The Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) freestyle team is at it again. Local Vail athletes headed down to Telluride this past weekend to compete in the first NorAm of the year. Sixteen-year-old Hunter Bailey made a big name for himself at the event by out performing dozens of veteran athletes as well as all other skiers in his age class. Bailey placed 11th in the NorAm with the highest scoring trick of the day.
The North America competition is one level below the World Cup. Rising stars showcase their abilities and duke it out for World Cup starts. SSCV’s head freestyle program director John Dowling is no slouch when it comes to mogul skiing. Dowling has coached dozens of elite level athletes to World Cup competitions and the U.S. Ski Team spots. Dowling took a pre-qualified crew of four down to the NorAm with the clear goal of great performance.
Unfortunately the sport of freestyle skiing isn’t always the kindest to the body. Erin Coyne didn’t have the best luck at the NorAm and blew out her knee. Hopefully it will be aquick recovery and she will be back at it in no time. Fifteen-year-old Kaitlyn Harrell held it down for the girls and had a good weekend of mogul skiing placing 10th overall in the open moguls competition and second in her age division. Harrell has had a tremendous year already and was one spot out from earning herself a World Cup start at the U.S. Freestyle Selections earlier this season.
Bailey was the big story at the NorAm’s by throwing a huge cork 1080 on the bottom air of his run. The Vail Mountain School student has been skiing unbelievably well this season with great finishes across the board. Bailey’s 1080 gave him the highest trick score at the event and he placed first out of any of the J2’s at the competition. Bailey skied clean and successfully during day two of dual moguls and wound up in 12th place overall.
These athletes are off to the next NorAm in Apex, which starts this Thursday.