BOZEMAN – Over the weekend, alpine skiers from all over the state came to Bridger Bowl for the West Regional Qualifiers held by the Bridger Ski Foundation. In six team scored events the skiers of BSF came in first in four of them. These are some of the most talented skiers in the state and many are just beginning their careers.
“We’ve got kids that will shoot for collegiate NCAA teams, collegiate USCSA teams,” said Bridger Ski Foundation Alpine Director Jason Moore. “Hopefully we will get some kids that will be looking at some spots on the U.S. Ski team.”
One of those hopefuls is Max Larimer a Bozeman High School student who races in the U-19 Division.
“I started out in a small little ski area in Montana and then I saw people doing it and just kind of started and never stopped,” Larimer said recollecting on his start in alpine skiing.
In those short seven years of skiing, he’s already qualified to ski in some of the biggest competitions in the U.S.
“I went to Nationals a couple years ago when I was really young so I didn’t do very well,” Larimer said smiling. “All I remember was I ended up last in the Super G. It was so fun though!”
In the three day event, Larimer placed second overall in the Slalom and Giant Slalom for his age group, which qualified him for the Western Regionals. But he knows getting back to nationals is no easy task.
“It’d be a big stretch for me, but if I could I’d ski out of my mind and end up in Nationals,” Larimer said. “But I’m just going to place as well as I can at Regionals.”
Alpine skiers have to put in a ton of work to become experts at their craft. For Larimer, he spend half a day at Bozeman High before heading to the mountain and finishing the rest online. He says his friends at school are jealous he gets to leave around noon, but balancing daily training with schoolwork is no easy task.
“He’s got drive and discipline and spends a lot of time doing this and it pays off,” said Moore. “They always say it takes 10,000 hours or more to really get to where you want to go and that’s where Max is at.”
The ski is the limit for Max and you never know, one day he could be on the world’s biggest stage: the Olympics.
“Watching the opening ceremony makes you really want to go,” Larimer said. “It looks really cool and if I ever got the chance, it’d be unreal.”
For full results from this weekend’s race, click here.