Freestylers to compete in the 'Boat

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— Now that the World Championships have come to a close in Deer Valley, Travis Mayer and top freestyle skiers from around the world will turn their attention to Steamboat Springs.

Even before the Utah events ended, crews at the Steamboat Ski Area were busy preparing the jumps and bumps that will be used for the Sprint Freestyle Grand Nationals. The local event opens Wednesday with open mogul and aerial training at the Park Smalley freestyle complex at the Steamboat Ski Area.

The aerial competition is scheduled to take place Friday with qualification from 9:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The finals are scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m.

Top jumpers will include Olympic Gold medalist Eric Bergoust and Joe Pack from the United States.

The moguls competition will start at 9:20 a.m. Saturday and is expected to include several local favorites.

Skiers from 22 nations will visit Steamboat during the week, including 32 athletes from the United States.

Travis Mayer, Emiko Torito, Mike Friedberg, Lauren Crawford and Toby Dawson all have strong connections to Steamboat and are listed as competitors. Several other athletes who are expected to compete have trained in Steamboat in the past.

The Americans are coming off a strong showing at the World Championships, which were held in Deer Valley last week.

Men's mogul winner Mikko Rokainen and women's winner Kari Traa, both of Norway, are expected to be in Steamboat.

American Jeremy Bloom, who took second at the World Championships, and Toby Dawson, who took third, should also be on hand.

Mayer has been looking forward to competing in his adopted hometown for most of the season. He finished fourth in last Friday's World Championship mogul finals.

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