Steamboat Springs Standing in the starting gate at the top of the Voodoo mogul course Sunday, Kyle Ewing was focused on getting the upper hand.
To do that, he knew he needed to beat the guy who was lined up just a few feet away, no matter who that guy was, to the first air. During most of his six runs that day he accomplished that feat.
"If you can beat that guy to the first air then he will spend the rest of the run thinking about you," Ewing said. "But if you don't chances are you will spend the rest of the run thinking about him."
Welcome to the wonderful world of dual moguls and the key to winning.
At least according to one 18-year-old Lowell Whiteman senior.
Ewing finished fourth in the final event of the 2003 Chevy Trucks Junior Olympic Championships, which were held Sunday. He left Monday for California and his next big event at the U.S. National Qualifiers this week at the Alpine Meadows Resort near Lake Tahoe.
"It was a great Junior Olympics," Ewing said. "I'm glad that I could wrap it up on a high note."
If not for a mid-course crash in the semifinals, Ewing might have been battling for the title.
He fell in a dual against the eventual winner Kevin Hanian of the University of Colorado freestyle ski team. Hanian topped Justin Filskov in the finals to earn the title. Ewing fell to Patrick Deneen and finished fourth overall in the last event of the week.
"The coaches tell us to focus on just skiing our run, but that's hard to do when there is somebody right beside you," Ewing said. "My bracket was pretty tough, so I decided to just take one skier at a time and see what happened. I didn't really expect to make it past the second round -- so I'm pretty happy."
Other notable Steamboat finishes included Bart Robinson and Jarett Arguelles who finished in 17th after being ousted in the second round.
Mckenzy Golding won the women's event by topping Heather McPhie in the finals. Steamboat Springs skier Erica Damon was third and Candice White finished in fourth.
Other top local skiers included Caterina Mader in ninth and Maryann Skraba in 17th.