SSWSC to honor athletes

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The final ski race of the season will take place this weekend, and the time for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to celebrate has arrived.

Executive director Rick DeVos and his staff will lead the celebration tonight as the club hands out more than 19 end-of-season honors ranging from the Bea Kirby award to the coach of the year honors.

There will be prestigious memorial awards such as the Ned Grant, Ritter Courage Cup, Stahly award, Wilbur Madsen, Barrett Burch, Charles Abernathy, Mary C. Magill, Skeeter and Buddy Werner Bronze handed out during the ceremony.

The club also will recognize top members with the John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member Award and the rookie of the year award.

Top athletes will have a chance to win the snowboarding excellence award, the outstanding snowboarder award, the snowboarding spirit award, the outstanding cross-country performance, the Hobart and the freestyle coaches cup.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. in the fireplace room with a cookies and punch social hour. The awards presentation will begin at 7 p.m., during which this year's winners will be announced in an hour-long ceremony. DeVos said most of the winners were selected by the coaching staff during the season.

"It's a chance to celebrate another great season," DeVos said. "It's a chance to recognize the great individual efforts by people in the club and the community."

The awards ceremony will be the final event hosted by the club this season, however several Alpine racers will travel to one last race this weekend.

DeVos said things at Howelsen have slowed down considerably the past few weeks, and that this weekend's Loveland Derby will mark the final race of the 2004-05 season.

Most of the staff will have next week off before they begin gearing up for summer operations, which include training at the water ramp, biking dry land training programs and several Alpine camps.

DeVos said the club is excited about this year's summer jumping program. The athletes taking part in that will make several trips to train on the plastic in Park City, Utah, but are expected to finish the summer in Steamboat Springs on the new plastic at Howelsen.

"We are hoping the new jump will be open and running sometime in August or September," DeVos said. "We've got our fingers crossed."

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