After winning the girls combined Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association state freestyle title this winter, Hannah Bergemann traveled last week to the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo.
The event brings together top qualifiers from regional series across the country to determine the best of the best in youth freestyle skiing. Bergemann, a Hood River Valley High School sophomore, competed in two events in the women’s 16-18 division and came away with a national title in skiercross and runner-up honors in the rail jam.
Bergemann traveled with fellow Hood River skier Trey Roeseler (and family), who finished 10th overall in a competitive 10-13 year-old rail jam championship.
“It was pretty exciting to be there competing,” said Bergemann, who qualified for the national contest through the USASA Mt. Hood Series held this winter at Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline ski areas. “I didn’t have that many girls in my events, but the competition was pretty tough.”
In the skiercross event, Bergemann finished first out of six girls who made it to the championship contest injury-free. The finals consisted of a time trial that narrowed the field down to the top four, then three head-to-head races down what she described as a challenging race course with big jumps.
“The course was a lot longer, bigger and had more jumps than what I was used to,” she said. “That was an advantage for me because jumping is one of my strengths. In the first run I was in second place but the girl in front of me crashed so I finished first. The other two runs I finished second, which gave me the lowest combined score.”
The rail jam contest brought five girls to a course of jumps and rails at the base of the giant Copper Mountain resort. The girls got as many runs in as possible in the 15-minute jam format, at the end of which Bergemann was in second place.
“I didn’t really know what to expect with the competition,” she said. “It was mostly just for fun, and I had a great time. I have to say thanks to 2nd Wind Sports for sponsoring me, the Roeseler family for helping me get there, to my high school coach Justin Wiley and to my parents. I think the experience will motivate me to try harder and be a leader; I’m looking forward to helping motivate some of the younger freestyle girls next season.”