Solden, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Two U.S. Ski Team hopefuls were killed Monday in an avalanche in Austria, the team announced.
Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19, were among a group of six athletes freeskiing at a Solden resort, the team said. The other four skied out of the way but Berlack and Astle were caught in the avalanche.
"Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport -- both on the race course and skiing the mountain," said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Tiger Shaw. "Our hearts go out to the Berlack and Astle families, as well as to their extended sport family. Both of them loved what they did and conveyed that to those around them."
Berlack was from Franconia, New Hampshire, and grew up racing in the state. He was a student-athlete at Vermont's Burke Mountain Academy and a member of the U.S. Ski Team's Development Team since 2013.
Astle was from Sandy, Utah, and grew up racing with the Snowbird Ski Team.