Steamboat Springs Judging from the smile on the face of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Thedo Remmelink after Monday's giant slalom race at Howelsen Hill, he was pleased with the way his racers fared in the biggest local race of the season.
"It was a great day of racing for our team," Remmelink said.
More than 60 of the country's best snowboard racers came to Howelsen Hill Monday hoping to earn a World Cup start, but by early afternoon the field had been trimmed to just a few of the best.
Among those elite boarders were Steamboat racers Tyler Jewell and Justin Reiter, who duked it out in the finals of the parallel giant slalom at Howelsen. Steamboat's Erica Mueller also made a title bid in the women's races.
But Remmelink couldn't have asked for a more exciting day of racing from any of his racers.
After narrowly escaping elimination in the first round of the event, Jewell put together his most inspired runs when he needed them the most.
"I crashed in my first run of elimination, so I knew I was going to have to go for it if I wanted to win," Jewell said. "Something clicked for me after that and things just started to flow."
Jewell was able to overcome the maximum penalty to advance past teammate Darren Ratcliffe in the second run.
Reiter was the most consistent snowboarder all day, but he made a couple of costly bobbles on the first run of the finals, which opened the door for a charging Jewell.
"I made a big mistake at the top of the first run," Reiter said. "But I laid it out on the second run to keep things close at the end."
Reiter said he was happy to see his training partner Jewell take the win, and felt like the field of Monday's "Race for the Cup" event was one of the best he has seen all season. The winners get an automatic berth to an upcoming World Cup event at Mount Bachelor.
Other top Steamboat finishers in the men's race included Joshua Wiley in fifth, Vic Wild in 12th and Ratcliffe in 15th.
The Steamboat men were not the only ones smiling after the races Monday.
Steamboat's Erica Mueller also made a run at a title but fell to U.S. Snowboard Team member Lisa Kosglow, one of the top-ranked women in the country, in the finals of the women's event.
"I qualified third and then wound up in the finals, so it was a great day," Mueller said after the event.
The Steamboat snowboarder said she expected a tight race in the finals and Kosglow didn't disappoint.
"She got ahead of me after the first run and there wasn't much I could do to catch her," Mueller said.
Steamboat's Ashley Nice was fifth and Eden Serina was 10th.
The event was the second of the week for the Steamboat team.
On Sunday, the boarders took part in a parallel slalom event at Howelsen. Former Winter Sports Club member Rebecca Bassett won the women's race.
Steamboat's Nice was third, Mueller was fifth, and Serina was 11th.
Philippe Berube won the men's race.
Steamboat's David Manthei came in third.
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