that career seems to be rising without an end in sight. Henceroth said the “next big step to take” would be to make the U.S. Ski Team, a prospect that seems more a probability than a dream with each passing day.
“He’s been really consistent about making progress,” said Dowling, who has coached 12 World Cup skiers in his career. “I think he’s on a really good track.”Asked whether he felt Henceroth could be his next international star, Dowling didn’t hesitate. “Certainly,” he said.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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