Eva Henschel, left, with Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club Coach Max Lamb and fellow alpine skier Regan Chandler at the Rocky/Central Junior Champs in Winter Park this past month. Henschel and Chandler both qualified to be a part of the U-16 National Alpine Team. (Courtesy photo)

The Telluride tradition of alpine skiing is alive and well, thank you. Eva Henschel and Regan Chandler qualified to be a part of the U-16 prestigious National Alpine Team after a week-long competition this past month in Winter Park at the Rocky/Central Junior, where they had qualified to compete with the best U16 girls from 19 states. From that weeklong race, the Top 15 went to go on to Nationals as part of the national team.

The girls are now headed to the U-16 National Alpine Championships Friday, where they will compete at Mission Ridge, Washington, in disciplines, including Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G and Parallel through April 6.

“This year, we qualified two girls for alpine nationals. And we’ve also got a talented group of younger skiers. I’m super proud of the skiers,” said Max Lamb, their coach.

At Rocky/Central Jr. Champs, Henschel placed ninth in Downhill, fifth in Super G and sixth in Giant Slalom, while Chandler was able to secure a discretionary spot based on many top finishes this season after an injury prevented her from competing.

It’s been a long time since Telluride has sent any alpine racers to nationals, and it’s a huge feather in their cap for these girls to be competing at this level. Most of the kids that qualify at this stage tend to be from academies such as Vail or Steamboat, and several of the girls they are up against are currently part of the U.S. Ski

Team’s Development Team. That’s to say for these girls to both be doing as well as they are on a national level is huge.

“They have both been very disciplined, committed and focused on their goals,” said Lamb, who is a new coach this season who previously worked for the U.S. Ski Team, among many other excellent qualifications. “It’s really exciting to see their efforts coming to fruition.”

He said the incredible snow this season also was a huge positive for the developing mogul skiers.

“This winter has been amazing with great snow conditions for training,” Lamb said.

“This is a very special honor and very difficult to qualify for,” Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club Executive Director Justin Chandler said. “It’s the culmination of years of hard work for those two dedicated alpine athletes.”