Steamboat Springs Local mogul skier Gina Gmeiner really didn't need a boardercross helmet to intimidate the competition in Thursday's Rocky Mountain Division Championships but it didn't hurt.
"My brother let me wear his at Berthoud," Gmeiner said of the white boardercross helmet that resembles something more attune with snowmobile racing than skiing. "I felt so strong and tough when I wore it, so I decided to switch."
So on Thursday, Gmeiner strapped into the helmet before she made her way through the bumps of Voodoo en route to the top girls score of 21.22 points in the junior mogul championship. While the helmet may have helped her confidence, there was little doubt that it was Gmeiner's skis and legs that did most of the work.
"I'm really excited about the finish," Gmeiner said. "It's been a good week."
It was her first win and second top-3 of the week at the Rocky Mountain Division's end-of-season championships. She was followed by Winter Park's Molly Sullan in second at 20.53 and Vail's Alison Levy in third at 20.00. Steamboats' Erica Damon was fourth, Maryann Skraba was fifth and Candice White came in seventh.
"It (Thursday's event) was just a lot of fun and our whole team skied really well," she said.
While Gmeiner was dominating the girls event, teammate Jordan Chiovarelli was racing to the top of the boys competition.
Chiovarelli collected 26.62 points on his last run of the day to pass over teammate Logan Belz, who had set the bar by netting 24.98 points on his first run.
"He went in front of me both runs," Chiovarelli said. "So I knew that I just needed to clean up my skiing and go a little faster on the second run if I wanted to win."
Chiovarelli did clean up his skiing a bit on the second run, hitting a helicopter ironcross on the top air and a double twister spread on the bottom to take the competition.
"I just worry about myself and skiing my own course," Chiovarelli said. "If I do that, then the other things take care of themselves."
Belz's solid first run was enough to take second place and John Eaton of Team Summit came in third with 24.01.
Other top Steamboat finishers included T. Collin Shinabarker in eighth, Jarrett Arguelles in 11th and Kyle Ewing in 13th. Luke Belz was 15th, Charlie MacArthur was 17th and Nick Bucci was 19th.
"It was a good day for Steamboat," moguls coach Bobby Aldighieri said. "It should give our skiers a lot of confidence headed into Junior Nationals next week in Big Mountain, Calif. A lot of skiers had personal bests and I think all of our skiers maximized their potential in the event."