Steamboat women sweep board event

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Some of the top women snowboarders in the country arrived in Steamboat Springs on Monday hoping to put on a show and take home a trophy.

But when the parallel slalom races came to a close late in the afternoon, all three riders standing on the podium were from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Erica Mueller finished first.

"It's great to race at home. I'm so excited; it's great to race with friends, and it's fun to be up on the podium with friends," Mueller said.

Mueller came from more than a second behind on her second run against her teammate Kimiko Zakreski to win.

"Kimi is a great racer, and I was really nervous," Mueller said after the race. "You just know that you have to give it your all if you want to come from behind. I think she went down a little bit on top ... and I got lucky."

But Zakreski, a Canadian who came to Steamboat Springs to train with the Winter Sports Club this winter, didn't let getting nipped in the final ruin her day.

"It was a super cool day because I got to race against Lisa Kosglow -- my idol -- and I beat her," Zakreski said.

As for the dual with her teammate in the finals, Zakreski said it was a good time. She said it was hard to finish on the red course, which proved to be more difficult for the riders than the blue course, but she credited Mueller for being the better rider in the event.

"She deserved to win today," Zakreski said.

Steamboat's Ekaterina Zavialova completed the Winter Sports Club sweep by knocking off Kosglow in the consolation round. Kosglow, a U.S. Ski Team member, finished fourth in the race.

Steamboat Springs coach Thedo Remmelink said he couldn't have asked for a better performance from his team on the opening day of the Race to the Cup in Steamboat Springs.

Nine Steamboat Springs' riders qualified for the finals out of a field of 25 of the nation's best riders including Mueller, Zakreski, and Zavialova. Johanna Shaw was sixth, Eden Serina finished seventh, Jourdan Donoho was eighth, Lindsay Lloyd was 10th, Andi Stump was 13th, and Ashley Nice placed 16th.

Remmelink was surprised that Mueller's runs were so consistent because she recently changed her boots to a different type.

He also was impressed by the performances of Zakreski and Zavialova.

"Kimiko has been surprising everybody by beating Lisa Kosglow, and Ekaterina Zavialova surprised even more people by being third today. With Erica and Kimi we could see it coming, but Ekaterina was a total surprise."

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