Local riders sweep races

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Steamboat Springs is on the Alpine snowboarding map, based on results from the final Race to the Cup held in Squaw Valley, Calif.

On Saturday, local men and women swept the podium finishes in the parallel slalom event, and on Sunday, women with ties to Steamboat took the top five spots, and the Steamboat men finished in three of the top four places in the parallel giant slalom.

"This makes it the best competition of the year for us," said Thedo Remmelink, head snowboard race coach for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. "We did very well. The slalom day, the riders really impressed me."

This season's Winter Sports Club snowboard race team includes men and women from across the world who moved to Steamboat to train with Remmelink, who originally is from Holland but has lived in Austria and Switzerland and coached in Slovenia.

"They just come," Remmelink said. "I like it. It gives a bit of international flavor to it."

On Saturday, Zac Kay, Josh Wiley and Tyler Jewell finished first, second and third, respectively. Johanna Shaw, Erica Mueller and Ekaterina Zavialova placed in the top three spots, respectively, for the Steamboat women.

In Sunday's parallel giant slalom, Eric Warren and Kimi Zakreski won the men's and women's titles. Jewell was third on the men's podium, and Shaw and Mueller were second and third on the women's podium, respectively.

Zavialova was fourth, and Eden Serina was fifth for the women, and Wiley was fourth for the boys.

In addition, Steamboat rider Justin Reiter picked up a 14th-place finish in a parallel giant slalom World Cup race in Slovenia.

The Steamboat riders are competing in the Race to the Cup series to earn World Cup starting spots at a March 3 Lake Placid, N.Y., competition. Jewell will be joining Reiter in Europe because Chris Klug, a 2002 Olympic medalist, broke his collarbone.

"Tyler leaves next week for Europe because he's still racing in Canada," Remmelink said. "He will meet up with Justin, which is really good. They will make each other strong."

Remmelink said four Steamboat men have qualified unofficially for the Lake Placid World Cup: Wiley, Kay, David Manthei and Vic Wild. On the women's side, Mueller and Ashley Nice have qualified unofficially for the event.

In addition, Serina (Philippines), Shaw (Australia), Zakreski (Canada) and Jen Grase (Ireland) will race for their respective home countries at the Lake Placid World Cup.

Manthei, Wild, Nice, Andi Jo Stump and Canada's Pat Farrell also have qualified for the Junior World Championships. All train with the Winter Sports Club.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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