Steamboat Springs Former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier and Lowell Whiteman School graduate Emiko Torito won her first World Cup moguls event Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Torito led qualifying in the morning and said she sat on her jitters before the final run. Her two jumps were a helicopter off the first "air" and a backflip off the bottom jump. She finished with 25.17 points.
"I was insanely nervous before my first run," Torito said at the finish. "But the course was better than it was in training, and I kept focusing on technical things like keeping my eyes up and keeping my feet underneath me. Second run, I still was nervous, but I told myself, 'You're ready, you're ready!'"
U.S. teammate Kayla Snyderman of Winchester, Mass., finished third in the women's contest, while former Winter Sports Club skier Eliza Outtrim finished 15th.
Pat Deneen of Cle Elum, Wash., finished third as the top American skier in the men's event at Whiteface Mountain. Steamboat resident Michael Morse finished 20th.
Friday's spotlight belonged to Torito.
"It's been such a long time coming, and I get emotional just thinking about it. I can't count how many times I've imagined winning," said Torito, who now lives in Denver. "Our whole team made finals. We have such a strong team, and I really believe on any given day, any of us could win."
Erik Skinner, the Winter Sports Club's freestyle skiing program director, said Torito's "monstrous" win was the result of some serious off-season training.
"She's been working hard and spent a ton of time over the summer out at the (Bald Eagle Lake) ramps, and now it's paying off," Skinner said.
On the men's side, Warren Tanner of Canada qualified 14th but laid down a solid final run that edged Olympic and defending World Cup champion Dale Begg-Smith of Australia by six-hundredths of a point, 25.55 to 25.49. Deneen, who qualified for the World Cup start out of the U.S. Freestyle Selections events last month, finished third with his run of 25.22.
The Nature Valley Freestyle Cup moves to an aerials event tonight at Lake Placid's Olympic Jumping Complex. On Sunday, the weekend schedule ends with another moguls contest at Whiteface.
NBC will broadcast the events at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 27.