Sugar Bowl Academy skiers Murtha, Lebel earn national rankings |

Sugar Bowl Academy skiers Murtha, Lebel earn national rankings

Courtesy of Graeme PlanteDylan Murtha, a freshman at Sugar Bowl Academy, is ranked No. 1 in the country among J3 racers by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA).

Sugar Bowl Academy students enjoyed outstanding results in both racing and freeride skiing this season with victories and top places at the national, regional and divisional levels.

Two Truckee locals and Sugar Bowl Academy student-athletes are now ranked in the top five nationally in their age groups, according to the latest rankings published by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA).

Dylan Murtha is ranked No. 1 in the country in giant slalom among J3s (13- and 14-year-olds), and Jacqui Lebel is ranked fourth in the country in giant slalom among J2s (15- and 16-year-olds).

Murtha is completing his freshman year at Sugar Bowl Academy, where he has a 3.5 grade point average (GPA). The Truckee native has been a member of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team since the age of 4.

“Dylan embodies everything our organization stands for,” said Bill Hudson, a former Olympic racer and executive director of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation. “He’s a good student with a solid work ethic and an all-around great kid.

“His hard work and determination, along with a great training facilities and coaching at Sugar Bowl Academy, has helped him reach the top of a super competitive group of athletes.”

Murtha also had two top-10 finishes at the Western Region Junior Olympics in McCall, Idaho, in both slalom and giant slalom this season.

Like Murtha, Lebel is a Truckee resident who has been a member of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team from a young age. She is completing her junior year at Sugar Bowl Academy, where she has a nearly perfect 3.98 GPA.

Lebel is on track to graduate with honors and with a concentration in humanities in June 2010. At Junior Nationals in Aspen, Colo., she posted three top-15 finishes, highlighted by a fifth place in the giant slalom.

Sugar Bowl Academy is a college preparatory, athletic-oriented boarding and day school located near Truckee. The school provides students with the unique opportunity to maximize their athletic potential without compromising their academic standards.

The program is designed around a flexible yet demanding college preparatory curriculum, a rigorous athletic training program, and the development of outstanding individuals. Through its academic, athletic and community-oriented programs, Sugar Bowl Academy seeks to empower each student with the skills necessary to enjoy an educated and enriched life.

The USSA is the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding, and the parent organization for the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding.

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