Dziemian, Page Win U.S. Moguls Freestyle National Championships Titles
U.S. Ski Team athletes Nessa Dziemian and Nick Page each skied to career firsts as they were crowned National Champions on Thursday. For the first time in 25 years, the nation’s best mogul skiers descended on Snowbird for the 2021 Moguls Freestyle National Championships. Athletes were treated to two beautiful Utah-bluebird days of training ahead of the moguls competition, which had light snowfall throughout the day and kept the course interesting.
Dziemian sustained a season-ending injury in November 2019 that kept her off of the competition circuit - until now. In her first contest back in twenty-four months (her last being the 2019 National Championships in Waterville Valley), Dziemian stomped it out for the win. This is Dziemian’s second National Championship title, but first win in singles.
“I feel very emotional about the whole thing,” said Dziemian of her feat in the finish area. “There were definitely a lot of challenges along the way. I battled a knee injury, I battled depression and anxiety... I just did not think i was going to come back from it at all, it was the hardest thing. My knee was constantly hurting and I just felt like I was at the lowest of lows. At this moment, it just feels like all of that hard work has finally paid off.”
Results aside, Dziemian was at a loss for words in describing how proud she was of her performance. Her cork mute to cork grab finals run was the highest degree of difficulty for any woman in the field and was a goal she has had in mind for herself for a long time. “I wasn't even going to do it right before the comp run. But for some reason I just pushed out of the gate and said to myself ‘I’m doing it, I’m going to achieve my goal today.’ So even though with all of the practice runs I had where it was not working, having it just work out on the one run where I needed it to was an absolute gift, and I am very thankful for it.”
The #powHERhouse came out to win and Dziemian shared the podium with fellow U.S. Ski Team members Kasey Hogg, who came in second, and Sabrina Cass, who came in third, marking career-best National Championships results for all three U.S. Moguls Team members. Avital Carroll came in fifth, Madison Hogg 11th, and Kenzie Radway 13th.
On the men’s side, U.S. Ski Team member Nick Page earned his first National Championship title, adding another accolade to what has been an outstanding season for the 18-year-old. Page, an alumnus of Wasatch Freestyle, recently earned FIS’ Rookie of the Year award and was thrilled to bring that momentum to home snow.
“I was thinking about all of the milestone moments I have had here at Snowbird,” said Page. “I did my first cork 7, back full, cork 10, cork 14 and double on snow all on this course. That’s five big milestone jumps. So in that regard, I know the course like the back of my hand. Without Wasatch Freestyle, I would not be the skier or the person I am. It’s a big testament to them and all that they do to achieve this milestone here.”
“The goal coming into this week was to come in and get it done, and win,” added Page. “And I was able to do it. But it was a great field of athletes. The guys I was competing against were right there too, so it wasn’t easy, but it was really fun.”
Page shared the podium with Winter Park Competition Center’s Geroge McQuinn, who came in second, and Wasatch Freestyle’s Ian Beauregard, who came in third, career-best National Championships results for each.
Landon Wendler finished sixth, a National Championships career-best, Joel Hedrick 10th and Alex Lewis 54th.
The accomplishment of having a National Championships go off this year was not lost on the moguls community. The 2020 iteration of Moguls National Championships was cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdowns and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows was unable to host the event this season due to local health and safety protocols. Snowbird and Wasatch Freestyle stepped up in a big way to make sure the event stayed on the calendar.
“Big thanks to the crew here at Snowbird and Wasatch Freestyle for pulling this together,” said Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. “They had less than a month to prepare for this, and they pulled off an amazing event. Nationals is always a fun way to wrap up the season.”
“For the national team athletes, they are tired,” Gnoza added. “It’s been a long season. While there have not been a ton of events, it has been a lot of stressful events, a lot of stressful travel. So to come back home, to have some beautiful weather on the training days, to have a fun course to go out there and ski, it really allowed them to ski to the highest of their abilities today. Just a great way to wrap up the season.”
The final moguls competition of the 2020-21 season runs Friday with Dual Moguls Freestyle National Championships. The nation’s best will go head-to-head one last time for another chance at National Championship glory.
HOW TO WATCH
Friday, March 26
10:45 a.m. MST, 2021 Dual Moguls Freestyle National Championships - LIVE, Snowbird, Utah, USA, ID One USA Twitch.TV