Park City Ski Team kicks off 2016 | ParkRecord.com

Park City Ski Team kicks off 2016

It’s already been a great winter for the Park City Ski Team. Unlike last year, there is plenty of snow for the alpine athletes to explore and train on.

Park City Ski Team Director Jesse Hunt said 2016 is shaping up to be a strong year for the local squad.

"It’s just been great to ski everywhere on the mountain," he said. "Having early snow has everyone excited. With the two mountains [Park City and Canyons] combined, we’re exploring all the new terrain out there. It’s been a really fun start for us."

Though some early races were moved to areas with more snow, Hunt said he’s confident upcoming races will be held with no problems.

"We had some early races scheduled, but we weren’t quite prepared to host those on our race hill," he said. "Those races went up to Jackson, Wyoming, and we had some kids get off to good starts there."

Next week, Park City will host its first races of the season, with a collegiate race, hosted by the University of Utah, kicking off a week of Western Region Elite Tech Series races.

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"We’ll be racing on C.B.’s [run] all week," Hunt said. "There will be some high-level racing with collegiate and international athletes. We’re looking forward to hosting those races. Some of our top kids will be in those races."

Hunt highlighted a pair of Park City Ski Team members who are already having great years. He said he believes they’ll help lead the team this winter.

"Jess Reinhart was 13th in a NorAm in Canada," he said. "Those races are really well attended with some strong international competition. That was a great result.

"Andrew Miller was getting some experience at that level and put in some strong results there as well. One day, he was the top U19 finisher in GS up in Canada."

As the season moves along, Hunt said the PCST coaching staff has milestones it wants to reach with its different age groups.

"For us, our goal is to get some kids to the U16 National Championships at Snowbird and the U19 National Championships at Copper Mountain," he said. "For our U14s, there’s a regional level we’re targeting with an event at Jackson Hole. The U12s, our goal is to get our kids skiing fast and have them compete well at the Intermountain Championships. That’s how we’ll evaluate ourselves at the end of the year. We’ve positioned ourselves well in all the age groups."

For now, Hunt said the coaching staff is focused on making training sessions as fun as possible.

"We’ve got lots of snow and we’re having lots of fun," he said.

To learn more about the Park City Ski Team, or to check the race schedule, visit http://www.parkcityskiteam.org .