For the athletes, the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Divisional Championships were about titles. But for the spectators and organizers, the event was about showcasing the best young skiers the division has to offer.
Last week in Winter Park, those skiers displayed their talents in halfpipe, slopestyle, aerials, moguls and dual mogul events. And when the events came to a close Sunday, several skiers from Steamboat Springs went home with titles.
"I don't think we could have asked for much more from our younger skiers," said Erik Skinner, the Winter Sports Club's freestyle program director.
The events opened March 2 with the halfpipe, and Whitney Wickes and Tony Seibert topped the podium. Steamboat's Scott Forney highlighted the local results with a 12thplace showing. Other local skiers included Jake Cohn in 16th, Luke Kamieniecki in 17th and Brett Lee in 19th.
Cohn gave the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club its first podium of the week last Thursday, when he won the slopestyle event with a score of 90.6. Teammate Pat McGee was fourth (first among J-2 athletes), and Dalton Lee placed 18th.
Nathaniel Chellel nailed a quint-twister (five twisters in a row) to place third in the men's aerials. Kamieniecki placed sixth, Dalton Lee was 13th, and Daniel MacArthur placed 18th.
The same day, Caterina Mader picked up a second-place finish in the aerial event after getting edged by Team Summit's Jordan Poyfair, who won the event.
Jessica Mader, Caterina's sister, impressed her coaches by placing third, and Sierra Weir placed eighth.
"That's a great finish of Jessica," Skinner said about her effort.
Jessica Mader's triple twister and spread earned her the top finish among J-4 skiers.
The good news continued for the Winter Sports Club on Friday as Caterina Mader topped the women's division of the championship moguls. She beat Summit's Heather McPhie, who finished second, and Vail's Alison Levy who finished third.
Other top Steamboat finishers Friday included Eliza Outtrim in fourth, Kylie Douglas in sixth, and Carly Gmeiner in ninth. Maryann Skraba was 16th, and Bekah Angoff placed 18th. Jenny Lee, who got banged up on the opening day, placed 27th.
Telluride's Joe Discoe topped the men's event, followed by his brother Jimmy in second.
The top Steamboat finisher was Abe Maynard in fourth. Eddie Keiser finished sixth, Bo Randolph was seventh, and Scott Vos placed ninth. Chris Gebhardt (10th), Sam Tarrant (15th), Kamieniecki (18th), Chellel (35th), MacArthur (37th), Ryan Dyer (40th), Aaron Edelman (41st), Brian Adams (43rd) and Chriss Hansen (49th) also skied.
On Saturday, Caterina Mader completed her sweep of the mogul events with another stellar run in the junior division. Summit's Poyfair was second, and Steamboat's Douglas came in third.
Other top local finishers included Jenny Lee in sixth, Alyssa Roche in 12th, Jessica Mader in 18th and Weir in 27th.
Jimmy Discoe topped the men's event Saturday.
But the Steamboat men picked up a pair of top finishes, with Randolph taking second and Tarrant placing third.
Other top finished included Maynard in 12th, Daniel MacArthur in 22nd, Mark Shenfield in 23rd, and Davis Earl in 24th. Colton Harding (27th), Chellel (29th) Scott Roche ( 30th), Dyer (31st), Morgan Allen (33rd), and Hansen (36th) also skied well. As did Brian Burger (41st0, Alex Chotvacs (42nd) Dalton Lee (43rd) and Max Pensack (44th).
The divisional championships came to a close Sunday with the dual mogul events.
Outtrim was the top Steamboat finisher in second place. She lost to Winter Park's Molly Sullan in the finals. Douglas placed fourth, Jessica Mader and Carly Gmeiner tied for ninth.
The top Steamboat finisher in the men's event was Maynard in ninth. Jimmy Discoe won the event.
-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org