Winter Park Competition Center sent seven skiers to USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain earlier this month, and two local athletes won big at the competition.
Birk Irving, 12, won the National Halfpipe for the third straight year for boys 10-12. He also won Slopestyle for the second year in a row.
Birk's sister, Svea Irving, 10, won the Halfpipe and Slopestyle Girls 9 and under for the second year in a row.
Athletes from Winter Park who competed in Slopestyle were Andre Hamm, Colter Hale, Hallee Ray, Mike Evans, Svea Irving, and Birk Irving. Cal Carson, Svea Irving, and Birk Irving competed in the Half Pipe.
While Colter Hale was first in the nation in points going into the competition, unfortunately he wrecked on both runs, said Jeremie Livingston, head coach of the Freeski program.
"It as a tough course," he said. The way the course was built and the time of year contributed to its difficulty, he said.
Livingston has been head coach of Freeski athletes, which includes Parks+Pipe and Big Mountain skiing at the Winter Park Competition Center, for 10 years. He has coached Birk Irving since he started the program at 9 years old.
"Birk has a natural skill for being in the air and knowing where he is in the air," he said. "He is a natural gymnast - he's on a trampoline all summer long. With his skill and where he is at in his development, Birk has a good chance of going to the Olympics."
Kristen Lodge can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610