MENS’ C TEAM
Hometown: Bend, Ore
Trophy Room/Outlook: The ski world took notice of Ford (Ski Racing’s Junior of the Year for two consecutive years) after he dominated
the 2006 national J2 championships, winning four gold medals (SL,
GS, combined, super G) and a silver (downhill). Ford
had two big podiums in 09. The first just happened to
be a slalom silver medal at the FIS Alpine Junior World
Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
The second was a giant slalom silver at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships. He intends to gun for a
NorAm title or two and will also spend some time gaining international experience on the Europa Cup. After
moving to Park City to work with newly named Europa Cup Head Coach
Forest Carey and before competition got rolling, Ford cruised to New
Zealand and Chile.
Extracurricular: Rock climbing, drawing, mountain biking, listening
to music, skateboarding, attempting to play cello, slack-lining.
Home: Longmont, Colo.,
Trophy Room/Outlook: He landed on the U.S.
Alpine Development Team for last season. It didn’t
take long to make a mark; his narrowly missing a
medal in super G at the Junior Worlds prompted
coaches to upgrade his team status. “I really want to
medal at World Juniors in a couple of events,” says
Gregorak. “It’s my last year as a junior and that is our biggest event. I’d
also like to keep things rolling and qualify for the U.S. B Team.”
Extracurricular: Golf, waterskiing and wakeboarding and Led Zeppelin.
Home: Warren, Vt.
Trophy Room/Outlook: Kasper saw his first
NorAm racing during the 2007 season. A quadruple
silver medalist (giant slalom, SL, SG, overall) at the
2006 Chevrolet U.S. Junior Olympics, he won a
bronze medal at Junior Worlds last season. “I had a
pretty solid season last year and my progression with
the U.S. Ski Team is right where I want it to be,” says
Kasper. “It’s cool to see the hard work pay off.” Goals
for 2010 include continuing the hard work by living
in Park City with teammates and holding down a lot
of time at the Center of Excellence. With Europa Cup starts on the horizon, Kasper also has his eyes on a few World Cup races this year.
Extracurricular: Hockey. “The Center of Excellence is right next to the
ice rink in Park City, so I get on the ice as much as possible,” says Kasper,
who’s also into soccer, slack-lining and all types of music.
WOMEN’S C TEAM
Hometown: Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Trophy Room/Outlook: Not only did Alice McKennis nab her first NorAm victory last season, but
she also went on a victory rampage, winning four
back-to-back downhill and super G races in Lake
Louise and Panorama. This earned her both super G and downhill titles and spots in Europa and
World Cups. As if that wasn’t enough, she missed a
podium spot in the 2009 Junior World Championships downhill by 0.02
Hometown: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Trophy Room/Outlook: An all-discipline skier,
Laurenne Ross landed her first NorAm victory in giant slalom last winter and also found her way onto
downhill, super G and super combined podiums.
Canadian-born, Ross grew up racing at Lake Louise
and juggles a college career (at Utah’s Westminster
College) while competing. In her free time, Ross is a
one-woman orchestra, playing piano, violin and cello and singing.
Extracurricular: She says her greatest on-hill achievement is being able
to push herself every day to go faster, even if it is considered impossible.
“Off the hill, I can do a back flip,” says Ross, who adds that the best way to
prepare for a race is by “understanding that you are only skiing for fun. It
always helps to smile and to look at the bigger picture of life.” Her training/
prep music is the Beastie Boys, the Knife, Le Tigre, RJD2, Wu Tang and Of
Montreal. “For downhill/super G I often listen to classical music,” she says.
“Bach is my fave.” Super foods are gnocchi, tofu, Thai food and kombucha;
if she weren’t skiing she’d be “climbing, slack-lining, playing my violin or
piano, mountain biking, drawing or painting, doing yoga, singing (which
I usually am), reading … living outside!” Her three most important things
are “skiing, family/friends, happiness.”
Hometown: Park City, Utah
Trophy Room/Outlook: Kiley Staples is so eager
to get back into the game after tearing her ACL last
February that she was one of the first people training at the Center of Excellence when it opened in
the spring. Though her season ended prematurely,
her three podiums prior helped Staples finish second in NorAm slalom standings. Her first runs
came at Snowbird when she was 5, and the Rowmark Ski Academy racer
earned Ski Racing’s Junior of the Year award in 2008.
Extracurricular: Happy doing anything outdoors, Staples also loves tennis and mountain biking or kicking back with ice cream and a Harry Potter