Thanks to Strong Finishes Throughout the Season, TSSC-trained Skiers Head to End-of-Season Championship Events
TELLURIDE – Local freestyle skiers closed their season on the North American Cup (NorAm) tour with a flourish last week, with mogul skiers again posting praiseworthy results at the series’ season finale event at Stratton Mountain, in Vermont.
Four of Telluride’s NorAm athletes have landed spots on the U.S. Ski Team’s Development team for next season. Keaton McCargo, Kelsey Albert, Troy Tulley, and Thomas Rowley all earned invitations to compete with the U.S. Ski Team thanks to their top-ten rankings following this winter’s NorAm Cup tour.
Telluride-bred mogulist McCargo maintained her place on the podium at last weekend’s competition, flying in at third place in women’s dual moguls and landing a top-ten in single moguls, to go eighth overall. This wrapped up a winning NorAm season for McCargo, who scored double wins in Canada, and another bronze medal at the Telluride event during the month of February.
Teammates Albert, Tulley, Rowley, and Kealey Zaumseil also notched notable weekend results: Albert finished eighth and 12th in dual and single moguls, respectively, while Rowley also enjoyed consistency during the two-day event with a 13th place finish in duals, and 16th in singles. Tully landed just out of the podium in the dual moguls contest, at fifth place overall, while Zaumseil placed 25th and 23rd in singles and duals, respectively.
Last weekend’s results exemplified what Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club (TSSC) freestyle coach Kris Pepe says has been the best season ever for Telluride’s NorAm cup skiers, who are competing just one level below the illustrious World Cup.
TSSC athletes have won a total of seven podium places this year in comparison to years past, during which Telluride would earn just one or two medals. “It’s been exciting, with skiers in the top five in seven of eight events” over the course of the tour, Pepe said.
Points accumulations over the four events put McCargo at fourth overall in the tour, making her the third-highest-ranked American in the NorAm Cup. Both Albert and Tulley finished the season ranked seventh, while Rowley took ninth.
Each of the four Telluride-trained skiers were ranked in the Tour’s top five among Americans not already competing for the U.S. Ski Team, demonstrating this team’s potential for ski season.
“It’s a high-caliber team made up of great friends who push each other and support each other. That really makes traveling, training, and competing so much easier, when you’re doing it with people you get along with,” Pepe says of the dynamic that helped catapult skiers to the uppermost echelons of NorAm’s competitive circuit this winter. The positive energy exists not just among members of the NorAm team, Pepe says; it is also present throughout the entire TSSC freestyle team this year.
A slew of Telluride skiers departed this week for the Junior Nationals competition, held at Park City Mountain Resort March 5-10. There, Telluride athletes McCargo, Zaumseil, Rowley, Morgan Osborne, Benni Solomon, Clement Cabrol, Skylar Nunn, and Emma Spaulding will join the country’s 60 top-ranked men and women aged 18 years-and-under in single and dual moguls events.
Pending results from that competition, Telluride could very well be sending skiers to the U.S. Nationals event, which takes place at Heavenly Valley, Calif. at the end of this month. Keaton and Rowley have been named to the World Championship Team, and will compete in single and dual moguls in Valmelonco, Italy that same weekend.