Vail’s Levy newest member of U.S. Freestyle Team
For Ali Levy, the fifth time is a charm.
Levy, of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is the newest member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team after finishing third in the second day of singles-moguls competition at the team selections in Park City, Utah, Thursday.
Levy, who was vying for a U.S. Ski Team spot for the fifth straight year, ended up with lowest combined place points out of the two days of singles competition, assuring herself of one of two open spots on the team.
“It’s been a really long road,” said Levy. “It’s definitely an amazing feeling right now. I don’t know what to think. It’s pretty amazing to finally achieve what I”ve been striving for for so many years.”
Of course, there were the necessary phone calls to Mom and Dad and her brother for the 18-year old Levy after reeling in what has been a lifelong dream, but now comes the hard part.
Levy was planning on joining her brother at Middlebury College in Vermont next semester, but now that she is on the Freestyle C Team, school may have to be delayed for a bit, depending on training and travel schedules.
“I will definitely have to sit down and talk to the school and my parents and figure out the schedule,” said Levy, who took first semester off to train at SSCV in preparation for this week’s selections. “I’ll have to see about the school being accommodating. This kind of puts a different twist on things.”
A graduate of Colorado Academy in June, Levy has been skiing competitively for 10 years, the last four being under the tutelage of the coaches at SSCV.
Levy plans to stay in Vail in between competitions and continue to train with the club, although now that she has made the team, she will also receive coaching from the USSA coaches at American events.
Being a member of the C Team, she is now eligible to ski in all F.I.S. World Cup events on home soil. She will continue to ski on the Nor-Am circuit as well, against her American and Canadian counterparts.
“I would like to stay in Vail and train out of Ski Club Vail as much as possible,” said Levy. “I haven’t had my meeting with the manager of the team or anything yet, so I don’t know everything.”
Three other Americans, Katie Bodzioch, Katie Sullan and Heather McPhie ended up in a three-way tie for the second spot on the team, creating a dicey situation for U.S. team officials who will have to decide whom will fill out the roster.
Brian Baker, head moguls coach at SSCV thinks that the team may make an exception and keep two out of the three – although that is only speculation.
The only real certainty is that all three finished seven place points behind Levy, meaning that Ali doesn’t have to think about “next year’ anymore.
“She’s carried herself like a champion all week,” said Baker. “The last year, she’s really focused on strength and power. She’s been working extremely hard and has been really true to the program.”
Levy noted that she focused in on her offseason training this past summer and fall more than she had in year’s past, and that it has paid off in her skiing.
A training regimen of weightlifting and plyometrics, along with trampoline work and speed and agility drills, coupled with an attention to detail is what she believes made the difference this year at the freestyle selections.
“I would say that it’s mostly your offseason training, your focus through the summer,” said Levy. “I was in the gym pretty much all summer long. It showed through in my skiing.”
By being selected to the freestyle team, Levy joins Vail locals Toby Dawson (freestyle), Sara Schleper (alpine) as well as former SSCV members Lindsey Kildow (alpine) and Lauren Van Ness (alpine), all current members of the U.S. Team.
Nate Peterson is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 608 or via email@example.com.