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Championship dreams next stop for Steamboat Springs ski racing sensation

Steamboat Springs ski racer Jett Seymour foreruns the NCAA Championships last year. Seymour will travel to Are, Sweden, where he will compete as part of the FIS Junior World Ski Championships March 6 to 14.
Courtesy Photo

— The month of March is going to be a busy one for Steamboat Springs Alpine ski racer Jett Seymour.

He will have to find a way to balance his classwork at Steamboat Springs High School with trips to Sweden for the FIS Junior World Ski Championships and a week in Canada for the NorAm finals, where he is hoping to place in the top three.

“It’s going to be very busy,” Seymour said. “It’s just ski racing, right now. I don’t have a lot of time for anything else.”

Seymour is the first to admit there are times when his busy schedule is a challenge, but he isn’t complaining.

“This whole town is awesome,” Seymour said about life in Steamboat. “This is a great place to grow up. If you want to do something in this town, there is somebody that will help you do it.”

Seymour is one of three brothers who have found plenty of success in the sport of ski racing. He said his brothers are also fast, and they are hot on his heels.

Seymour grew up skiing with his dad, and Seymour spent his weekends skiing with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. He skied both Nordic and Alpine events until a few years ago when he decided his place was between the gates.

The past few seasons Seymour has grown into one of the top junior Alpine ski racers in the country and has set high marks on the NorAm tour this winter. He won a NorAm slalom event in January at Stowe Mountain Resort and was fourth in another. Those top finishes helped him earn an invitation to the FIS Junior World Ski Championships, which will take place March 6 to 14 in Are, Sweden.

“I’m super excited about the races,” Seymour said. “I feel awesome. It’s been an incredible season, and I think I’ve skied even better than I thought I could at the start of the season.”

Seymour isn’t sure what to expect at the championships other than he expects the competition to be some of the best he’s ever seen. He said he’s traveled to Canada to race before, but this will be his first time in Europe.

“It would be amazing to get on the podium in the slalom,” Seymour said. “But realistically, I just want to go there and have some fun. I’m thrilled to be representing my country.”

The majority of the American racers at the event will be members of the U.S. Ski Team. Seymour said making the national team is a goal, but he doesn’t want to look too far ahead.

He is hoping to have a strong finish to his ski season and would like nothing more than to pad his resume with a top finish at the World Juniors and maybe a top-three result in the NorAm. But while his future goals include the U.S. Ski Team, he is also clearly focused on college.

“I feel like I’m on course to make the U.S. Team, but I need to get an education,” Seymour said.

He is hoping to find a college that will offer him an opportunity to keep skiing and pay for his college in the process.

“I would probably like to stay close to home,” Seymour said. “ I think I can get an education and still continue to pursue my goals in skiing.”

Seymour looks to ski racer Hig Roberts as a role model. Roberts attended Middlebury, where he was a member of the ski team. After graduation, he returned to the U.S. Ski Team to pursue his national team goals.

“We are trying not to make this (the Junior World Championships) a big deal,” coach Ryan Wilson said. “It’s an outstanding accomplishment, but all along, we have continued to train for this event the same way we always prepare. We’ve tried to keep things in perspective.”

Wilson said the Steamboat skier will have an excellent starting position for the event — in the top seven — but he said for him success will be measured by how Seymour handles himself in the starting gate and on the course.

“Is he skiing like Jett?” Wilson said. “I will be looking to see if he looks like himself on the course and if he is executing the plan that we talked about prior the race. It doesn’t matter if he skis off the course or he wins the race. For me, I will be watching to see if he executed the plan.”

Seymour said his focus right now is on finding the podium at the Junior World Championships and placing in the NorAm finals. What happens after that — well that’s down the road.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966


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