Family matters when it comes to mogul skiing |

Family matters when it comes to mogul skiing

AVSC staff report
AVSC mogul skier Aaron Lee is carrying on the family tradition with his strong turns and jumps. He's pictured during a recent competition at Telluride. Lee is aiming for the junior national championships while his older brother Colby Lee hopes to return to the U.S. Nationals.
Eric Knight/Special to The Aspen Times |

While one Lee brother is on the mend, another is carrying on the family tradition by nailing what was arguably the toughest jump of the weekend at the Rocky Mountain Freestyle event in Telluride.

That’s how it went down when Aaron Lee added a “straight 720” to his mogul run, said Eric Knight, AVSC’s director of freestyle and freeriding.

“That was the highest degree of difficulty of any jump performed at the competition,” he said.

Aaron’s older brother, Colby, is getting ready to return to action after missing part of the season due to injury. He’s shooting for a return to the U.S. Nationals while his sibling is aiming for the Junior Nationals in mogul skiing.

While Colby has certainly provided a solid role model for his brother, Knight said Aaron’s hard work all season was critical to his improvement.

“Aaron’s motivation, focus and hard work is paying off and the judges have taken notice that a new Lee brother is establishing himself as a top skier in the Rocky Mountain Division,” Knight said.

Big Mountain

Sunlight Mountain Resort hosted an IFSA-sponsored Junior Big Mountain regional event on its East Ridge last weekend. Among the podium finishes, AVSC’s Jack Chase took second among the male 12-14 snowboard division. Teammate Jake Kelley also finished second, for male 15-18 snowboard.

On the ski side, Jud Hawk was fourth among men aged 15-18. Also finishing in the top 10 were Connor Laughren, Andrew Tierney and Brooks Gorsuch.

AVSC big mountain skier Rhianna Borderick was fourth among women aged 15-18.

Logan Brown led the team in the highly competitive men’s 12-14 year-old skiers. Brown was fifth followed by Merak Mellin in sixth, Nicholas Goralka in eighth and Jackson Ferraro in 10th place.

Skier Jackson Ernst received the “sick bird” award for the day’s best and biggest air, according to coach Lynn Merriam.

The Sunlight event, coupled with the prior weekend’s contest in Highland Bowl, provided great training for the 16 members of the team that will compete Feb. 21 in Taos, N.M., for another IFSA-sanctioned event.

Taos certainly has enough steep and cliff-laden terrain for this event. The weekend following the junior event it’s home to the 2014 Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships.

Alpine excellence

Ski racing since she was 8 years old, Sydney Henegan figures she’s competed in well over 100 competitions. But it wasn’t until last week that Henegan, 17, won a race. And it was a FIS-level slalom at that during the Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup at Winter Park.

Henegan’s victory came the same day as teammate Andrew Hancock’s.

Colby Lane was another victor at Winter Park during a series of overall strong results for the ability class racers.

Another notable recent win was by U16 Anna Patterson, who enjoyed her first victory of the year during the Smartwool qualifying races at Winter Park. This is Patterson’s first season as a U16.

Coming up beginning Feb. 20 in Crested Butte is the Prater Cup, the annual qualifier for the U14 championships. AVSC is fielding a strong team for the races, which include a super-G, giant slalom and slalom.