Pusey takes 3rd in moguls

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— The opening day of the Chevy Truck U.S. Freestyle Championships was a good one for local skier Chris Pusey.

Pusey placed third in the dual mogul event, which was won by Toby Dawson, a fellow Rocky Mountain division skier.

Pusey topped David Babic in his final run of the day to earn the podium spot.

"It was a good day for Chris and a really good day for the Rocky Mountain division," local coach Eric Skinner said. "Everybody skied really well."

Dawson overcame back problems to knock off Garth Hager in the men's finals to win the dual title, which was the first one handed out this week at the Bogus Basin Ski Area near Boise, Idaho.

On the women's side, Olympic silver medalist Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, Calif., topped Reno's Shelly Robertson to win her second straight national duals title.

Another local favorite, Ann Battelle, finished third after knocking off Laurel Shanley of Olympic Valley, Calif.

"It's always nice to get on the podium at nationals. Nationals is a tough competition, especially this year," Battelle said. "We've been on the road for so long and it's been an exhausting year, so it's nice to get on the podium. It's nice any time but this year especially because I'm haggard and tired I'm just beat and excited to go home for a bit and relax. The Olympics take so much out of you. I've been running on fumes for a while."

This will be Battelle's final national championships. She will retire when the events come to a close later this week.

Lowell Whiteman graduate Emiko Torito was sixth, Carly Gmeiner was eighth and Gina Gmeiner finished in a tie for ninth place.

The national championships will continue today with the aerial event and will conclude Sunday with the single moguls.

Longtime local and U.S. Ski Team member Parker Schmidt and Ryan St. Onge, who trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, will both compete in today's aerial event.

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