US Names Freestyle Team for World Championships


(Courtesy USSA)

World Cup leader Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT), reigning World Champions Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) and Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, CO) as well as 2011 Winter X Games champions Sammy Carlson (Portland, OR) and John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, CA) headline the USA's 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championship Team. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the 2011 roster Monday in a press conference at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT.

The USA will be represented by a strong crew of 37 skiers looking to compete with success on the World Championship stage. The four day event will showcase the USA's best including Olympic medalists, World Champions and X Games winners, as well as a new event to the World Championships, slopestyle skiing. Slopestyle as well as halfpipe skiing are being considered for the inclusion in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Among the Team members are 2009 World Champions St. Onge, Deneen and 2005 World Champion Kearney. The World Championships medalists also include 2009 bronze medalist Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City).

Kearney, who has been on a roll since the Olympics, is fronting a strong moguls team. The group alone consists of three World Champions, two Olympic medalists and nine 2011 World Cup wins and podiums. Contributing to the success of the veterans will also be the World Championship rookies.

"The Team has great momentum right now. We are in full stride and the athletes are prepared to peak," said Freestyle Program Director Todd Schirman. "The hard work and training this season paid off with early success and this has given the athletes confidence.

"The moguls team is very strong right now. Hannah [Kearney] is on fire and has inspired not only the women but the sport with her consistency and determination."

Deneen will look to keep the World Cup momentum going while Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT), who had a slow start to 2011, will be gunning for the podium in front of a hometown crowd. Wilson, was a member of the Wasatch Freestyle Ski Team, a program that regularly trains at Deer Valley Resort.

Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT), the 2010 World Cup overall runner-up, earned her first World Cup win on the Deer Valley course last year. McPhie, who has been just shy of the podium in the pre-World Championship World Cups, is hoping to continue her streak out of Deer Valley.

St. Onge will be fronting a cast of seven in Friday's contest as he jumps to defend his World Championship title. Joining St. Onge in the ranks are four fellow Olympians including 2010 FIS Rookie of the Year Ashley Caldwell (Charleston, SC). Caldwell, just 17, won her first World Cup a week ago at the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid, NY.

"Aerials is rolling right now. Ashley [Caldwell] has inspired her team and the next generation," said Schirman. "She has shown the athletes what can be accomplished by hard work and focus. With only three aerials World Cups under our belt the athletes' focused training is paying off."

St. Onge and Caldwell are coming in strong. Also, posting solid results thus far this season are veteran Emily Cook (Belmont, MA) with two fourth place finishes and Scotty Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA) with a third.

Moving from freestyle to freeskiing, halfpipe and slopestyle as well as skicross are among the six events to commence in skiers paradise. The three events will fall under the newly established U.S. Freeskiing athletic program.

Fronting the freeskiers' charge are X Games champions Simon Dumont (Dillon, CO), Hudak and Carlson. All three will be looking to light up the halfpipe and slopestyle contests.

Teller will be leading the way for the U.S. in skicross as it makes its second World Championship appearance. He is coming in off two World Cup podiums including the first U.S. skicross World Cup victory.

"To be able to partner with The North Face in launching U.S. Freeskiing and also support the addition of slopestyle at World Championships is huge," said U.S. Freeskiing Director Jeremy Forster. "Our goals line up perfectly in supporting the athletes and the growth of the sport hopefully towards Olympic inclusion in 2014.

"Park City has world class halfpipe and slopestyle venues. As these sports move towards potential Olympic inclusion we want to represent the sport in the best possible way. Park City will certainly help us do that."

Reigning Junior World Champion and 2010 Winter X Games gold medalist Bobby Brown (Englewood, CO) qualified for the Team but withdrew due to an injury.

The 2011 World Freestyle Ski Championships begin Wednesday, Feb. 2 with the men's and women's moguls at Deer Valley Resort.

2011 FIS World Freestyle Ski Championship Team
* Past World Champion
** Past Olympian
*** Indicates current student in U.S. Ski Team partnership with Westminster College in Salt Lake City

Aerials
Men
Scotty Bahrke (7/19/1985; Tahoe City, CA) **
Nevin Brown (4/19/1989; Streetsboro, OH)
Matt DePeters (8/20/1987; Hamburg, NY) **
Dylan Ferguson (8/10/1988; Amesbury, MA) ***
Ryan St. Onge (2/7/1983; Winter Park, CO) * ** ***

Women
Ashley Caldwell (9/14/1993; Charleston, SC) **
Emily Cook (7/1/1979; Belmont, MA) **

Dual Moguls
Men
Jeremy Cota (10/24/1988; Carrabassett Valley, ME)
Patrick Deneen (12/25/1987; Cle Elum, WA) * **
Sho Kashima (11/1/1986; Lake Tahoe, CA)
Bryon Wilson (4/7/1988; Butte, MT) **

Women
Hannah Kearney (2/26/1986; Norwich, VT) * **
Heather McPhie (5/28/1984; Bozeman, MT) ** ***
Eliza Outtrim (7/18/1985; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Kayla Snyderman (7/4/1988; Winchester, MA)

Halfpipe
Men
Simon Dumont (7/9/1987; Dillon, CO)
Tucker Perkins (1/5/1991; North Hampton, NH)
David Wise (6/30/1990; Reno, NV)
Torin Yater-Wallace (12/2/1995; Basalt, CO)

Women
Jess Cumming (6/4/1983; Avon, CO)
Jen Hudak (9/7/1986; Salt Lake City)
Devin Logan (2/17/1993; West Dover, VT)
Brita Sigourney (1/17/1991; Carmel, CA)

Moguls
Men
Jeremy Cota (10/24/1988; Carrabassett Valley, ME)
Patrick Deneen (12/25/1987; Cle Elum, WA) * **
Joe Discoe (5/15/1989; Telluride, CO)
David DiGravio (11/26/1986; Farmington, ME)
Bryon Wilson (4/7/1988; Butte, MT) **

Women
Hannah Kearney (2/26/1986; Norwich, VT) * **
Heidi Kloser (9/18/1992; Vail, CO)
Heather McPhie (5/28/1984; Bozeman, MT) ** ***
Eliza Outtrim (7/18/1985; Steamboat Springs, CO)

Skicross
Men
Pat Duran (2/6/1985; North Fayston, VT)
Ethan Fortney (3/1/1990; Tenino, WA)
John Teller (3/9/1983; Mammoth Lakes, CA)
Trevor Ricoili (12/2/1985; South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Slopestyle
Men
Sammy Carlson (1/11/1989; Portland, OR)
Alex Schlopy (7/25/1992; Park City, UT)
John Strenio (2/8/1989; Salt Lake City)
Gus Kenworthy (10/1/1991; Telluride, CO)

Women
Devin Logan (2/17/1993; West Dover, VT)
Ashley Battersby (1/27/1988; Park City, UT)
Keri Herman (8/16/982; Breckenridge, CO)
Megan Olenick (12/30/1987; Carbondale, CO)

2011 FIS World Freestyle Ski Championship Schedule
Deer Valley Resort (DV) and Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) – Park City, UT

Wed., Feb. 2 – Men's and women's moguls (DV)
Thurs., Feb 3 – Men's and women's slopestyle (PCMR)
Fri., Feb. 4 – Men's and women's aerials and skicross (DV)
Sat., Feb. 5 – Men's and women's dual moguls (DV) and halfpipe (PCMR)