Steamboat freestyle skiers shine at home hill
Freestylers rack up podium finishes on Voo Doo run at ski area
January 10, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Michael DeGrandis lost the race to the bottom. Fortunately for the Steamboat Springs skier, freestyle skiing isn't a race.
DeGrandis won as close a dual as fans are likely to see, edging out Zak Watkins on Sunday to win the dual moguls portion of the Landon Sawyer Bump Bash at Steamboat Ski Area, capping an excellent weekend for Steamboat skiers.
"You can't let the person next to you mess you up or throw you out of your element," DeGrandis said. "You go and ski your run, and that's what I did."
Steamboat swept Sunday, supplying the men's and women's winners as Becky Miller beat teammate Lane Stoltzner in the finals.
That race capped great weekends for both local women. Miller's final dual moguls run proved the only thing between Stoltzner and a sweep of the three competitions.
She won Friday's championship moguls, beating Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers Brittany Loweree, in second, and Miller, in third. Stoltzner won again Saturday in an open moguls competition, topping Winter Park's Larissa Burg and Breckenridge's Kaitlyn Harrell.
"I had a great pre-season with training opportunities, and I really came into the season ready to ski," said Stoltzner, who also logged several top finishes at last month's U.S. Freestyle Ski Team selections event in Steamboat. "Both the top air exits were really challenging (Sunday), but I landed them and just straight-lined it for the next three or four moguls to get through the tricky stuff. That gave me a leg up.
"I was hoping for the hat trick, but I had a great weekend."
Miller was fifth in Saturday's race, but at her best Sunday. She weaved her way through a challenging field of competitors, overcoming her opponents and a nasty cold to win.
"I was coughing all day long," she said. "I didn't have the greatest weekend, but I skied consistently. (Sunday) was definitely the best day."
DeGrandis' win Sunday helped salvage his competition. He was fourth Saturday and 10th Friday, when Steamboat's Ryan Dyer won.
Steamboat had plenty of other top finishes on the weekend. Reed Snyderman was seventh Friday and second Saturday, Robert Burden was eighth Friday and sixth Saturday, Nick DiDomenico Jr. was fifth Friday and seventh Saturday. Huntington Adams was 12th Friday, Bradley Hoefer was 15th, Bennett Roukema was 16th and Kevin Broten was 19th. George DeGrandis was 12th Saturday, Roukema 14th, Hoefer 16th and Broten 17th.
Alexa Stein was eighth Friday, while Jaelin Kauf was 16th Friday and 18th Saturday for the women.
"The weekend was phenomenal," Steamboat freestyle coach Rob Day said. "Everyone is just skiing really good and keeping it up after the selections events. That was great to see."
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