Cayman skier fastest 15-yr-old in Downhill & Super G

| 24/04/2012

Dean Travers.jpg(CNS): Very strong late season finishes in senior FIS races at Telluride, Park City and Vail and two excellent runs in the Downhill and Super G at Mount Bachelor in Oregon in April have catapulted Caymanian Dean Travers to the world No 1 position in the International Ski Federation rankings for 15-year-olds in Downhill and Super G, two of the four Alpine disciplines published today. Dean is the first person from any Caribbean nation to achieve this. Speaking from Dean’s Winter training headquarters in Colorado, the young skier's mother, MaryAnne Travers, said, "Everyone here is just amazed by these results. Dean has been the fastest 15-year-old in the US in Super G but he has now reached an entirely new level.v”The results are the more remarkable because Dean had to recover from a bad injury early in the season, which kept him off the slopes for 6 weeks. 

As a result, when it was time to race he had no start points.

"We decided to ignore the junior races favored by the European junior skiers and entered Dean in the late season senior races just to gain experience," said MaryAnn Travers. "This was a big challenge for him because he had start positions in the 90’s, inevitably  on rutted and soft courses. It also meant he had to race 15 to 30 year olds, including the senior European racers at US colleges. But he started to surprise everyone with some  tremendous finishes in the top 20 and then just got faster and faster.”

In some races Dean finished within just a second or two of the winner, which meant meaningful points on the FIS system, and he is now ranked ahead of the Austrian and Swiss racers of his age, as well as the North Americans. In one sensational Giant Slalom run in Park City, Dean beat the entire senior field. As a result of the Mt Bachelor Downhills,  Dean moved from being ranked as the 240th 15-year-old  in the world in Downhill to 1st , to add to his No 1 world ranking in Super G. 

Dean has been clocked at over 70mph in the Downhill. He attributes his success to his coach, former World Cup and Olympic racer Jake Zamansky, and to his strength coach Ray Cook.

"Thanks to my coach and trainer I am very happy with the way the season ended," Dean said. "I am pleased that I have been able to build on my Gold Medal in the Super G at Whistler Cup last season and the Downhill, ranking the best. It doesn’t matter to me how steep or icy the course. In fact, the steeper the better — I like to accelerate on the steeps.”

Dean has worked very hard on a specifically designed strength programme. "I put in two hours in the gym most days," he said, “and then spend about three hours on the training hill at Aspen before we do the video analysis. The video allows my coach, Jake, to pinpoint any problems in technique so I can correct after every training run. The core and leg strength have also been essential. The longer senior FIS runs are much more physically demanding because they generate much higher speeds. But Ray has focused on this and it means that  I can holdmy angles at higher speeds and get much more energy out of the ski."

Coach Zamansky won’t change the approach, he said. “Next season we will continue to race Dean against  the seniors. He has certainly surprised a lot of more experienced competitors already. These FIS rankings in these two disciplines are a great indication of potential, so we are very encouraged. This could turn out to be something special.”

Dean, who races in Cayman colours and his custom sting ray and turtle helmet added, "Next season I should rank with the top seeds in Downhill and Super G. This means I will start on clean harder courses, which should be a second or two faster. Some of these late season courses in soft snow have been very difficult. For now, though, after I catch up on my homework I’m looking forward to a rest on the beach at Rum Point before I head to New Zealand for more training in July.”

Category: Sports

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    great to see this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cool running's bo!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great job keep up the good work even though we have some bad minded people here in cayman who’s giving you thumbs down

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is an amazing achievement Dean, we are all very proud of you!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Dean, great news and keep up the good work.

  6. Peter Milburn says:

    Keep up the good work Dean.We are all proud of you here.

  7. Concerned Caymanain says:

    We are proud of you Dean!  Thank you for helping to put Cayman on the map – in a good way!!

  8. Whodatis says:

    Congrats buddy!

    You're definitely making a few "firsts" in your sport.

    It sounds like a pretty intense workout / practice regime as well – keep it up.

    All the best.

  9. A friend of the family says:

    Congrats to Dean on an amazing feat for a 15 year old. Myself and all of cayman [I'm sure]

    are proud of you. like we were when Sadone won her gold, and all the young athletes who

    brought home medals from other games. And thanks for parents like Tony and Mary Ann.

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    splendid Dean you have made Cayman proud, keep up the great acheivements!

  11. Anonymous says:

    fantastic well done Dean!

    • Cheese Face says:

      Why on earth does that comment have a thumbs down???

      Some really sad bitter and twisted folks on here.

      Well done to the lad.