AVSC alpine athletes named to 2015-16 U.S. Ski Team
The U.S. Ski Team has announced its nominations for the 2015-16 alpine team, and four alumni Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athletes, including 17-year-old Galena Wardle of Basalt, were included on the roster that will be officially presented next fall in Colorado.
Wardle joins Aspen native Wiley Maple, Katie Ryan and Alice McKennis on a team that’s lead by Olympic and world championships gold medalists Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller. The announcement was made May 14 during the U.S. Ski Association’s annual Congress in Park City, Utah.
“AVSC is very proud of our four alpine alumni athletes who have been nominated to the 2015-16 U.S. Ski Team,” said Walt Evans, AVSC’s director of excellence. “Nomination to the team is a prestigious distinction that is earned from great results and demonstrated athletic potential in alpine skiing.”
McKennis, 25, of Glenwood Springs, will compete on the A Team, after a comeback season that included a national title (super-G) and a 13th in downhill in Garmisch, Germany.
Aspen native Maple, 24, will ski on the B Team. He punctuated his season with a career-best result in February, finishing 17th at the windswept downhill in Saalbach, Austria. In March, Maple capped his year with the U.S. National downhill title at Sugarloaf, Maine.
Katie Ryan, 22, also will ski on the B Team. Like McKennis and Maple, she focuses on the speed disciplines of downhill and super-G and competed last season in World Cup races at Lake Louise, Canada.
AVSC’s Evans said these three veterans “all have had the unfortunate injury, surgery and rehabilitation experiences to endure. That ultimately has made all three stronger, more resilient and more perseverant athletes” who are positioned well for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea.
“On the other hand, 17-year-old Galena Wardle is emerging as a tough and talented technical racer competing in all events but showing promise in slalom and giant slalom,” he said.
In 2013, Wardle transferred from Aspen High School to the USSA Academy to train with an elite group of the country’s top junior women.
On skis since she was 14 months old and the daughter of two longtime Aspen Skiing Co. pros, Wardle grew up with Aspenauts, the Snowmass ski school and AVSC’s alpine team program. During the summers, she skied and trained in Las Lenas, Argentina.
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