Knees of steel

It was a high-flying good time for the Purgatory Freestyle Ski Team at last weekend’s USSA Rocky Mountain Freestyle Qualifier/Devo mogul comp in Telluride. The event included more than 100 freestyle skiers (6 to 14 years old) from Purgatory, Telluride, Vail, Summit County, Aspen, Winter Park, Pajarito and Steamboat. Athletes were vying for points to qualify for the State Championships, March 16-18 in Winter Park.

Balin Kirk led the Purg team in the moguls, capturing the overall title as top skier in the field, outpacing former teammate Freddie Mickel, who now trains in Steamboat. Purg’s Corbett Thomas landed fourth overall, with Chase Connors ending in 11th. Other shout outs go to Patrick McBrayer (sixth U15) and Finn Skowlund (19th U13).

For the girls, Amara Kirk (twin sister to Balin), finished fourth overall and second for U13 girls. Lucy Klotz skied to eighth overall.

Meanwhile, Purg ski team alumni George McQuinn, 20, was making tracks of his own. McQuinn not only earned a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Team in December but has also qualified for his third World Cup start.