The Killington Mountain School (KMS) Freestyle Team dominated
the ECS Eastern Championships at Stratton Mountain Feb. 23-24,
collecting multiple podiums as well as three end-of-year top
awards. The men owned four of the stop five spots in moguls,
despite the student-athletes being some of the youngest in the
field. Olivia Giaccio, of Chittenden, was named Female Rookie of
the year for Eastern Freestyle. Both Christina O'Brien, of
Pittsfield, and Trevor Wahl, of Furlong, Penn., were named Most
Improved Female and Male, respectively. Approximately 50 men and 30
women represented the best mogul skiers in the East at the
"Once again we sent a strong field to the Eastern Division
Championships, taking home many top finishes and end-of-year
awards," said Matt Gnoza, director of action sports for KMS. "The
men established themselves as the big four of mogul skiing to come,
with the oldest just being 15. It's pretty impressive. They worked
very hard all season and at different times they had different
successes. But this time as a team pulled it together."
Abe Studler, a 15-year-old from Brant Lake, N.Y., took the top
spot on the podium in moguls followed by a fourth place finish in
duals. Wahl, also 15, took second in men's moguls and followed up
with a third place finish in duals. Mendon's Sam Gnoza, 14, just
missed the podium in fourth followed by Myles Frendel, 15 of
Mahwah, N.J., in fifth. Third place was won by 21-year-old Dylan
Lovell of the University of Vermont.
"Trevor's climb to the top this year was unprecedented, climbing
80 spots on the list," said Gnoza about Wahl's most improved award.
"In 20 years of coaching, I've never seen anyone climb that high
quite that quickly. He's maturing as a skier and understanding what
he needs to do to climb the ladder. He's focusing on the skiing
instead of the results. In that process, he's finding the
For the women, Giaccio took third in moguls followed by Georgia
Wood in seventh. In duals, Kat Spilman landed in silver, followed
by Hannah Soar in sixth and Wood in eighth.
"Olivia started the year very determined to do a run with a very
high level of difficulty," said Gnoza. "The run was ready and it
earned itself a third place on the podium, contributing to her
rookie of the year award. Christina's commitment to training and
more time on the snow this year enable her to maximize her
potential. It's been a great year for the team."
The Eastern Championship Series, the "A" level, qualifies skiers
for national level events including Juniors Olympics, Junior
Worlds, US Freestyle Championships, and the US Selection Events.
Eastern Freestyle has produced many US Freestyle Ski Team, US Open
and X-Game podium winners and Olympic athletes.
Killington Mountain School is a fully approved Vermont
independent school whose mission is to inspire students to pursue
excellence in academics and athletics in a culture that promotes
integrity, leadership, responsibility, and respect. KMS freestyle
alumni include: Bryan Zemba '10, 2013 U.S. Ski Team Member and
Junior World Freestyle Champion; Michael Morse '99, 2010 Olympian
and 2008 National Champion in moguls and dual moguls; Evan Dybvig
'97 - Nagano and Salt Lake Olympics, Two-time National Champion;
Luke Westerlund '98 - 2004 US National Mogul Champion; Evan Rapps
'96 - (Rapps skied for the U.S. Freestyle Team, but is known for
his musical interests and a successful career in the skiing
community as one of the innovators in the freeride movement.) and
Olympian and 4 Time World Pro Tour Champion Chuck Martin.
To learn more about alpine, snowboard, freestyle, and freeride
training and opportunities, visit www.killingtonmountainschool.org
or call 802.422.KMS1.