CARRABASSETT VALLEY – For a 17-year-old at his first national championship, Bump Heldman of Auburn competed with the poise of a seasoned athlete.

“I’m really happy with the week,” Heldman said. “I just came in wanting to ski my best. That’s what I’ve done.”

The Gould Academy junior recorded three top-30 finishes this week, including Tuesday’s 30th in the giant slalom, the final event in the men’s championship.

“It was pretty good,” Heldman said after his first giant slalom run Tuesday. “It was really tiring and long. The course is pretty rough. You really have to stand on it.”

Heldman’s best effort came Monday, when he placed 18th in the slalom against the nation’s best skiers. That effort landed Heldman on the podium. The Auburn skier won the silver medal in both the slalom and the combined (slalom plus downhill) in the junior division.

He also placed 30th in the super-G and 41st in the downhill. In the FIS downhill on the opening day of the competition, Heldman finished 24th.

His potential was evident at last year’s national junior championships, when Heldman placed fourth in the super-G, ninth in the slalom and 11th in downhill. That led to him being selected as a forerunner for a women’s World Cup race last December in Colorado and at the World Junior Championships in Canada earlier this month.

Heldman plans to return to Gould next year for his senior year as he continues to work his way up the national skiing ladder. He hung out with the U.S. team at the world juniors and met with the team’s coaches.

“They said they want me to just work out and to try to get faster,” Heldman said.

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