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Julia Krass, of the USA, competes in the ladies' ski slopestyle at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Olympic debut

Hanover watches as Julia Krass makes her Olympic debut

HANOVER — Hanover High School was tuned in Tuesday for junior Julia Krass' Olympic debut.

A television in the school cafeteria was set up to air highlights and results from Sochi, Russia, where the 16-year-old high school junior was competing with the world's best in the freestyle skiing slopestyle discipline. Krass finished 11th out of 12 finalists.

"It's pretty incredible," said Ian Smith, the school's dean of students.

Smith said students hung a large banner that read "Team Krass," complete with some well wishes from fellow students, the Olympic rings and a red, white and blue heart decked out in stars and stripes.

"I think they wanted to acknowledge that this was a big day for Julia," Smith said.

With the nine-hour time difference between New Hampshire and Sochi, the competition was over hours before classes began Tuesday. Smith said the school still wanted to be sure to have the cafeteria monitor set up for any news and updates available.

"Our kids are busy doing all kinds of different things, but they certainly took the time today to head in and check out the results," Smith said.

Krass' score of 78.40 was the fifth best in the first round of qualifying and she advanced to the final round, which featured the top 12 qualifiers. U.S. teammate Devin Logan of West Dover, Vt., won the silver medal and American Keri Herman finish 10th, one spot ahead of Krass.

Krass started skiing at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, then later spent her winters training at Waterville Valley Academy.

Waterville Valley Resort is also home to Bill Enos, who coaches the U.S. slopestyle snowboard team and two of his athletes are bringing home gold medals from Sochi. American Sage Kostenburg won the men's slopestyle and Jamie Anderson won the gold in the women's competition.

Enos also got his own medal, being honored with the Gold Order of Ikkos. The U.S. Olympic Committee created the award for coaches, who don't get Olympic medals. U.S. medalists are allowed to choose one coach and recognize them with the honor and Kostenburg selected Enos.

Hanover has several athletes competing in Sochi. Freestyle skier Hannah Kearney, a 2004 graduate of Hanover High School and defending gold medalist from the 2010 Olympics, won the bronze medal in women's moguls on Saturday.

Hanover's Ida Sargent also competed Tuesday in the women's freestyle cross-country skiing sprint, finishing 19th.


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