Freestyle competition gets started today

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— A full weekend of freestyle competition for area skiers kicks off at 10 a.m. today with an open mogul event on Mount Werner.

The Rocky Mountain Freestyle Competition, a United States Ski Association sanctioned event, has three days of skiing for high school age skiers and older. Winter Sports Club Freestyle coach Wendy Allen expects more than 60 competitors for the events that will take place on Mount Werner's Voo-Doo run and Howelsen Hill.

Teams from Winter Park, Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge and Telluride as well as area collegiate athletes will compete.

Allen expects Steamboat competitors to perform well on their home course.

"Like any team, there's a home advantage. We build the course, the course is in great shape, we ski it every day and I think home course advantage is definitely ours," Allen said.

Among Steamboat favorites are Chris Pusey, who won his last two events, and Scott Vos, who took a first place in Vail's dual moguls last weekend.

On the girls side, Gina Gmeiner, Maryann Skraba, Jessica Vincent and Patty Hanley have been performing well.

This weekend's events will be used to earn points to qualify for the national championship at the end of the season. The Rocky Mountain Freestyle competition will return to Steamboat on Feb. 27 for the Divisional Championships.

Today's open mogul competition is open to all ages as long as participants are USSA members.

On Saturday, Voo-Doo will host the up-right aerials at 10 a.m. and Howelsen Hill will be the site for the halfpipe competition starting at 6 p.m.

The competition will close on Sunday on Voo-Doo run with dual moguls at 10 a.m.

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