AVSC freestylers start strong at Winter Park
Moguls specialists Glenn Engelman and Rachel Weitzenkorn placed second and ninth, respectively, in the season’s first regional freestyle competition this weekend at Winter Park.The event, Dec. 2-3, drew a large field of skiers from across the country.”It’s the first contest until the U.S. Freestyle Team selections, and all the top teams were there,” AVSC Freestyle Program director Eric “Doughboy” Knight said in a news release.Weitzenkorn linked a solid run Saturday morning, which included the highest turning scores of the day, to qualify in seventh for the finals. Her two tricks were a twister spread eagle on the first jump, then a 360. She pushed the pace in her second run but had a slight bobble off her 360 near the bottom and dropped to ninth.”Rachel’s putting it all together – her air and turns are consistently improving, and this result bodes well for the rest of the season,” Knight said. Weitzenkorn failed to land the same trick in her first run Sunday morning and dropped to 30th place, missing the finals. Knight, though, applauded her for pushing her limits Sunday. “She was gunning it,” he said. “I think it was a positive start for her season, and while there’s still work to be done we’re starting from a great place right now.”On Saturday, Engelman had what coach Jeremy Moore described as a “top-three run” at the top after nailing a 360 on the first jump but over-rotated on a backflip iron cross on the bottom jump and fell while crossing the finish line. The mistake dropped him to 49th.Engelman, 18, bounced back Sunday, sticking the same run in the morning, than another solid run in the afternoon to nab silver.”On both days he jumped bigger than any of his competition, which really got the judges’ attention,” Knight said. “It was a fluke that he over-rotated on Saturday. His backflip is his bread-and-butter jump, and he consistently gets great scores for it.”Engelman is staying in Winter Park this week to work with the national freestyle team’s development group. His invitation to train with the group guarantees Engelman a spot in dual moguls for upcoming NorAm competitions. He is currently fifth in the country in the discipline.”Glenn and Rachel are both doing a great job of balancing their first year of college at CU and Colorado College with their offseason conditioning and training,” Knight said.Knight and his staff are excited that both skiers will take the second semester off to train and compete.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.
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