Steamboat Springs When the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association nominated 48 athletes for the 2008-09 U.S. Alpine Team in May, Steamboat Springs High School senior Jenny Allen found her name off the list.
"The way the points were, I was right in there," Allen said. "The coaches said I was the next one. I was on the bubble. It was a bummer."
But now, Allen has found an opportunity that fits her perfectly and still will allow her to chase her dream of making the U.S. Alpine Team.
Allen has agreed to ski for the University of Colorado and coach Richard Rokos.
"Jenny has a goal of getting on the (U.S.) Ski Team," Rokos said. "We want to help her, and this is a doable avenue. The traditional way is to take a year or two off, but college proves itself as a good way to do it. A couple have done it in the past. I'll help her as much as I can."
Allen has been a fixture on the podium during her time in Steamboat Springs. Along with dominating the select high school races she has competed in, Allen has performed well in regional and national events.
This year, she was invited to train with the U.S. Ski Team and thought she had a good chance to make the development team because of International Ski Federation, or FIS, points.
When she found out she didn't make the team, contemplated attending either the University of Colorado or University of Denver to ski. She also thought about doing post-graduate work for a couple of years and training to make the team.
In the end, skiing for the Buffs made the most sense.
"The perfect scenario would be to ski with Colorado for four years and be NCAA champions," Allen said. "Then go on to make the U.S. Alpine A or B team. Then go kick butt in the World Cup circuit."
Allen - who is one of three potential new recruits for the women's Alpine team - will do weekly workouts and make several trips to Mount Hood in Oregon to train. Although it didn't work out exactly how she expected, Allen said she's embracing the experience, knowing full well it will make her a better skier.
"It's definitely a good position to be in," Allen said. "It means I want it more. I'm hungry for it."
Allen will join other former Steamboat Springs skiers at CU.
Drew Roberts, Lisa Perricone, Heidi Hillenbrand and Tony Cesolini ski for the Buffs. Pat Duran and Josh Bryan also trained in Steamboat Springs as part of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's post-graduate program.
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