The NorAm Cup’s second stop of the season took place at British Columbia’s Apex Mountain Resort Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 13-14, giving these three Telluride skiers another shot at reaching the podium. The NorAm series is one step below World Cup competition.
TSSC’s skiers didn’t disappoint, turning up the intensity for the Apex event, with each skier making it into the finals in at least one day of competition. Tully skied nearly flawless runs on Day One, putting him atop of the podium in first place.
This NorAm win gives Tully a significant boost in the overall NorAm Cup standings. The top two skiers in NorAms at the completion of the season will receive invitations to compete in next season’s World Cup series – the pinnacle in freestyle skiing, and the next step towards a start at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The win was a satisfying comeback for Tully, who struggled at Telluride’s NorAm contests last week – as did his hometown teammates.
“The NorAm Cup was bittersweet in that TSSC and TSG hosted a tremendous event, but our local skiers did not ski very close to their potential in the two days of competition,” said TSSC Director of Freestyle Caleb Martin of the team’s performance February 8-9. “While I felt our preparation was sound coming into the [homestanding] event I certainly take responsibility for our poor showing."
But what a difference a week makes.
Tully came out of the starting gate in Apex with fresh intensity, climbing his way into the Super Final to beat fellow U.S. skiers Nate Roberts and Nick Keating.
Meanwhile, McCargo also fought her way into the top ten, finishing seventh on Day One.
Day Two found each Telluride skier making it into the finals for the Dual Moguls event. Final results were not available at press time, however.
Coming back from a disappointing few days on home turf, especially when goals were set high for strong showings at the Telluride event, and being able to shine at the next event exemplifies the level of professionalism required to succeed in these types of high-level competitive series. Although local skiers didn’t necessarily live up to their expectations last week, the community and ski resort certainly did, Martin says.
“The NorAm event was a huge success, from the quality of the course and its maintenance to the organization of registration and team leaders meetings, and the tremendous community support,” he said.
There were moments of brilliance from last weekend, specifically from local 15-year-old Kealey Zaumseil.
"Kealey had a tremendous two days of competition in the first NorAm of her career. To make finals both days of competition and lay down excellent runs in the finals is a huge accomplishment," Martin said.
Ex-TSSC skiers also had a big few days in Telluride during the NorAm contest. Lane Stoltzner and Sophia Schwartz, two skiers who took some of their first turns with TSSC and now compete for the Steamboat Springs freestyle team. Both climbed into the Super Finals on Day One in Telluride, with Schwartz taking third and Stoltzner finishing fourth. The two swapped places in the following day’s competition.
The NorAm tour, and TSSC skiers, head next to Val St. Come, Quebec, then straight onto the season finals in Killington, Vt.