When freestyle skier Kyle Ewing stepped to the starting line of a dual mogul event in Breckenridge last Sunday he suddenly was confronted with a new kind of pressure.
"I was just coming off of the NorAm, so I really needed to have a good result," Ewing said.
The longtime Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier wanted to make a statement to his coaches and former rivals in the event and prove to himself that he really does belong among an elite group of up-and-coming skiers battling for positions on the NorAm series of races.
The last thing the Lowell Whiteman graduate wanted to do was fall flat in his first Rocky Mountain Division meet of the year.
"I was happy to do well," Ewing said. "There is a lot of pressure when everybody expects you to do well -- especially in dual moguls where anything can happen."
Ewing survived a close call, and surpassed top skiers as he made his way through the brackets en route to the victory at the Rocky Mountain Division meet, which was held in Keystone.
The event opened Saturday with an open moguls event, continued Sunday with the duals and ended today with a slope style event. Ewing's only appearance was in the dual mogul event Sunday.
"The NorAm events are a lot more intense, but winning on Sunday gives me a lot of confidence," Ewing said. "I think that will help me when I get back to the NorAm level."
Ewing's top result was only the start for the Winter Sports Club, however.
Damian Wells said several Steamboat skiers shined in the events, which will be the last for the team before the holiday break.
"All the athletes skied very well on a tough icy course," Wells said. "Especially when you consider that we've been skiing in powder for weeks."
Ewing led the men's field in Sunday's event and posted the best Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club finish of the day. Jenny Lee skied to a fourth in the women's event, and teammate Caterina Mader placed eighth.
It was the second top finish for Mader in two days of competition. On Saturday, she finished in second place in the open mogul event behind Katherine Lynch.
Steamboat's Alyssa Roche was 16th, and Lee placed 17th.
In the men's open event, Michael Mead led the Steamboat team with a fourth-place finish. Nick Ross won the event and Andy Musser placed second. Steamboat's Nicolaus Demetrian was 16th, Abe Maynard placed 37th and Jake Cohn came in 38th. Luke Kamieniecki won the J-3 men's event
The Steamboat skiers will get a short holiday break before the team's next event Jan 2-4 in Winter Park.