The Sun Valley Freestyle Team got an up close and personal look at its counterparts on the U.S. Ski Team in Utah this past weekend.
Competing at Deer Valley and Park City, the local kids got to rub shoulders with American team members, including Shannon Bahrke. Scant snow back east kept the World Cup racers training at home.
"The kids really enjoyed watching and hanging out with the U.S. team," coach Tom Kennedy remarked.
They also enjoyed the World Cup mogul course "Champion" at Deer Valley, one of the longest and steepest on the circuit.
Kennedy said, "It's so steep, you stand at the top of it and don't want to ski down. The moguls were about three feet high and made of hard blue ice. It's brutal. It doesn't sugar up at all."
The Sun Valley skiers didn't seem to mind, posting top results in the 81-strong field.
Nic Hanscom was the men's overall champion in moguls Saturday, winning the event with a high score of 24.6. He duplicated the feat the Sunday, landing a back flip with a full twist while completely extended, and a D-spin 720.
"He skied exactly the same speed as the World Cup guys, too," Kennedy said.
Hanscom will race in NorAm events this weekend.
Other Sun Valley standouts included Zana Davey (7th overall) while Aunika Phillips and Hannah Haupt swept the top three spots in F3 Saturday.
Also claiming wins in their classes were Aunika Phillips, Ross Falcone, and Joey Richardson. Kennedy was especially excited about Richardson's finish.
"It was only his third race in a really tough M4 field. It's a pretty big deal," the coach said.
Aunika Phillips skied to fourth place in dual moguls Sunday. Hannah Haupt placed fifth, knocking out the #1 seed.
Austin Moses was fourth overall in men's duals, bumping off little brother Nathan in the round of eight. Nathan and Falcone tied for fifth place.
Austin Bourret and Austin Moses went 1-2 in the M2 class in Friday's aerial event and were third and fourth overall in the Big Air competition. Adam Vorsteveld and Nathan Moses also competed.
Sun Valley will host an Interdivisional competition, Jan. 26-28 on Bald Mountain.
The three-day event features halfpipe, moguls and dual moguls. Events take place on Warm Springs and Roundhouse Slope and will begin around 10 a.m. each day.
"It's a big event and it's going to be even bigger because we have teams from the East Coast coming," Kennedy said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
Last weekend's results:
F1: Chloe Gordon 6th/4th. F2: Kali Phillips 4/5. F3: Zana Davey 1/4, Aunika Phillips 2/1, Hannah Haupt 3/ 3.
M1: Ross Falcone 2/1. M2: Austin Bourret 3/3; Austin Moses 6/2; Trace Page 10/8. M3: Nathan Moses 3/3, Parker Page 8/5. M4: Joey Richardson 1/3, Adam Vorsteveld 6/7, Trevor Norris 8/5. M5: Wyatt Wilson 2/3. MS: Nick Hanscom 1/1.