Goto-Reiter takes fifth in slalom in Aspen

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— Steamboat Springs snowboarder Justin Goto-Reiter is looking forward to spending a few days surfing in the waters just off the Baja Peninsula this spring.

But the waves of the Pacific Ocean will be nothing compared to the wave of momentum the 22-year-old rider created last week at the U.S. Snowboard Team's national championships in Aspen.

After three years of disappointing results, Goto-Reiter broke out with one of his best showings ever, taking a fifth in the slalom event and placing sixth in the parallel giant slalom.

"I've never had this much confidence at the end of the season," Goto-Reiter said. "My finishes last week just added more fuel to the fire."

He said he will take the next two weeks off before returning to the task of preparing for next season.

After the break, Goto-Reiter plans to use his summer for dryland training and lots of conditioning work in the gym. He also hopes to attend camps in Mount Hood, Oregon, Canada and possibly Europe before next season.

His ultimate goal is the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Italy.

"Just knowing how close I am to the top guys has made me want to work harder," Goto-Reiter said. "Hopefully, all the hard work will pay off."

His finishes highlighted a strong showing by current and former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club riders at the U.S. Ski Team's National Championships, which were held in Aspen last week.

Peter Thorndike won the parallel giant slalom title at the championships. Benjamin Fairchild was second and Jeff Greenwood was third.

Goto-Reiter topped the local results with his sixth. Matt Drinker placed 16th and Vic Wild placed 19th.

U.S. Snowboard rider Stacia Hookom won the women's giant slalom event. She was followed by teammate Lisa Kosglow in second and former Winter Sports Club rider Michelle Gorgone in third. Steamboat's Erica Mueller was 24th in the results.

Adam Smith won the men's two-run slalom event by edging Canadian Philippe Berude who placed second. American star Chris Klug placed third.

Goto-Reiter was the top Steamboat finisher in fifth. David Manthei was 13th, Drinker was 19th and Wild placed 45th.

"This was a great showing for Justin," coach Thedo Remmelink said. "He hasn't had great results at this competition the past three years, so these results should help boost his confidence."

The event marked the end of the season for the Winter Sports Club's ability riders. However, Remmelink said there would be plenty of training opportunities for the motivated during the summer.

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