Purgatory Freestyle Park team goes to work

Norvell, Morris take top honors in season’s first event

Ozzie Mills of the Purgatory Park team flies off a ramp on his way to a bronze-medal finish in a Southwest Colorado Series slopestyle event at Crested Butte. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team

Ozzie Mills of the Purgatory Park team flies off a ramp on his way to a bronze-medal finish in a Southwest Colorado Series slopestyle event at Crested Butte.

Two Purgatory Freestyle Park team members took first place at the first competition of the season at the USASA Crested Butte Freeride event Jan. 13. Two snowboard team members finished second in three events.

The event included the top USASA Freestyle slopestyle skiers and snowboarders from Purgatory, Crested Butte and Telluride.

USASA is the national governing body for snowboarding and freeride competitions. The Crested Butte event is part of the Southwest Colorado Series that qualifies athletes for nationals at Copper Mountain in April. Winners in these individual series events earn the chance to compete in their age classes at nationals.

Despite temperatures reaching 15 below zero, Purgatory team members Parker Norvell and Kai Morris led the park team, taking first place in their respective age groups.

Nolan Stowers took second while Gavin Wrublik and Chance Conaty each finished third.

Snowboard team members Quinn Haughey and player/coach Cody Beaver tallied three silver medals between them.

Ozzie Mills and Daniel Lorenz each added bronze medals while Jake Carey and Eli Cagen boarded to fifth-place finishes.

“We are off to a great start for the season,” said Adam Hirshberg, head coach of the park program. “Both teams have athletes in position to make nationals.”

Team members will look to secure spots at nationals as they defend home turf at Purgatory on Sunday, when the area will host the second slopestyle event of the Southwest Series.

“Our plan is to work out at the new Terrain Park at Chapman Hill and use the freeride series every Wednesday to fine-tune our boxes, rails and overall competition run,” Hirshberg said.

Improvements at Chapman Hill and the five refurbished parks at Purgatory give the team several training options.

jeisele@durangoherald.com