KILLINGTON, Vermont — Capitalizing on the success of the 2006 event in which Vermonters Hannah Kearney and David Babic were crowned moguls champions after conquering Killington’s Outer Limits Trail ??вЂњ the longest, steepest moguls run in the East ??вЂњ Killington Resort will once again host the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships March 22-25.
Babic, who recently finished third in World Cup competition in Voss, Norway, is expected to defend his title on the slopes of Outer Limits once again as more than 200 of the top freestyle and new school athletes from across the country will compete in moguls, aerials and halfpipe. However, Kearney is recovering from knee surgery and not competing but she’s planning to be on hand to cheer for her teammates during the championships. Last year’s event drew an estimated 10,000 spectators to Bear Mountain over the four-day championships, in addition to the hundreds of fans who turned out in downtown Rutland for the opening ceremonies.
“Thousands of fans were treated with a world-class event and it was incredible to see these athletes, many of whom had just competed at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy, competing at Bear Mountain,” said Dave Rathbun, vice president of sales and brand management for Killington Resort. “This year, the top skiers will be returning after the World Championships in Italy. We are very excited to bring this event back for another year.”
The championships kick off on Thursday, March 22 with halfpipe competition on Killington’s 430-foot long Superpipe. Single mogul competition hits Outer Limits on March 23, followed by aerials – with skiers launching 50 feet or more into the air before landing on the snowy slope – on March 24. The Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge dual mogul competition, featuring the Rip It big air trick of the day, takes place on March 25 on Outer Limits. Aside from the athletic competition, live music, a product expo and on-snow festival will take place in and around the Bear Mountain Lodge.
Downtown Rutland will once again host the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships celebration on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. with an athlete parade, autograph signing and live music at the Paramount Theater’s Brick Box. The 2007 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships also has been chosen as a “Top 10 Winter Event” by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
The 2007 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships will air on Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) on Sunday, April 1, 3 p.m. ET, followed by the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge at 4 p.m. ET.
All events are free and spectators will be able to view the competition from the deck of the Bear Mountain Lodge. Live entertainment along with a lively apr??s ski scene will follow the competition daily at the Bear Mountain Lodge.
Two-to-seven-day Ski and Stay packages are available during the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships starting at $97 per person/per night. Book a three-day or more package and receive a Killington “King of Spring” pass valid for free Snowshed Adventure Center activities and numerous discounts are area restaurants, shops and nightclubs. 800-621-MTNS or www.killington.com.