AVSC freestylers vie for spots on U.S. Ski Team
AVSC freestyle skiers Rachel Weitzenkorn and Glenn Engelman posted strong results at the U.S. Freestyle Selections event at Winter Park last weekend.The early-season North American Cup competition qualifies athletes for midseason selection to the C team of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and start positions at domestic World Cups.Weitzenkorn finished 25th out of a field of 61 competitors from the U.S., Canada and Japan.”It was a super-deep field,” said AVSC freestyle program director Eric “Doughboy” Knight. “Rachel took 25th overall and finished in 18th place for the U.S. skiers.”Engelman didn’t get the run he had hoped for Friday, Knight said. He had some trouble with his trick off the first jump at the top of the course, then struggled with his landing on the second jump. The miscues left Engelman 36th out of 68, and the 26th best American overall.Things got worse on Sunday. Engelman suffered a crash after the first jump on course. Weitzenkorn had a solid run going, but she lost some control after a 360 off one of the jumps and lost points as a result. She finished 53rd out of 61 competitors.Monday’s dual moguls competition was a different story. Engelman laid down a clean run to finish 19th.”Glenn redeemed himself,” Knight said. “The funny thing was that the qualifying runs were all single runs with no head-to-head competition. Glenn brings out his best skiing in those matchups, but we were joking that he qualified for NorAm duals without dueling.”Engelman almost made the cut for the top 16 finishers but had to dial down the degree of difficulty on his first air by throwing a double-twist instead of a triple, Knight said. Engelman’s results put him in a qualifying group to compete in FIS Freestyle NorAm dual-moguls events for the remainder of the season. “This is the level below World Cup for freestyle, and it’s the first time AVSC has had a mogul skier qualify at this level,” Knight said.
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Vail and Beaver Creek resorts Senior Communications Manager John Plack said the company agrees with the state’s assessment that the ski industry must be out-front in its approach to ensure a safe and successful season in Colorado.