Disabled Alpine Tunes Up at Keystone Team Set for Hartford Ski Spectacular
KEYSTONE, Colo. (Dec. 4.) - The U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team capitalized on the recent training agreement with Keystone Resort, scoring five days of unparalleled training on the U.S. Ski Team's exclusive Starfire training run on North Peak.
"It was the best training we've had in a long time," said Coach Ben Roberts. "It was great for us to be on a steep, challenging hill with hard snow. We are expecting these conditions at our Aspen World Cups (Jan. 17-21) so it was great preparation for those races. Everything the Alpine Team has been saying about how great the training is at Keystone was is true."
It was the third and final on-snow training for the Team before the competition season opens Dec. 7 with the 19th Annual Hartford Ski Spectacular at Breckenridge, CO."The opportunity for us as members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team to train on the same hill as the U.S. Alpine Teams was invaluable," said 15-year veteran Chris Devlin-Young (sit-ski; Campton, NH). "We had very hard snow and steep terrain, just like at our World Cups. We almost never see conditions like this during training, only at our races."Devlin-Young was joined by George Sansonetis (standup; Fraser, CO), Ralph Green (standup; Brooklyn, NY), Hannah Pennington (standup; Denver, CO), Sandy Dukat (standup; Chicago, IL), Carl Burnett (sit-ski; Cape Elizabeth, ME), Brad Washburn (standup; Highlands Ranch, CO) and Gerald Hayden (sit-ski; Fresno, CA). Also on board for the week were development athletes Ian Jansing (Granby, CO) and Ricci Kilgore (Reno, NV) of the Winter Park National Sports Center plus their coaches Hiro Taniguchi and Erik Petersen along with volunteer coach Matt Weiler from Aspen's Team Summit.
"The training was incredible," added Coach Kurt Smitz. "It was really nice to catch up with John McBride (combined coach for the men's Alpine Team) and the other alpine coaches who were on the hill with us and at the NorAm. Our athletes are really stepping up in preparation for our first races."
To continue that preparation, the team now heads to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, to wrap up their series of physical testing sessions before opening the season at Breckenridge.
19th Annual Hartford Ski Spectacular Schedule:
Dec. 7 - Slalom
Dec. 8 - Giant Slalom
Dec. 9 - Corporate Challenge