Vail Valley locals get bids for U.S. Ski Team
When the U.S. Ski competes across the globe next winter, it may bring a whole lot of the Vail Valley with it.The United States Ski and Snowboard Association recently nominated 48 athletes for the 2008-2009 alpine team, with a handful of locals getting bids.After officials and coaches meet with athletes, a full team roster will come out this summer. Of the 48 skiers (27 men and 21 women) five are from the Vail Valley. Bids were handed out based on a specific list of criteria, which is based largely on results and world rankings.Former Ski Club Vail athlete and last years overall World Cup Champion Lindsey Vonn was nominated to the womens A team along with Julia Mancuso Kaylin Richardson, Resi Stiegler and Stacey Cook.The mens A consists of Jimmy Cochran, Ted Ligety, Scott Macartney, Steven Nyman and Marco Sullivan.Sarah Schleper, the former Ski Club Vail athlete who took the past two years off, was given a discretionary nomination for the B team. Schleper injured her knee two years ago and gave birth to her first child, Lasse Gaxiola, last year. Previously, Schleper had been on the A team. Other B team nominees for the women include Hailey Duke, Jessica Kelley, Chelsea Marshall, Megan McJames and Leanne Smith all of whom save Kelley were on last years C team.The mens B team nominations were: Erik Fisher, Tommy Ford, Kevin Francis, Tim Jitloff, Tim Kelley, TJ Lanning, Cody Marshall, Erik Schlopy, Jeremy Transrue and Andrew Weibrecht. Schlopy, the oldest member on the U.S. Team, was on the A team last season.Julia Littman, the former Ski Club Vail athlete who went down with a knee injury early last season, was given a nomination to the C team. Last year, Littman was on the C team. Rounding out the C team are Sterling Grant, Keely Kelleher, Laurenne Ross and Kiley Staples.Chris Beckman and Travis Ganong, two members from last years mens C Team, were given bids to the C team again, along with Will Brandenburg (B team in 2007-2008), Andy Phillips (D team in 2007-2008) and newcomer Tague Thorson.Ski & Snowboard Club Vails Will Gregorak and Iced Out Racings Hunter Schleper were nominated to the mens development team, along with other first-timers Michael Ankeny and Nick Daniels. Gregorak, a recent graduated of the Vail Valley Academy, has accepted his bid. Hunter Schleper, the younger brother of Sarah, has decided to stay with his current team for next season. Rounding out the mens D team are Colby Granstrom, Nolan Kasper and Aspens Wiley Maple.Among last years womens D team, only Jennie VanWagner was handed out a bid for the upcoming season, while newcomers Felicia Byers, Julia Ford, Kayla Fry, and Glenwoods Alice McKennis round out the bids.Several athletes from last years team were not offered bids, including former A team members Dane Spencer, Bryon Friedman and Caroline Lalive; former A team skier Libby Ludlow recently retired. Bode Miller, who raced independently from the U.S. Team last year with his own squad, Team American, was not nominated.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.
2008-09 U.S. Alpine Ski Team Nomination CriteriaEligibility for Consideration: The USSA will consider for selection only those USSA members in good standing who have a valid FIS license.Further, an athlete shall be ineligible for consideration if previously suspended or removed from team membership without having been reinstated by USSA. Also, athletes who have previously declined an offer of team membership shall not be automatically offered team membership regardless of results achieved during the competition season unless that athlete specifically requests consideration and the USSA Alpine Sport Director approves the request.Team status does not guarantee funding from USSA for competition or preparation. Athletes who have been given individual performance criteria to meet will be subject to that specific criteria and not to general criteria as outlined below.A Team – Men * 2007 World Ski Championship medalist, or * 1 top 30 World Rank (Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom or Super-G), or * 1 top 20 (Super Combined)A Team – Women * 2007 World Ski Championship medalist, or * 1 top 25 World Rank (Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom or Super-G), or * 1 top 15 (Super Combined)B Team – Men * 1 top 60 World Rank, or * Coaches discretionB Team – Women * 1 top 45 World Rank, or * Coaches discretionC Team – Men * Top 5 in World Junior Championships, or * 1 top 100 World Rank in Giant Slalom or Slalom with an additional World Rank under 350 in any other discipline, or * 1 top 100 World Rank in Downhill or Super-G with an additional World Rank under 350 in Giant Slalom or Slalom, or * 2 top 150 World Ranks and must have World Rank under 350 in Giant Slalom or Slalom, or * 1 top 3 U.S. National placing (not including combined), or * Nor Am title winner (excluding Overall or Combined), or * Coaches discretionC Team – Women * Junior World Championship medalist, or * 1 top 80 World Rank in Giant Slalom or Slalom with an additional World Rank under 350 in any other discipline, or * 1 top 80 World Rank in Downhill or Super-G with an additional World Rank under 350 in Giant Slalom or Slalom, or * 2 top 100 World Ranks and must have World Rank under 350 in Slalom or Giant Slalom, or * Nor Am title winner (excluding Overall and Combined), or * Coaches discretionD Team – Men * 2 top 15 placings at the World Junior Championships (excluding Combined), or * Year of Birth 1989, 1990, 1991 only: 1 top 5 FIS age group rank or 2 top 10 FIS age group ranks, or * Win 2 Championship titles at the J2 Olympic Championship (excluding Combined), or * Coaches discretionD Team – Women * Year of Birth 1989, 1990, 1991 only: 1 top 5 FIS age group rank or 2 top 10 FIS age group ranks, or * Win 2 Championship titles at the J2 Olympic Championship (excluding Combined), or * Coaches discretionCriteria RulesSelection criteria using World Rank is based on the World Cup Start List or World Cup. Standings published after the World Cup Finals and the FIS Ranking List published on May 1 (Selection List) for the coming season.FIS age group rank is based on the FIS list published on May 1 (excluding Combined).Male athletes who are born 1979 or earlier and female athletes who are born 1981 or earlier must meet A Team criteria.Male athletes who are born 1984 or earlier and female athletes who are born 1985 or earlier must meet B Team criteria.Male and Female athletes who are born 1988 or earlier and must meet C Team criteria.Discretion will not be used for more than 1/3 of the Development Team, unless approved by Head Coach and Alpine Director.Athlete Competition AdvancementAthletes will be advanced based on the following general guidelines: 1. Win a Nor Am race: you will be entered in the next available Europa Cup competition in that discipline in the same season 2. Place in the top 3 in a Europa Cup race: you will be entered in the next available World Cup competition, in that discipline, in the same season (if you meet the minimum FIS standards).Clauses Applicable to all Athlete Selection CriteriaCoaches Discretion – Consideration for coaches discretion will consider the following: 1. Opportunities previously provided to an athlete in relationship to results 2. Attitude and commitment 3. Outstanding results 4. Physical fitness level 5. InjuriesComplete explanation will be provided for any decision if requested.Athlete Injury ClauseAthlete injured prior to March 1 of the competition calendar season will be named to the respective team at the time of injury for only the following season. Athlete must qualify through normal nomination criteria in any successive years (including those athletes who are repeatedly injured in the following year). In order to qualify for maintaining team status at the time of injury for the following year, athlete must follow a prescribed rehabilitation or medical program as approved by USSA medical staff. Funding may be based upon a return to physical fitness level or competitive form as determined by USSA approved medical staff.In Season PromotionAthletes will not be promoted in season. No athletes will be demoted during the season; however, funding may be suspended at any time if progress or commitment is not consistent with the designed program.Medical ClearanceNew athletes named to the team will require a medical clearance for participation. This will be completed by a sports physical exam by a USSA approved physician. Once named, athlete will contact USSA Medical Director for appropriate paperwork and direction. Medical clearance must be obtained prior to athlete participation in team projects.Acceptance to TeamAthletes nominated to the team must accept or decline their nomination within ten (10) days after notification by their respective coach.
Athletes nominated to the 2009 U.S. Ski Team are: A TEAMMenJimmy Cochran (Keene, NH; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club)Ted Ligety (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team)Scott Macartney (Crystal Mountain, WA; Crystal Mountain Alpine Club)Steven Nyman (Provo, UT; Park City Ski Team/Sundance)Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team) WomenStacey Cook (Mammoth, CA; Mammoth Mountain Ski Team)Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN; Team Gilboa)Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY; Park City Ski Team/Jackson Hole)Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Buck Hill Ski Team) B TEAMMenErik Fisher (Middleton, ID; Bogus Basin)Tommy Ford (Bend, OR; Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation)Kevin Francis (Bend, OR; Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation)Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV; Park City Ski Team)Tim Kelley (Starksboro, VT; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club)TJ Lanning (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team)Cody Marshall (Pittsfield, VT; Burke Mountain Academy)Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Team)Jeremy Transue (Hunter, NY; Green Mountain Valley School)Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation) WomenHailey Duke (Boise, ID; Park City Ski Education Foundation/McCall Ski Team)Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, VT; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club)Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School)Megan McJames (Park City, UT; Park City Ski Education Foundation)Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)Leanne Smith (Conway, NH; Mt. Washington Valley Ski Team) C TEAMMenChris Beckmann (Guilderland, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation)Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA; Schweitzer Alpine Racing)Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)Andy Phillips (Sandy, UT; Rowmark Ski Academy)Tague Thorson (Park City, UT; University of Utah Ski Team) WomenSterling Grant (Amery, WI; Buck Hill Ski Team)Keely Kelleher (Big Sky, MT; Rowmark Ski Academy)Julia Littman (Vail, CO; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)Laurenne Ross (Klamath Falls, OR; Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation)Kiley Staples (Park City, UT; Rowmark Ski Academy) U.S. Alpine Development Team NominationsMenMichael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN; Buck Hill Ski Team)Nick Daniels (Tahoe City, CA; Squaw Valley Ski Team)Colby Granstrom (Lake Stevens, WA; Mission Ridge Ski Education Foundation)Will Gregorak (Vail, CO; Ski and Snowboard Club Vail)Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT; Burke Mountain Academy)Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO; Aspen Valley Ski Club)Hunter Schleper (Vail, CO; Iced Out Racing) WomenFelicia Byers (Sandy, UT; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation)Julia Ford (Plymouth, NH; Holderness Ski Team)Kayla Fry (Reno, NV; Team Savage Ski Racing)Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO; Rowmark Ski Academy)Jennie VanWagner (Traverse City, MI; Rowmark Ski Academy)
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.