National J2 JOs return in March |

National J2 JOs return in March

Daily Staff Report

PARK CITY, Utah – The U.S. Ski Team, looking to re-establish a national competition for J2 (15- and 16-year-olds) alpine racers, is re-creating the J2 national championships for skiers across the country with the Chevy Truck Junior 2 Olympics, according to Alpine Director Jesse Hunt.Hunt said the program resumes next March 5-12 at Whiteface Mountain, the Olympic venue outside Lake Placid, NY, which hosted the 2003 Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships. More than 100 men and women from Maine to Alaska will be racing, he said.Until now, there had been a J1-2 (ages 15-19) Regional Olympic events which made it difficult to create a clear path for advancement, Hunt said. The Junior 2 Olympics will re-emphasize national head-to-head competition at the J2 level.”We have international competitions for the J3s and J4s,” Hunt explained, “but we have no national competition for the J2s, and we need to re-establish these J2 nationals to help drive peer-group racing at that level…and to do it in all four events [slalom, giant slalom, super G, downhill].”We want to broaden our athletes’ development at this age by giving them an opportunity to see where they stack up against their peer group at a national level in all disciplines.”U.S. National Competition Director Walt Evans called the Junior 2 Olympics “a critical element in the “Clear Path Advancement System’ being developed to promote continued success at the World Junior Championships.”Winners in the J2 championships will be invited to participate in national development programs, he said.Evans said athletes will qualify for the national competition through their regions. Each of the three regions – Western, Rocky/Central and Eastern – will be granted up to 20 men and 15 women. All athletes must be between 15-16 years old and also must be registered with the FIS. The events will be sanctioned by both USSA and the FIS, and invitations will be extended to specific teams from other nations in an effort to stimulate competition among this age group.The tentative schedule for the 2004 Chevy Truck Junior 2 Olympics at Whiteface Mountain:March 5 – boys&girls slalomMarch 6 – boys giant slalomMarch 7 – girls giant slalomMarch 8 – boys&girls super GMarch 9-10 -downhill trainingMarch 11 – boys&girls downhill

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