Freestyle skiers get to display talents

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For the past few weeks, skier Taylor Miller has been focused on the moguls lining the face of Howelsen Hill. He practiced his turns, perfected his airs and pushed his speed to its limits in training.

On Sunday, the extra work paid off for the Steamboat Springs 12-year-old. He posted a sixth-place finish -- one of the best finishes of his young career -- during the Rocky Mountain Division Junior Devo Championships at Howelsen Hill.

"He's been working extra hard in the mogul course the last couple of weeks, just preparing for this event," coach Damian Wells said. "It showed this weekend."

Wells said the championships have been a focal point for most of the 40 local skiers who competed last weekend at Howelsen Hill.

The slopestyle, mogul and aerial events turned out to be a place for many local skiers to showcase their talents and pick up top results.

Steamboat opened with several top showings in Friday's slopestyle and continued to post top finishes in Saturday's and Sunday's events.

Jessica Mader and her teammate Shelby Dyer highlighted Friday's slopestyle, during which riders earned points based on how well they performed on the kickers, rails and other feathers of the new terrain park.

Mader scored 44.6 points to win the J-4 girls class, for skiers between 11 and 12 years old. Dyer was second with 43.6, and Winter Park's Kora Monigle was third with 42.3.

Steamboat's Alyssa Stowers topped the J-5 class for girls 9 and 10 years old.

Teagann Yeager was first in the girls J-6 class for skiers ages 7 to 8, and Steamboat's Jake Supple took top honors in the boys J-3 class. That group included 13- and 14-year-old skiers.

Vail's James Leonard won the boys J-4 class -- it was the only division not won by a Steamboat Springs skier in the slopestyle competition. In that division, Steamboat's top finisher was Alexander Bashan in fourth. Rylan Laszewski was seventh, and Conor Garrecht-Connelly was 10th.

The skiers returned to Howelsen on Saturday for the second day of the championships.

Mader picked up her second win of the weekend in the aerial event, and Dyer placed second.

Other top Steamboat finishers included Hadlie Quick in second for the J-5 girls. Stowers finished third, Marielle Feilinger finished fourth, and Emma Wilson finished fifth.

Yeager was second in the girls J-6 class, and teammate Kayla Voeltzel was third.

Supple, who only has been with the Winter Sports Club a few months, placed first in the boys J-3 class.

Winter Park's Brandon Cronin won the highly competitive boy's J-4 class. Steamboat's Laszewski was fourth, Drew O'Donnell was sixth, Torrella was ninth, and Matt O'Donnell was 10th.

Jesse Kamieniecki was 12th, Evan Stowers was 13th, Tyler Saxe was 15th, Randall Nelson was 16th, Garrecht-Connelly was 17th, and Bashan was 20th. Spencer Noel was 22nd, Stephen Wilson was 25th, Joe Madden was 27th, Taylor Miller was 28th, and Lucas Stover placed 30th.

Steamboat's Brad Hoefer was fourth in the J-5 class, Sam Harrelson was fifth, Alex Hamilton was 11th, Nathan Parks was 14th, and Francisco Katz was 16th.

David Kissane was third in the J-6 boys. Austin Johnson was sixth, Jesse Pugh was seventh, and Charles Toye was ninth.

The J-5 and younger skiers competed in moguls Saturday.

Steamboat's Feilinger was fourth in the girls J-5 event, Stowers was fifth, and Quick placed sixth.

Voeltzel was third in the J-6 moguls, and Yeager was fourth.

Harrelson was seventh in the boys J-5 moguls with teammates Hamilton in ninth, Katz in 13th, Parks in 14th and Hoefer in 16th.

David Kissane was second in the boy's J-6 class. Teammates Toye, Pugh and Austin Johnson placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

The championships came to a close Sunday with the older skiers taking part in the final mogul event.

Steamboat's Brandon Roche topped the boy's J-3 class. He scored 15.60 points to slip past Summit's Kevin Kane who finished with 15.02. Steamboat's Taylor Miller was sixth, Christ-opher Eliot was eight, and Shaq Torrella was ninth.

Jack Burger came in 10th, Jesse Kamieniecki was 11th, Matt O'Donnell was 15th, Drew O'Donnell was 19th, and Leszewski was 20th.

Evan Stowers placed 21st, Saxe was 22nd, Garrecht-Connelly was 25th, Bashan was 26th, Nelson was 28th, Spencer Noel was 33rd, Matt Binsfeld was 34th, Keegan Burger was 42nd and Joe Madden was 46th.

Mader place second to Vail's Kristi Waring in the girls J-4 mogul event. Dyer was fifth.

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