A rigorous rehab schedule and determination got Alex Jenson back on the mountain just months after an ACL tear. Last week, Jenson, a Waterville native, saw the results of her hard work, with a pair of seventh-place finishes at the National Freestyle Skiing Championships in Deer Valley, Utah.
“My knee is feeling good now,” Jenson, 19, said. “I’m very happy about (my results).”
Carrabassett Valley native Jeremy Cota placed third in the singles competition at the freestyle championships. Troy Murphy of Bethel was seventh in the singles and 17th in dual moguls. Dave DiGravio of Farmington was 47th in single moguls.
Jenson tore her ACL a year ago, during a training run at the national championships at Heavenly, Calif. She fell on a simple trick, Jenson said, and knew she’d hurt her knee.
“That was it for my ACL,” Jenson said.
The injury caused Jenson, who won Class B state championships in the 100 meter hurdles and triple jump as a junior, to miss her senior year of track and field at Waterville Senior High School. Jenson had knee surgery 11 months ago and rehabbed with competing this season in mind.
“I was definitely focused on returning to skiing,” Jenson said. “I’m sorry I missed my senior year of track.”
Jenson’s rehab went well. In January, she was checked for some reoccurring knee pain, which turned out to be normal. Jenson credited coach Jimmy Discoe for helping her through the rehabilitation process, especially the mental aspects of returning from a devastating knee injury.
“When I had aches and pains and wasn’t sure if it was normal, (Discoe) would reassure me that I was fine,” Jenson said. “I knew I’d have to take it easy.”
Jenson described the moguls run at Deer Valley as challenging, and she felt good during her practice runs. Some of the top mogul skiers in the country, including Hannah Kearney, who won a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and won bronze in Sochi earlier this year, did not compete. Jenson knew if she skied well, she had a shot to place high.
“This year there was a limited field. I had the opportunity to step it up. I felt really good,” Jenson said.
With the season over, Jenson plans to spend some time off in Maine before resuming training in mid-June with trips to Argentina and Canada.
“I’ll take time to rest. It’s been a long season,” Jenson said.
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Three Carrabassett Valley Academy students, Rylee McCormack, Erica Jenson and Sophia Morris, competed at the national under 16 Alpine championships in Park City, Utah this week.
McCormack, of Carrabassett Valley, placed 11th in the giant slalom and 21st in the slalom. Jenson, of Waterville, was 14th in the giant slalom and 31st in the slalom. Morris, of Yarmouth, did not complete either event.
“There’s a lot of good (skiers) here. I’m pretty happy,” Jenson, 16, who made her national event debut with the racing, said. “That was my goal for the season, to get (to nationals). I knew however I did, it’s all right, because I’m going against the best.”