Friday, December 15, 2000
Steamboat Springs The final round of the Papa John's Bumps & Jumps mogul event on Friday afternoon came down to a dual between two teammates who were wearing the same colors.
"I had a little vendetta with Jerry (Grossi)," the eventual winner Tony Basile said after the race. "He beat me a few years ago and I wanted to get him back."
Grossi had beaten Basile in a NorAm event three years ago. But after the event Basile couldn't help but joke about a loss that apparently left an impression on the Squaw Valley native.
Grossi, an aerialist, may have left a few impressions on some of his other teammates as he made his way through the Papa John's Bumps and Jumps mogul brackets on Friday.
Grossi ripped past 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley in the round of sixteen and then knocked off a hometown favorite, Travis Mayer, in the round of eight. Grossi also moved past Chris Hernandez to earn a rare shot at a moguls final on Friday.
His opponent, Basile, knocked off fourth seeded Dominic Arsenault and No. 12 seeded David Babic to advance to the semifinal round. There, he went head-to-head with the top-ranked skier after qualifying Jeremy Bloom. He also won that dual meeting.
Basile and Grossi were nearly flawless in the final run of the day with Basile earning a slight edge with the judges in the final voting.
"I'm very pleased with this win," Basile said. "I was a little surprised just to be in the finals. But it was nice to win"
In a qualifying round, Basile went into the bottom air too fast resulting in a big kick off of the bottom air. Basile was able to recover in time to land the jump, but was unable to perform a trick (the combination of the two airs is a big part of the skiers final scores). Basile did manage to pull off an impromptu twister off of a mogul at the bottom of the course it was a move that Basile said boosted him into the top 16.
"Without that unplanned move there is no way I would have qualified," Basile said. "Things got a lot better after that run."
Grossi normally specializes in aerials, but surprised the field of more than 36 skiers on Friday with his bump skiing ability.
"I've trained moguls for four days this season," Grossi said. "So I was very surprised to be in the finals at the end."
The aerialist qualified in the No. 15 spot after the first run and had to face the No. 3 skier Moseley, an Olympic Gold medalist, in the first round of elimination.
"I just try to concentrate on my own skiing in a dual event like this," Grossi said. "You can't worry about the guy beside you. I just focus on my own race and see what happens."
There was little doubt that Grossi was happy with what had happened in the mogul event.
He may be hoping for a repeat performance in today's aerial event that will start at 10 a.m. (finals at noon) at the Park Smalley Freestyle Complex.
"I'm expecting to get first," Grossi said.
But he did admit there will be a field of elite skiers who have similar expectations. Some of those such as Eric Bergoust, Joe Pack and Brian Currett are his own teammates.
Other top finishers in Friday's mogul event included third-place finisher Jeremy Bloom, and fourth-place skier Chris Hernandez.
Several local skiers were at the top of the pack including Ean Smith who took fifth and Travis Mayer who finished eighth.