U.S. Ski Team Development Athletes See Heavy Action

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 4, 2009 7:00 am

The U.S. Ski Team’s elite have been in heavy off-snow action preparing for the 2010 Olympic Games, but a whole slew of up-and-comers are biting at their ankles. The U.S. Alpine Development Team rallied on snow at Mt. Bachelor, OR for ten days in late May and then enjoyed the newly opened Center of Excellence in Park City for three days of intense physical testing.

“We try to run pretty parallel programs for men and women,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Competition Services Director Walt Evans. “The volume for each group is typically the same, but the content varies. Starting this block off at Mt. Bachelor set an incredibly positive and productive tone for the entire program.”

Women’s Development Team Assistant Coach Kraig Sourbeer and men’s Development Team Assistant Coach Tommy Eckfeldt reported surprising “winter-esque” conditions, which amped productivity.

“Mt. Bachelor was an invaluable partner in providing the best possible spring snow training,” said Sourbeer. “We had several wave tracks set up which held up incredibly each day. Mt. Bachelor is also at a pretty high elevation, so it was great to train at altitude and then bring the Team down to nearby Bend for recovery sessions and video review.”

Women’s on-snow athletes included Greta Byrne (Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail), Vanessa Berther (Sammamish, WA; TAS Alpintal Snoqualmie Ski Foundation), Rose Caston (Salt Lake City, UT; Park City Ski Team), Devin Delaney (North Conway, NH; Green Mountain Valley School), Julia Ford (Plymouth, NH; Holderness Ski Team), Anna Marno (Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club), Lauren Samuels (Minneapolis, MN; Team Gilboa) and Felicia Byers (Sandy, UT; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation), who did not ski, yet continued to rehab a late season injury.

Men’s participants were Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team), Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski Club), Ben Morse (Carrabassett Valley, ME; Carrabassett Valley Academy), Keith Moffat (Berkeley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team) and C Team nominee Will Gregorak (Longmont, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail).

Colby Granstrom (Lake Stevens, WA; Mission Ridge Ski Education Foundation), Nick Daniels (Tahoe City, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team) and Hunter Schleper (Vail, CO, Iced Out Racing) missed the Mt. Bachelor camp due to injuries, but are scheduled to reunite in Park City for testing with the men’s C Team along with Gregorak.

“Mt. Bachelor was pretty awesome,” said Ankeny, a second-year Development Team athlete. “They were so accommodating and it was a great opportunity for all the athletes to put in a few miles before we move into a few months of straight up conditioning.”


photos: Haney/USSA