The Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team had another solid two days of racing against elite competition from across the state at the USSA Rocky Mountain Freestyle Qualifier/Devo mogul skiing event at Telluride.
In an event that had more than 100 competitors, Purgatory fared well.
“It was another good weekend for us,” said coach Kirk Rawles. “We’ve got some of the best young skiers in the state, and we really had some big improvements.”
There were freestyle skiers ages 6-14 from Aspen, Durango, Pajarito, Steamboat Springs, Summit County, Telluride and Vail in attendance. Rawles said after hosting a home meet Jan. 8-13 at Purgatory that it was good to see signs of improvement.
“With our meet at Purgatory, it was pretty much just us and Telluride there, so it was really good to see other competition from the other areas of the state,” Rawles said. “We had some great results, and since we’ve got a bit of a break coming up, it was big for our momentum.
Balin Kirk led Purgatory, as he won the overall title as the top skier in the moguls discipline. His twin sister Amara finished in fourth overall and was second for the under-13 girls division.
For the boys, Corbett Thomas was fourth and Chase Connors finished 11th overall. In the under-15 age group, Patrick McBrayer took sixth, while Finn Skowlaund was 19th in the under-13 division.
“This weekend told me that we’re more than on the right track,” Rawles said. “Amara was part of a group of the top four skiers that was separated by four-tenths of a point. Then, Lucy Klotz took eighth overall, and so from top to bottom it really shows you how strong our roster is, and we’re continuing to get better from a week-by-week basis.”
In the Devo category held Sunday, David Moran skied to a second-place finish in the under-9 competition, while Shea Morrissey got onto the podium with a fourth-place finish for the under-11 age category, and Keane Hammond took third for the under-13 boys.
The next team event will be March 2 at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
McQuinn makes U.S. teamGeorge McQuinn, a former Purgatory Freestyle ski team member, earned a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski team after he finished in second-place in the selections event held in December at Winter Park.
McQuinn competed for Purgatory until he was 16 when he moved to Telluride. He finished fourth last year at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Sweden in the dual moguls competition.
“I’m so proud of George, and he really has been on that upward path,” Rawles said. “It shows any one of our athletes that if they want to get to that level, they can get there. George is a great young man who took a lot of time to earn that (Team USA) jacket, and now I think he’s a great example for where these kids can go with this sport.”
McQuinn earned his third World Cup start in as many weeks, as he has also competed at Lake Placid in Upstate New York as well as Calgary and in Mont-Tremblant in Canada last weekend. His highest finish was 19th at Lake Placid.