Killington Mountain School J3 alpine racers Mikala Smith, of Castleton, Vt., and Jonathan Schwartz, of Brookline, Mass., have qualified for one of the world’s premier J3 alpine races, the 19th annual Whistler Cup, in British Columbia, Canada, April 8-10. In addition, three members of the KMS J3 team will compete next week in the K2 Canadian Championships in Collingwood, Ontario.
Smith placed third overall at last week’s USSA Marriott Junior Championships -J3 Eastern Regionals (Junior Olympics) at Okemo Mountain, where she took second in giant slalom, 11th in slalom and fourth in Super-G. She is one of three female racers (one of six racers) from the East to qualify for the 2011 Whistler Cup Team. The Whistler Cup is an annual event hosted at Whistler Mountain in British Columbia. It is the largest and most important ski race in North America-and internationally-for athletes ages 11-14. If is held under the auspice of FIS and hundreds of young athletes from more than 20 countries complete.
“Mika skied her heart out at the J3 Eastern Championships last week and has been rewarded with the ultimate J3 award,” said Head J3 Alpine Coach Greg Hadley. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Now she adds her name with the likes of Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Mikaela Shiffrin, and our own Kyle Burin, a 2010 member of Team USA. We are very proud of Mika and wish her great success.”
Although Schwartz trains and competes with the KMS team, he will be representing his native Israel at the Whistler Cup.
“Johnny had a great J3 Eastern Championships as a first-year J3 and it was in Johnny’s goals all year to make Whistler Cup and he achieved it with those results last week,” said Hadley. “When you can represent your country in the premier junior alpine event, well, you just have to go for it and do it. This will be a great experience for him, and one I will honor and represent him at.”
In addition to the Whistler Cup announcement, three KMS J3s and Hadley will represent the United States next week at the K2 Canadian Championships. James Ferri, of West Simsbury, Conn, Wyatt Queirolo, of Farmington, Conn., and Carolyn Hofley, of Bow, N.H., all qualified for the event based on their successful results at the J3 Marriott Eastern Alpine Championships last week. They will join six other overall champions from around the U.S., along with appointed KMS coach Greg Hadley, to compete in an international field.
“It is an honor and a rare opportunity for a J3 to be able to participate in a world-class event like this and the athletes couldn’t be any more excited,” said Hadley. “It has been a year of triumphs for many on the KMS J3 team for sure.”