Gilford's Grant qualifies for Can Ams



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Gilford resident Kelsie Grant competes during Eastern Championship action last weekend at Waterville Valley. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
March 28, 2011
WATERVILLE VALLEY – It's been a busy winter for Gilford's Kelsie Grant, but the results have more than made up for the time commitment as the young alpine skier qualified for the 2011 J4 Can-Am Championships to be held at Mont Tremblant in Quebec April 2-3.

While Grant finished second overall at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) J4 Eastern Championships (ages 12-13) March 20-22, she was the most consistent competitor of the meet, securing three podium finishes in her four runs at Waterville Valley.

Prior to the big Eastern Championships race, Grant worked her way up the circuit as she took home second in the slalom and ninth in the giant slalom at the state championship meet held at Attitash March 12-13. With the top 10 from the state meet qualifying for the New Hampshire State Team, Grant was on her way to Waterville to represent the Granite State at Easterns where the team competed against squads from Maine, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Grant and BBTS teammate Katie Campbell finished 1-2 in Northern Division scoring for BWL Qualifiers in three races earlier this winter. The top performers from those races reached the state championship meet.

The seventh-grader at Gilford Middle School also had a unique experience this winter, as she enrolled at the Waterville Valley Academy. While she has competed for the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers (BBTS) team in the past, she made the leap to attend the school full-time. With GMS following a trimester schedule, Grant was able to spend her second of three trimesters at Waterville, following a Gilford curriculum during the morning and training on the slopes in the afternoon. Extra strength and conditioning came at night as Grant, who will be back at GMS for her final trimester, was able to focus much more intensely on her skiing.

According to the school's Web site, the Academy is designed for "sixth-12th graders who are pursuing the highest level of performance in alpine racing, freestyle skiing and competitive snowboarding, while still achieving academic excellence."

"She really enjoyed the experience," said Connie Grant, Kelsie's mom. "We haven't decided on next year or anything but I think she'd be interested in going back."

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