Squaw Valley Freestyle Team member scores NorAm win | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley Freestyle Team member scores NorAm win

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Courtesy of Kirk Paulsen / Submitted to swright@siAli Kariotis, 15, of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team surprised her coach, Nat Schirman, when she won a NorAmCup moguls competition in Val Saint Come, Quebec, Canada, on Monday.
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Ali Kariotis of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team impressed her coaches with a first-place finish in a NorAm Cup moguls event held at Val Saint Come, Quebec, on Monday.

and#8220;We definitely did not expect a win,and#8221; said Nat Schirman, head coach of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team. and#8220;I mean, she beat all of the U.S. National Team, all of the Canadian National Team, the Japanese National Team and Australian National Team. Itand#8217;s a pretty high level, basically one step below World Cup.and#8221;

The 15-year-old Kariotis narrowly beat out former Squaw Freestyle teammate KC Oakley, who now lives in Park City, Utah, as she posted a winning score of 22.56 to Oakleyand#8217;s 22.42. Schirman said Kariotis executed and#8220;an extremely good backflipand#8221; while skiing fast and aggressively to the finish.

and#8220;She had the second-fastest run, and thatand#8217;s one thing weand#8217;ve been working on here at Squaw, is her turns and speed and#8212; and her backflip,and#8221; Schirman said. and#8220;So for me that was great.and#8221;

She went on to finish sixth the following day in dual moguls as Oakley again was runner-up.

Kariotis, who lives in Novato but trains four days a week at Squaw, is no stranger to success. Sheand#8217;s already a four-time national champion for her age group and a member of the U.S. Ski Teamand#8217;s Development Team. The weekend of March 19-20, sheand#8217;ll be one of only two American women to compete at the Freestyle Junior World Championships in Finland.

Before then, however, Kariotis will join fellow Squaw Valley Freestyle Team member Veronica Paulsen, 17, in Killington, Vt., this weekend for NorAm finals, where she hopes to carry her momentum to another quality finish.

Among other Squaw Valley Freestyle Team athletes, Schirman said 15-year-old Trevor Semmens, a sophomore at North Tahoe High School, has put together a solid season to date, and he expects him to end the year just as strongly.

and#8220;Trevor will be qualifying for Nationals, and I think heand#8217;ll have a good Junior Olympics showing,and#8221; Schirman said. and#8220;Heand#8217;s just been shooting up the national rankings, so I wouldnand#8217;t doubt seeing something big coming from him soon.and#8221;

Squaw Valley Freestyle Team athletes included on the Junior Olympics roster include Kariotis, Paulsen and Semmens, as well as Jack Kariotis, Tamara Wescott, Lani Tice, Ian Krommenhoek, Riley McGuire, Sean Heachler, Todd Chen, Samantha Newman and Neal Cadra.