Titles, podiums for local skiers

Purgatory Freestyle skiers win state, national crowns

George McQuinn of the Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team competes last weekend at the USSA Junior Nationals in Park City, Utah. McQuinn won a junior combined national championship in the J3 division and also earned bronze medals in big air combined and aerials. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team

George McQuinn of the Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team competes last weekend at the USSA Junior Nationals in Park City, Utah. McQuinn won a junior combined national championship in the J3 division and also earned bronze medals in big air combined and aerials.

The Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team brought home state titles and podium finishes at both the USSA Rocky Mountain Freestyle Devo State Championships at Arapahoe Basin and the USSA Junior Nationals in Park City, Utah, last weekend.

The state championship pitted more than 100 developmental freestyle skiers ages 7 to 14 representing teams from Purgatory, Winter Park, Aspen, Telluride, Vail, Steamboat Springs and Summit County.

Carter McQuinn and Trudy Mickel bumped their way to overall titles as the best devo mogul skiers in the state. Affectionately known as “Mad Dog” McQuinn, Carter blew away the boys field of 63 skiers by two points to finish in first place. Trudy narrowly won the girls overall title on the strength of her 360-degree helicopter.

Lane McClure posted a season-high and personal best in winning silver for J3 mogul skiers and a fifth-place overall finish in the field. Tanner Murphy took fifth for J4 skiers and 11th overall. J3 finishers included: Elle Duke, sixth; and Dana Stahl, seventh; T.J. Rifkin, 12th; and Easton Verduzco, 14th.

Brothers Charlie (J6) and Freddie Mickel (J7) won gold for their respective age groups in moguls with Hunter Rawles (J5) posting a fifth-place finish and Cole Alexus (J5) finishing ninth. Emma Duke (J5) took 10th place for the girls.

The medal count for the team grew on the strength of Cole Alexus, Elle Duke and Freddie Mickel’s gold-medal performances in slopestyle. Charlie Mickel and McClure took silver medals. Emma Duke and Verduzco took bronze with Rawles, Rifkin and McQuinn earning fourth-place honors. Murphy posted a seventh-place finish.

Meanwhile, on the national stage in Park City, George McQuinn earned his second consecutive junior combined national championship while adding bronze medals for big air combined and J3 aerials.

Hannah Smith brought home three bronze medals in combined, big air combined and J2 aerials. Smith’s outstanding 12th-place overall mogul finish most likely will result in an invitation to U.S. Nationals at Heavenly Valley, Calif., on March 26-31 to compete against the U.S. Freestyle Team and the likes of reigning Olympic and World Cup Champion Hannah Kearney.

Sadie Smith finished fourth for both J3 combined competitions with a bronze in slopestyle, sixth-place finish in moguls, fourth in big air and sixth in aerials. Nathan Youssef placed 42nd overall in men’s moguls.

jeisele@durangoherald.com

Carter McQuinn and Trudy Mickel won state championships in moguls last weekend at Arapahoe Basin. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team

Carter McQuinn and Trudy Mickel won state championships in moguls last weekend at Arapahoe Basin.