Steamboat skiers top Vail pipe

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— Steamboat Springs freestyle skiers dominated the podium Friday at the two-event USSA Vail Valley Freestyle competition in Vail. Steamboat's Chapman Geer went 2-for-2, winning the slopestyle and halfpipe contests.

"His overall level is picking up as well as his competition sense," Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Freeskier Team coach Tony Lodico said about Geer. Lodico was in Aspen on Wednesday, where seven of the team's skiers will compete in the Aspen/Snowmass Ski & Snowboard Open at Buttermilk Mountain today through Sunday. "The whole team had consistent riding through another whiteout."

Steamboat's Will Berman finished a half-point behind Geer in slopestyle to finish second, Jonas Seiler took fifth, Conor Garrecht-Connelly took eighth and Adrian Pougiales took 10th. Lodico noted how Geer, Garrecht-Connelly and Pougiales swept the top three spots in the M2 class (ages 15 and 16).

Former Steamboat skier Gina Gmeiner won the women's halfpipe competition, followed by Winter Sports Club skiers Lauren Ladley and Molly Leonard in seventh and eighth, respectively. Following Geer in the men's halfpipe competition was Seiler in fifth, Michael Ricker in eighth, Garrecht-Connelly in ninth and Jackson Coe in 11th.

Steamboat junior jumpers to represent Rockies

Following the conclusion of their third and final Junior Olympic qualifier Friday and Saturday at Howelsen Hill, seven young Steamboat Nordic combined skiers will head to the Junior Olympics.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Nordic skiing program director Todd Wilson was pleased to name the 2008 Rocky Mountain Division team, which will travel to Ishpeming, Mich., Feb. 25 through March 2 for the 2008 Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Junior Olympic Championships. The eight-member team includes Cliff Field, 15, as the defending JO national champion in both ski jumping and Nordic combined; Austin Reed, 15; Erik Lynch, 13; Jake Barker, 13; Aleck Gantick, 13; Mary O'Connell, 13; Ben Berend, 12; and Aspen skier Michael Ward, 15.

The Rocky Mountain division coaches will include either Winter Sports Club coaches Martin Bayer or Gary Crawford, Kerry Lynch and Aspen's Craig Ward.

Steamboat skiers are in bold for the following results from the qualifier:

Senior Men (7.5K) - 1, Johnny Spillane, 117 jump points, 21:15 cross-country time. 2, Logan Oxford, 101.5, 24:15; Open Class (2K) - 1, Erika Heaphy, 107.8, 9:28. 2, Ben Belinski, 136.5, 13:20. 1, Joy Hayden, 120, 9:10; J6 Boys (1K) - 1, Elijah Vargas, 162.4, 6:38; J5 Girls (1K) - 1, Kathleen O'Connell, 169.1, 5:06. 2, Katthain Dominique 144.8, 5:42. 3, Lauren Requist, 131.6, 9:43; J5 Boys (1K) - 1, Finn O'Connell, 183.4, 4:48. 2, Koby Vargas, 188.1, 5:19. 3, Peter Rosenthal, 166.1, 6:25; J4 Girls (2K) - 1, Lena Barker, 150.3, 10:24. 2, Natalie Bohlmann, 123.3, 11:45. 3, Manon Maurer, 164.7, 13:30; J4 Boys (2K) - 1, Jasper Good, 167.8, 9:08. 2, Lars Hannah, 153.6, 9:05. 3, John Heaphy, 153.6, 9:28; J3 Girls (3K) - 1, Mary O'Connell, 146.9, 9:26. 2, Emily Hannah, 136.3, 9:16. 3, Madison Keeffe, 108, 9:15; J3 Boys (3K) - 1, Fritz Carpenter, 160.6, 9:31. 2, Nicholas Madden, 174.5, 10:28. 3, William Rhoads, 170.7, 10:25; J2 Boys (5K) - 1, Cliff Field, 253.5, 16:18. 2, Erik Lynch, 234.4, 16:06. 3, Michael Ward, 230.1, 16:14; J1 Men (7.5K) - 1, Taylor Fletcher, 111, 22:10. 2, Brett Denney, 99.5, 22:38. 3, Nick Hendrickson, 93, 22:34.

Snowboarder Ladley takes 20th at World Cup

U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team rider Matt Ladley of Steamboat Springs took 20th at a Jan. 27 World Cup halfpipe competition in Bardonecchia, Italy. Fellow rookie Broc Waring of Edwards led U.S. riders, finishing eighth, followed by Gregory Bretz of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., in 12th.

Manuel Pietropoli of Italy led the men's podium, followed by Markus Malin of Finland in second and Peetu Piiroinen, also of Finland, in third.

No U.S. women competed.

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