Stephen Boone performing a Loop Grab at US Championships in Deer Valley, Utah. Photo by Steven Kornreich/ U.S. Ski Team)
BY HEATHER BOONE
Stephen Boone, a junior at Los Alamos High School, competed in the US National Championship Mogul Competition in Deer Valley, Utah on March 26 and 27. The National Championships are held at the end of each season with only the top 50 Mogul skiers in the country invited. Stephen made the cut from 50 to 16 men after putting down a solid first run. His second run was nearly flawless, shaving almost 2 seconds off his time and improving his turn and air scores. The performance earned a 10th place finish in a field of exceptional mogul skiers which included three current US Ski Team members and one of this year’s few US World Cup Super-Finalists.
Stephen Boone skiing through the long middle section at Deer Valley. Photo by Steven Kornreich/ U.S. Ski Team)
This was Stephen’s first time participating in the event; he missed the 2021 event due to injury. Stephen grew up skiing at Pajarito Mountain, but now trains at the Winter Park Competition Center. Winter Park’s coaches, athlete resources and training facilities are some of the best in the country. Stephen spends nearly every weekend in Colorado from mid-November until the end of March, training or competing, then spends 3 to 4 weeks in the summer training on water ramps in Park City, Utah or Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and skiing on glaciers at Mt Hood or Whistler. The extensive training helped Stephen compete at Deer Valley which is known as the steepest and most difficult mogul course in the world. This season Stephen also competed in US Selections, the Deer Valley NorAm, Rocky Mountain Freestyle events at Copper, Vail, and Telluride, Divisional Championships at Winter Park, and Junior Nationals at Park City. Prior to earning 10th place at US Championships, Stephen’s best finishes were 4th place overall finish at the Rocky Mountain event at Telluride and 2nd place in duals at the Rocky Mountain event at Copper Mountain. Stephen was named a Rocky Mountain Freestyle All Star for the last two seasons.
Stephen Boone performing a Cork-7 at Telluride, Colorado. Photo by Vance Boone
From left to right, Munayo Ferreira, Corbett Thomas, and Stephen Boone at the Rocky Mountain Freestyle competition at Copper Mountain. Photo by Heather Boone
For several years Stephen was the only male mogul skier from New Mexico competing at this level. This year that total tripled with 3 men from New Mexico competing in Rocky Mountain Freestyle with all three qualifying for Junior Nationals. Corbett Thomas, a 14 year old from Albuquerque, and Munayo Ferreira, from Los Alamos, both ski for the Purgatory Freestyle Team. Munayo ended the season with three top 20 finishes. Corbett also competed at US Nationals. As one of the youngest competitors in the field, he earned an impressive 28th place.
Munayo Ferreira performing a “back-x” at Copper Mountain. Photo by Vance Boone
Stephen trains year round, in the off-season building his fitness and training new airs. Like anything else in life, “it takes a village.” Mogul skiing is done throughout the winter months, which means he misses a lot of school. Stephen is extremely lucky to attend an amazing High School and have teachers, counselors and his Principal support him and work with him through the winter months. Stephen would like to give a huge thanks to ALL the people at the Los Alamos Public Schools for supporting him over the last several years.
Stephen and his family are also extremely fortunate to have an incredible group of friends, family and community that have supported Stephen along the way. Stephen holds an annual fundraiser each year to assist with the costs of his training and this year the turnout was overwhelming. Stephen and his family would like to thank everyone who attended and a special thanks to the support he receives every year from Bathtub Row, Pajarito Mountain and a special, special thanks to Laura Hamilton and Pig & Fig for holding an amazing banquet.