It was a weekend for championships and two skiers from the Killington Mountain School Freestyle Team took home top honors at the 2011 Freestyle Junior Olympics held in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Nick Keating (KMS ’10), of Waterbury Center and a member of the U.S. Development Group, took top honors in moguls on Friday to win the 2011 Junior National Mogul Championship, while Ari Schneider, of Rutland, took the 2011 Junior National Combined Championship. Keating took silver in dual moguls on Sunday as well.
“Nick was a clear favorite for the event but has had quite a rough year so putting it all together on competition day was big,” said KMS Freestyle Program Director and mogul coach Deb Newson. “His training was fabulous. He trained top to bottom runs, as he has all season, and we were ecstatic to see him perform to his potential in competition for the event. KMS freestyle is on a roll for sure. After sweeping the podium at Eastern Divisional Championships, these two just took it to the national level. We’ll see how we make out at Worlds this weekend.”
Last year, Keating entered Junior Nationals as a podium favorite and was in first place after his qualifying run but blew out of the course on his second run. This year, he nailed his jumps and stayed tight to win the championship. Schneider won the combined title, with the best combined scores in moguls, aerials, slopestyle and halfpipe.
Keating deferred from Denver University this fall to focus on his skiing.
KMS junior Darius Baradaran, of Goshen, N.Y., finished ninth in moguls, followed by sophomore Colin Lang, (15th) of Rhinebeck, N.Y., and Sterling Crescimanno ’10, (17th) of Chester, N.Y. For the women, KMS junior Aspen Witt, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., took 11th in moguls. Keating and Witt, along with Bryan Zemba ’10, will go on to represent KMS at the FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships in Jyväskylä, Finland, this weekend in moguls and dual moguls. All three are U.S. Development Group members.