Snowmass Village’s Woods eyes spot on U.S. Ski Team | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Village’s Woods eyes spot on U.S. Ski Team

Nate Peterson

Elizabeth Woods is training with the Rocky Central Regional Team in Hintertux, Austria.

Last April, Elizabeth Woods of Snowmass Village won her first FIS-sanctioned race, a super G at Breckenridge.This season, Woods plans on making podium finishes a trend. The 17-year-old four-event skier is one of four locals currently training with the Rocky Central Regional Team in Hintertux, Austria, alongside members of the U.S. and Canadian ski teams.

The Rocky Central Regional Team comprises the best young alpine talent in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions. The intent of the outfit is to develop the future stars of American skiing. Woods, a senior at the Crested Butte Academy who trains under the alpine coaching staff there, has been skiing well since the two-week training session began Oct. 1 on the glaciers of Hintertux. She was the second-fastest skier in one super G training run, losing to one of the top skiers on the Canadian team by six hundredths of a second, said Woods’ mother, Julie Ann.Woods’ mother said her daughter hopes to earn a spot on the U.S. Ski Team this year. If that doesn’t happen, there’s also the possibility of earning a skiing scholarship to either the University of Colorado or the University of Denver – both nationally renowned programs.

“I can’t speak for the coaches, but they do think she has a good shot of making [the U.S. Ski Team] because of her speed results,” Julie Ann Woods said. “Since this is an Olympic year, I think some of the coaches are expecting that some of the of the older girls [on the team] will retire after the Olympics. That might free up some space for some of the people coming up.”Elizabeth Woods decided to enroll at Crested Butte Academy at the start of eighth grade. Before that, she had trained under the alpine staff at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club since she was 5 years old. “The whole idea of going to the academy is that it’s set up for students to ski and go to school,” Julie Ann Woods said. “There’s more time for coaching and more time to attend races. The students communicate a lot by computers and faxes with teachers.”

The three other locals currently training in Hintertux on the Rocky Central Regional Team – Toby Lamar, 20, Alice McKennis, 16, and Paul Britvar, 17 – are all former teammates from the AVSC. McKennis will be challenging Woods for FIS points this season in regional races and on the NorAm Cup circuit, with a possible spot on the U.S. Ski Team at stake.Last March at the J2 Junior Nationals in Sugarloaf, Maine, McKennis took second in the super G and third in the giant slalom. At the same event, Woods took eighth in the downhill but failed to finish in the super G – her second-strongest discipline. Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is npeterson@aspentimes.com

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