Thanks to consistently fast times and podium-grabbing finishes throughout this season (including a NorAm start and a second place finish at a FIS race before the start of the new year,) the U.S. alpine racing’s governing body announced Tuesday that Major had qualified for the high-level Nationals event.
“It’s a very high achievement to be representing the best Super G and Downhill racers in the country, from a tough competitive field of nearly 70 boys,” TSSC’s Alpine Director Mike Bowman said.
Tuesday’s announcement followed closely on the heels of a flurry of other, more recent high-ranking finishes from this Telluride-bred speedster: He took third and fourth place at the Surefoot Elite FIS race – finishes good enough to garner him an invitation to the National Development System (NDS) race in Park City Feb. 15-17. The NDS pits young up-and-comers against skiers on the Olympic race team, ultimately providing skiers like Major with invaluable competition experience.
“He’s going to race against the best the U.S. has to offer,” Bowman said.
While Major may be leading the local racing charge, he’s not alone in the quest for alpine prominence. J4 age class racer Tagert Mueller blasted past every other skier in his field during a Purgatory race at the end of January, crossing the finish line well over two seconds ahead of his closest competitor in each Super G race to take two back-to-back first-place finishes.
“He’s making some breakthroughs and really seems to be getting more and more motivated as he realizes he’s loving this, and is feeling really good about his skiing,” Bowman said.
Telluride’s J4 crew landed a number of top 10 finishes at the Purgatory race; Anna Fake took a third and a fourth, Ebba Green finished fourth and ninth, Jack Plantz came home with a fifth-place finish, and Max Dwight skated to a ninth-place finish.
The TSSC alpine team is looking ahead to upcoming races, including a J4 Junior Olympic Qualifier in Crested Butte in mid-February, as well as the two February home races to be held on Milk Run. The annual College Race takes center stage starting Feb. 13, followed in short order by the Jim Drew Memorial.
“And we need help,” said Bowman, referring to the small army of volunteers it takes to put on a high quality race to which Telluride has the reputation of hosting. If you can help, contact Bowman or TSSC Office Manager Alex Goodwin at 728-6163.