US Ski Team member Sam Morse of Carrabassett Valley, ME will compete in his first World Pro Ski Tour event March 30-31 at the Visit Maine Pro Ski Championships at Sunday River. A life-long Sugarloafer, Sam had his biggest race last season in Are, Sweden when he won the World Junior Downhill title. At the age of 21, Sam is currently ranked 9th in the US in Downhill.

The Visit Maine Pro Ski Championships is the third and final event of the 2018 World Pro Ski Tour season and it will mark the second straight year that Sunday River has hosted the tour. Morse, a 2013 graduate of Carrabassett Valley Academy, will compete with other world-class athletes for a piece of the $30,000 prize purse with $10,000 awarded to the winner.

“I’m really excited to get my first experience on the pro tour at a hill that I know so well,” Morse commented. “The field is going to be really tough but I’ve had some good results in Slalom and Giant Slalom this year so I’m feeling strong. The dual format is a unique challenge for everyone but it’s so much fun, I can’t wait.”

Downhill training 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup finals in Aspen, CO. Photo © Cody Downard Photography

Sam is a Mainer through and through. He enjoys white water kayaking and hiking during the off season and is known around the world by the nickname of Mini Moose despite weighing in at 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He got the nickname because his older brother, Ben was known as Moose during his time on the US Ski Team and later the Dartmouth Ski Team. Ben and Sam’s parents are ministers and operate the Sugarloaf Area Christian Ministry at the base of the mountain.

Entering the finals, 2018 US Olympian Nolan Kasper of Warren, VT is currently leading Michael Ankeny of Wayzata, MN by one point in the season standings; the winner will take home $5,000 and bragging rights as the top pro of the season. Other top competitors are AJ Ginnis, winner of the last World Pro Ski Tour event at Snowmass, CO, Olympians Adam and Andreas Zampa of Slovakia, and NCAA Slalom Champion Tanguy Nef of Switzerland and the Dartmouth Ski Team.

Qualifying runs will take place on Friday, March 30 at 12PM and the finals will start at 11AM on Saturday, March 31. Spectators can watch from the Barker Base Lodge for free both days.