Freestyle skier returns to basics

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Steamboat Springs freestyle skier Eddie Keiser returned to his roots last weekend at an event at the Arapahoe Basin ski area in Summit County.

Keiser won an open mogul event Saturday during the Summit County Shindig at the A-Basin Ski Area. It was Keiser's best finish of the season, and his coach said it was the result of getting back to the fundamentals.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club freestyle director Erik Skinner said it was a huge finish for Keiser -- a skier who has been working hard to find his rhythm this season.

"He did the things he needed to do last weekend," Skinner said. "He's a very talented skier, but he has been struggling to get to the top of the results this winter."

Skinner said Keiser returned to the basics in training the past couple of weeks and carried that attitude with him during a pair of Rocky Mountain Division mogul events last weekend, which were held on one of the most challenging courses in the state.

"The run at A-Basin is the longest and steepest course of the year for our athletes," coach Tim Meagher said. "Our kids rose to the challenge. The athletes skied with great composure and faced the challenges of this course."

The Steamboat skier netted 23.06 points to win the first contest. Justin Henceroth was second, Dusty Spence was third, and former Winter Sports Club skier Jordan Chiovarelli was fourth.

Other top Steamboat finishers included Michael Mead in ninth, Jarrett Arguelles in 10th and Sam Tarrant in 15th. Mike Casale was 19th, and Nathaniel Chellel was 20th.

Sunday's second mogul event turned into a tight battle between Keiser and his former teammate, Chiovarelli. Chiovarelli came out on top with a score of 23.54, and Keiser was second at 23.35.

"I think it was even closer than that," Skinner said.

Other top finishers included Mead in ninth, Arguelles in 10th, Casale in 14th and Sam Tarrant in 17th.

Steamboat's Maryann Skraba also had a good weekend. She finished second to Jordan Poyfair in the girls moguls Sunday. Steamboat's Justine Chellel was eighth in the event, and Patty Hanley was 11th.

The Steamboat skiers are gearing up for the Rocky Mountain Division Championships, which will take place March 4 through 9 in Steamboat.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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