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Waterville Vallley, NH, Mar. 2, 2001--Waterville Valley Resort is gearing up for the arrival of the US Freestyle Ski Teamand the 2001 Chevy Truck U.S. Freestyle Championships to be held March 16 -18. This is the first time, since 1983 thatthe resort has hosted this national competition. The event will consist of moguls on Friday, March 16 (Lower Bobby's),aerials on Saturday, March 17 (Phil's Hill), and dual moguls on Sunday, March 18 (Lower Bobby's).

This is the last major competition of the season before the athletes start to prepare for the 2002 Winter Olympic Gamesin Salt Lake City. Reigning U.S. Mogul Champions Evan Dybvig (Tunbridge, VT) and Hannah Hardaway (Moultonborough, NH)along with U.S. Aerial Champions Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT) and Kelly Hilliman (Tonawanda, NY) will be defending theirtitles as the best Americans in their sport. Olympic mogul gold medalists Jonny Moseley (Tiburon, CA) and DonnaWeinbrecht (Killington, VT), who returned to international competition this season, also will compete.

The U.S. Championships also matches annually the best world-class U.S. Ski Team competitors with hundreds of aspiringAmerican athletes vying for a spot on the national team and a chance to train for future Olympics.

Waterville Valley Celebrates 30 Years of Freestyle

In March 1971, Waterville Valley made freestyle history when it hosted the first ever organized freestyle competitionentitled "National Championship of Exhibition Skiing." The action took place on True Grit where more than 2,000spectators showed up and witnessed the birth of a new sport soon to be known as freestyle skiing. The event consisted ofone run in which competitors first skied through a group of natural moguls, then caught air off man-made jumps, andlastly, came to a flat to show-off ballet moves. With over 2,000 spectators, organizers knew that freestyle skiing washere to stay.

The award-winning Waterville Valley BBTS Ski Club has had a rich history of sending athletes to the U.S. Ski Team,including '98 Olympic aerialist gold medalist Nikki Stone and current U.S. Team members Britt Swartly (Blue Bell, PA),Kate Reed (Montrose, CO) and Corey Hacker (Buffalo, NY), all of whom trained at Waterville. Up and coming stars of theprogram this year, hoping to compete in this year's Championships are brothers Tim and Wes Preston (Capton, NH), MikeMacomber (Andover, MA), Dan McQuillan (Mattapoisett, MA), Kate Bodzioch (Dunstable, MA), Christina Craddock (W.Newton, MA), Sarah Ratcliffe (Simsburry, CT), and Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT).

"It's a great acknowledgment of our club and our program, that the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association chose us to hostU.S. Championships," said Nick Preston, WVBBTS Freestyle Program Director. "There's a lot of history here at WatervilleValley, and we're excited to show it off."

For more information on the Chevy Truck U.S. Freestyle Championships, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY.

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