Maple makes U.S. Junior Worlds team |

Maple makes U.S. Junior Worlds team

Aspen Times Staff ReportAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Aspen ski racer Wiley Maple has dominated in recent races close to home. Now, he’ll have the chance to prove himself on foreign soil.The 17-year-old was one of 14 athletes named Friday to the United States’ Alpine World Junior Championship Team. The group, which includes four athletes from Colorado, will travel to Formigal, Spain, on Feb. 23 and compete through March 2 against the world’s top skiers under the age of 19.”Wiley qualified based on his strength in the speed events,” said Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club alpine ability head coach Kent Towlerton in a club news release. Maple, who is competing in Canada, did not return an e-mail seeking comment. “That’s where he’s skiing the best right now. The World Junior Championship gives him another opportunity to prove himself and see what the best in the world are doing. Just being there is a great motivator and a good step along the way for Wiley.” Maple, who did not enroll at Aspen High School this semester to focus solely on earning a spot on the U.S. Ski Team’s developmental squad, has produced some strong FIS results of late. He took second in a super G and downhill at Beaver Creek on Jan. 23 and 26, respectively, then won a downhill on the same hill Jan. 27. Joining Maple for the trip to Formigal, which is nestled in the Pyrenees, are seven males and seven females. Among them are Alice McKennis, a Glenwood Springs resident and Rowmark Ski Academy product, Breckenridge’s Katie Hartman, Eagle’s Kirsten Cooper and reigning NorAm slalom champion Kiley Staples of Park City, Utah.”We’re sending a strong team to Junior Worlds and we have expectations of medals,” U.S. alpine director Jesse Hunt said in a U.S. Ski Team news release. “This group also has some promising younger juniors getting some experience against their international peers, which is so important as they look to advance to the World Cup and beyond.”

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