Winner Maddy Olsen, Kiley McKinnon and Madie Gorelik stand on the podium at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Stratton Mountain. (USSA)
STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT (March 25) – Defending national aerials champion Dylan Ferguson (Amesbury, MA) won gold and retained his title at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Stratton Mountain. With difficult course conditions, the door was open for FLY Freestyle's Maddy Olsen (Park City, UT) to take her first title. Organizers at Stratton Mountain did an amazing job producing an excellent U.S. Championships despite warm temperatures to wrap up the 2011-12 freestyle season.
Dylan Ferguson (Amesbury, MA) won the gold and took the men's aerials national title.
FLY Freestyle's Maddy Olsen (Park City, UT) took the women's gold, her first career title earning her a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.
Mike Rossi (Long Valley, NJ) and Elite Aerial Development Program (EADP) athlete Kiley McKinnon (Madison, CT) earned silver and FLY Freestyle's Madie Gorelik (Park City, UT) and EADP aerialist Mac Bohonnon (New Haven, CT) took bronze.
Stratton Mountain crews put in over 300 hours of snow cat time preparing the aerials hill. It was a unique aerials hill with scaffolding used to produce extra speed.
Ferguson, who at 23 was the oldest athelte on the podium, was national champion last year and successfully defended his title.
Participation in the aerials championship increased 40% from last year.
QUOTES Dylan Ferguson I felt great this morning. I was excited to watch our development kids compete in their first nationals and to see some sweet jumps from them. With the difficult conditions we were dealing with, everyone was competing on a level field which helped some of our development kids get on the podium. It was cool to see.
It feels good to maintain my title and it feels even better to cap off my great season with another good result.
Maddy Olsen It's a really exciting win for me, especially since this is my first nationals. Even though the weather conditions weren't the best we all went out there and did our best and had a good time with it. It worked out in my favor today. To be the aerials national champion is huge!
Todd Schirman, USSA Freestyle Director Amazing effort from Stratton and good attitudes from the athletes turned a questionable day into a very successful event with high quality jumps. The Junior Worlds Athletes arrived to the U.S. on Friday, put jet lag behind them and performed like veterans.
The EADP (Elite Aerial Development Program) and domestic club of the year FLY Freestyle were outstanding taking four out of the six podiums today. The recruitment and effort to the development system is really gaining momentum, Maddy (Olsen) and Mac (Bohonnon) were outstanding and athletes and coaches alike are seeing hard work pay off.