U.S. Team invites Summit skiers to Devo camp
SUMMIT COUNTY – The United States Ski Team has always selected the best skiers in the country for its programs, but now it’s really narrowing down the cream of the crop.
As part of this process, the U.S. Team is going to begin screening skiers through new programs such as the National Development System, which has selected 70 young skiers from throughout the nation to train at a developmental education camp June 11-20 in Mt. Hood, Ore. Of those selected, five are skiers from Quantum Sports Club and six are from Team Summit.
“In order to make the (U.S.) A or B team, you have to be the very, very, very top,” said John Leffler, director of Quantum Sports Club. “They want to establish a team on the A and B team level and make it smaller than it currently is. The regions will begin to take up more the level of the development team. The National Development System is a nationally operated program to give direction and continuity to what all the regions are doing. The goal is to fund it over the years and involve more athletes than it has in the past, to get these athletes into training environments and competition projects. This is the first big project. It’s being operated from the top of the U.S. Team.”
U.S. Team national alpine director Jesse Hunt, head men’s coach Phil McNichol and head womens coach Patrick Riml will lead the Mt. Hood camp.
Quantum skiers Lyndee Janowiak, Austin Johnson, Chelsea Lynch, Julia Wong and Andrew Wagner are all invited to the camp, as well as Team Summit skiers Alex McKinnis, Katie Hartman, Bobby Paulus, Ian McKnight, Eric Davis and Taggert Spenst.
“It will be really good for them,” said Team Summit alpine director Rob Worrell. “The (U.S. Team) is trying to transfer over into a stronger regional system, where they want us to get the athletes going and to get them up to speed to bridge the gap. So, when they get to the national team, the work’s done, and they can just manage them. This group they picked is the strongest in the country.”
Depending on their age group, National Development System skiers were selected for outstanding FIS and Junior Olympic results, or performances in international competitions such as the 2003 Whistler Cup in Canada or the Topolino Games in Italy.
“These programs give more people a chance, but you’re going to have to be really good to get to the national (team) level,” Leffler said. “I guess they call it, “raising the bar.’ But, between the five (Quantum) has going and the (six) Team Summit has, we have a pretty good percentage from this county.”
Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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