Steamboat Springs The cards were not stacked in favor of the 13 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers at the 2007 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Killington's Bear Mountain in Vermont.
"It was just crazy snow," Winter Sports Club freestyle program director Erik Skinner said. "There was four inches of wet, heavy, wacky-packy on duals day that was extremely tough and sticky, making it difficult to pick up speed - like skiing in sand."
Despite the unseasonable conditions, Steamboat's skiers found ways to deliver their finest performances of the season.
"Everybody did really well," Skinner said.
The results turned out best for Steamboat's Eliza Outtrim, who took fourth place in the single moguls, in what Skinner called a, "clean, aggressive, extremely competitive field."
Steamboat had a string of top-20 finishes, including Jesse Forth (13th in men's aerials), Abe Maynard (13th in single moguls), Erica Damon (17th in single moguls), Bart Damon (13th in dual moguls) and Kevin Hanian (17th in single moguls and 18th in duals), but couldn't crack the top podium spots.
"Everybody stepped up a notch with some good skiing, but it was so tight that it was a couple mistakes where the judges were looking for anything," Skinner said.
The Winter Sports Club freestyle squad included the following 13 athletes - Forth, Maynard, Luke Kamieniecki, Kara Johnson, Jessica Enggasser, Lars Johnson, Alison Crowe, Alyssa Roche, Erica and Bart Damon, Hanian, Chris Gebhardt and Broc Sheue. Three other U.S. Freestyle Ski Team members have Steamboat ties (Outtrim, Emiko Torito and Ryan St. Onge).
For a full list of results, visit www.killingtonskiclub.com/us_freestyle_2007.htm.
Steamboat skiers go big at tele championships
Flat, light and sparse snow didn't keep freestyle skiers from Winter Sports Club's telemark team from setting down impressive lines at the 11th annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Telemark Championships, Thursday through Saturday in Crested Butte.
"It was awesome, but really rocky - the gnarliest terrain I've ever been on," said Jack Burger, 14, who took home third in the junior men category. "We went out two days before the competition and my coach, Aryeh Copa, taught me how to ski tight turns over the rocks."
The competition included three scored runs in which Jack Burger barely edged out his 17-year-old brother Brian (fourth place) by three points to land on the podium.
"He beat me on the second run, then I beat him in the first and last - I think he was a little mad," Jack Burger said. "But we ski and train together on the chutes and other stuff."
Steamboat's top finisher was Francesca Pavillard-Cain, who finished second in the junior women's category after wrapping up her second consecutive junior women's championship in the Alpine version of the extreme freeskiing championships last month.
"It was hard with all the exposed rock," Pavillard-Cain said. "There was literally one point where you were skiing on rocks, but I was glad to have a nice last run : The competition has really helped me mentally and physically - coping with my nerves and improving my overall skiing, trying new lines I've only looked at."
Adrian Pougiales landed a backflip on his final run to earn eighth in the junior men's division and his father, J.P. Pougiales, took fifth in the master men's division.
No Steamboat skiers qualified for the adult men's division, which was won for the fifth consecutive year by Dylan Crossman of Randolph, Vermont.
Visit www.skicb.com for full results.
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