Telluride ski racer Kendahl Roufa, with troublesome leg issues behind her, is back on track and back in the gates. And she’s back in the points in her first FIS season.
Roufa, a Telluride High School junior, trained during the ski season with the Vail FIS Performance Program.
Her Telluride High School academic program was coordinated through the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, with classes running into the evenings to accommodate morning training.
Roufa was invited to train with the elite alpine program at Vail’s Gold Peak after overcoming debilitating calf conditions a year ago. After a long and agonizing diagnosis, Roufa had surgery to treat compartment syndrome in her calves prior to the 2017-18 ski season.
A gradual comeback for the teenage alpine ski racer started that season with the Loveland Alpine Race Academy.
Encouraging results drew the invitation from the Vail FIS Performance Program, where Roufa is now coached by Andrew Keating, who’s the head women’s FIS coach for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV).
His program for Roufa this season focused on continued development and quality skiing as she stepped up to race at the FIS level, including races against top NCAA skiers as well as NorAm racers.
According to ski racing website data, she climbed up to a No. 3 national ranking in slalom for her birth year of 2002.
Roufa recently wrapped up her competition season at the FIS races in Aspen.
Earlier this season, the Telluride ski racer recorded a first and a fourth in Eastern Development FIS Races at Okemo, Vermont.
She added a top-30 finish in her first NorAm Finals in slalom at Stowe, Vermont. She was the youngest among the top 30. She also had a 33rd-place finish at the NorAm Finals this year.
Roufa placed fifth and 10th in events at Snowbird, Utah. And she was 12th and 13th in a pair of Sugarbush races.
She placed fifth in the FIS race at Steamboat Springs this season. And she was 26th in the University of Colorado FIS races at Eldora.
Roufa, who lives with a family in Edwards (near Vail) during winter, will be back in Telluride after spring break.
Her progress this season earned another elite invite for next ski season; she’s been moved up to the NorAm FIS Team at SSCV for 2019-20.
Roufa’s results came on the heels of a banner competitive season for the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club (TSSC) — including top results in alpine racing.
Two TSSC alpine ski racers, competing in the U14 division, qualified to compete in the USSA Rocky/Central Division Championships in Steamboat Springs.
Taylor Carlson and Mollie Mctigue of Telluride earned invitations to the huge regional USSA race in Steamboat.
“This is the culmination of years of hard work for those two dedicated alpine athletes,” TSSC Executive Director Justin Chandler.
He said TSSC also had three mogul skiers advance to the U.S. Freestyle Championships in New Hampshire this seasons.
Ella Jansen, Will Jansen and Anna Smith of TSSC all qualified to compete against the best mogul skiers in the USA.
Jonah Jodlowski of Telluride qualified for U.S. Junior Nationals, just missing an invite to U.S. Nationals.
In addition, three freeskiers with TSSC qualified for this week’s big mountain championships in British Columbia.
Telluride’s Chloe Hehir, Lily Young and Elijah Blakney all qualified for the 2019 North American Junior Freeride Championships, which were scheduled to run through the weekend. Results were not available before press time Friday afternoon.