Johnson, Owens named to US Freestyle Team | VailDaily.com
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Johnson, Owens named to US Freestyle Team

Season starts next month in Finland

Edwards's Tess Johnson, left, and Jaelin Kauf celebrate after the 2019 FIS Snowboard Freestyle Freeski World Championships dual moguls in Deer Valley, Utah. Johnson is starting her sixth season with the national team.
Rick Bowmer | Associated press file photo

There is a U.S. Ski Freestyle Team and it has a local flavor.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Edwards’ Tess Johnson and Vail’s Kai Owens are on it as moguls aces, the team announced on Monday.

This is year No. 6 for the grizzled veteran Johnson, which might make her “old,” except that she joined the team when she was 14. Now 20, Johnson has quite the resume.

First and foremost, she is already an Olympian, having finished 12th in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. She also competed at worlds in Deer Valley, Utah, the next year, winning bronze in the dual moguls.

Johnson won her first World Cup (dual muguls) in Tazawako, Japan, on March 4, 2018, and has two other World Cup podiums in her career. She finished 10th in the World Cup moguls standings last year before COVID-19 shout down all athletics in March.

Owens, 16, starts her second year with the team. In her rookie campaign, she earned her first top 10 finish in Calgary, Alberta, on Feb. 1, a little bit more than a week after she scored her first points in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Her roommate in Quebec was none other than Johnson.

The season starts with the Ruka, Finland, stop on Dec. 5. As opposed to Alpine, the tour is still scheduled to swing through North America with stops in Quebec, Alberta and Deer Valley in January and February.

Those North American events are a build-up to worlds in Zhangjiakou, China, Feb. 18-28. As with any sports involving international borders and COVID-19, keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.

Piliero shines for Rocky Mountain

Rocky Mountain College, in Montana, won the Frontier Conference Championship on Friday to advance to the 65th Annual NAIA Men’s Cross Country Championship, April 9, 2021, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The No. 5 runner for Rocky Mountain was none other than Nico Piliero, Battle Mountain Class of 2020. The college freshman completed 8K in 28 minutes, 8.20 seconds.

Speaking of Battle Mountain alumni, Colorado Mountain College just completed its first foray into regionals on Halloween in Alamosa. CMC’s top runner was Jason Macaluso, who finished fourth and earned all-region honors. Macaluso graduated from Battle Mountain in 2019.

The CMC Eagles will close out their 2020 season on Saturday at the NJCAA Division I National Championships in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Saints fall to Rangely

Rangely took a large step toward claiming the Northwestern League title by defeating Vail Christian, 24-8, on Friday.

Vail Christian got out to an 8-0, thanks to a 66-yard pass from Taylor Shully to Vinny Nowicki, but the Panthers, who’ve run through the league, were able to overcome.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Vail Christian coach Tim Pierson said. “The kids played well and they fought hard.”


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