Taos Winter Sports Team (TWST) members Aidan Heflin and Anna Swanson have both qualified for the prestigious 2017 Rocky Central Championships. The event features the best ski racers from the Rocky Mountains and the upper Midwest. The events will showcase the best and most talented ski racers from more than half of the country.
Swanson qualified with strong results in super-giant slalom races in Aspen, Colorado, in January and followed that up with excellent skiing in the giant slalom and slalom qualifier races in February.
“Her fitness helps her carry her speed in places where other athletes tire out – and her determination to go fast is a special attribute,” said Sean Cassily, TWST executive director, in a news release. “Some athletes just know how to go fast, and Swanson is one of those athletes. As a whole, Swanson has been skiing quite strong this season.”
Swanson will compete in the under-16 (U16) USSA Rocky Central Championships in Vail, Colorado, March 11-17. The event will feature a downhill, a super-giant slalom, a super combined, a giant slalom and a slalom. The inclusion of a super combined is a particularly exciting format, as the athlete will race a super-giant slalom race in the morning and then a slalom race in the afternoon. The winners are determined by combined time from both events.
Heflin qualified with strong skiing in the super-giant slalom at Breckenridge, Colorado, in January and followed up with additional qualifying runs in the giant slalom and slalom at Crested Butte, Colorado, in February.
“Heflin displays very quick natural instincts on the hill, which allows him to make dynamic recoveries and still carry his speed in situations where others would crash,” Cassily said in the release. “Watching him race slalom is entertaining as he is so quick from ski to ski that he makes difficult maneuvers look easy.”
Heflin will compete in the under-14 (U14) USSA Rocky Central Championships in Steamboat, Colorado, from March 15-20. The event will feature a super-giant slalom, giant slalom, slalom and a dual slalom. The dual slalom is a side-by-side racing format, which is unusual in the sport. Usually, the athletes tackle the course one by one and are compared by time. In a duals format, there are two courses and the racers compete at the same time with the first racer to finish advancing to the next round. This format proves entertaining to both athletes and spectators. Heflin’s coaches look forward to watching him in this format.
“Heflin and Swanson have worked very hard over the years to earn these nominations, and the entire TWST organization would like to congratulate them for their accomplishments this season,” Casilly said. “We wish them luck at their respective championship events.”