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2 U.S. ski team prospects die in avalanche in Austria

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(Image: Thinkstock) Scenic view from ski lift in Austrian Alps during winter

An avalanche in Austria claimed the lives of two promising young ski racers Monday, the U.S. Ski Team said.

Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19, were among a group of six athletes skiing at an Austrian resort; the four others managed to ski out of the slide, the team said on its website.

“Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a statement.

Berlack, from Franconia, New Hampshire, had been named to the U.S. Ski Team’s Development Team. Astle, from Sandy, Utah, had been invited to train with the development team.

Messages are being left at the team’s official Facebook page.

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