Thursday, February 3, 2005
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club freestyle skiing team hit the road for Telluride on Thursday with new confidence gathered last weekend on the Gunbarrel mogul course at Monarch Ski Area.
Coach Nate Bird said Sam Tarrant, 16, broke through with a pair of first-place finishes Saturday and Sunday at Monarch. And 12-year-old Jessie Mader served notice on her elders that she will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Mader placed sixth in the opening competition at Monarch and followed up on Sunday with a fourth-place finish. Alyssa Roche was the top female finisher for Steamboat, grabbing podiums both days with a third and second.
"Alyssa was the defending champion at Monarch, and she skied aggressively," Bird said. However, Jordan Poyfair, who is a North American Trophy Series skier, won both days.
Bird said Gunbarrel was not typical of Rocky Mountain Division mogul courses.
"They have natural moguls on the course instead of the left-right, left-right the skiers are used to," Bird said "There was a lot for them to adapt to with an unpredictable course. And we woke up to a foot of powder on the mogul course on Saturday."
Bird said Tarrant, a junior at The Lowell Whiteman School, who has finished consistently in the top 10 all season, used the soft snow conditions to let his skis run.
"Sam was skiing the fastest I've ever seen him ski," Bird said. "He was fearless."
Aaron Edelman, 15, also put up a breakthrough result for the Winter Sports Club. After finishing 17th Saturday, he popped up to fifth place Sunday.
"Aaron was out of his head," Bird said. "He hadn't been in the top 10 before, let alone top five."
Mader wowed the judges by throwing helicopters off the jumps at her relatively young age, Bird said.
Other finishers for the Steamboat girls Sunday included: Sierra Weir (seventh), Heidi Wernig (11th) and Shelby Dyer (13th).
Among the Steamboat boys, finishers included: Scott Roche (sixth), Ryan Dyer (ninth), Brett Lee Dalton (10th), Colton Harding (11th), Chapman Geer (17th), Mark Shenfield (20th), Brian Burger (23rd) and Brandon Roche (26th).
Bird's skiers will be busy in Telluride this week with slopestyle and halfpipe competitions today and mogul competitions Saturday and Sunday.
"It's time to make the big approach to Junior Nationals and National Championships," he said.
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