Steamboat Springs skier Tyler Saxe soars off a jump Saturday during the aerials competition at the Junior Olympics at Steamboat Ski Area. Saxe, one of three area competitors, finished 44th. The Junior Olympics resumes for its final day today with the dual moguls event.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Springs skier Tyler Saxe soars off a jump Saturday during the aerials competition at the Junior Olympics at Steamboat Ski Area. Saxe, one of three area competitors, finished 44th. The Junior Olympics resumes for its final day today with the dual moguls event.

Young crew represents Steamboat in aerials

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Steamboat's Stephen Wilson spins in the air after flying off the jump Saturday during the aerials segment of the Junior Olympics at Steamboat Ski Area.

Junior Olympics results

Aerials

Girls

19. Codi Coghlan

Boys

44. Tyler Saxe

66. Stephen Wilson

— Steamboat's three entries into Saturday's Junior Olympic freestyle aerials competition all finished far back in the pack, but showed no shortage of spirit and determination.

The boys competition was won by Evan Kreps, with Jillian Kazley taking the girls title.

Codi Coghlan was the best local competitor, finishing 19th in the girls' side. Tyler Saxe was 44th for the boys, ahead of Stephen Wilson in 66th.

There was plenty to be proud of in those performances, team coach Nate Bird said.

"They all trained well, but the competition didn't go quite as well as we planned. They all had one really good jump, and they all had a weak jump and a couple super hard wrecks," Bird said.

Coghlan finished with 57.81 points, well back of the 100.34 required for medaling - Ashley Caldwell and Britany Sigourney joined Kazley on the medal stand in second and third places, respectively. Coghlan bounced back from a

nasty first-jump fall, however, and did it all in her first trip to the Junior Olympics.

"She wrecked herself hard on her first jump, but she got back up there and went big again with another jump," Bird said.

The team's attention now turns to the final day of competition, when the local skiers will have their last chance to earn a medal on their home snow.

Today may be the team's best chance, Bird said.

Ryan Dyer just missed claiming a medal Friday when he finished fourth in the single moguls event. He'll try to make up for the disappointment today in the dual moguls.

Dual moguls events pit competitors against one another on the same course that played host to Friday's competition, Steamboat Ski Area's VooDoo run, with only one skier advancing from each race.

It's a format Bird said fits Dyer's style perfectly.

"He's one of the faster skiers out there," Bird said. "The speed he's comfortable at pushes his competitors past their comfort zones. He'll really beat you that way.

"You're supposed to pay attention to your own run and not worry about your competitor, but when you see a guy get way out ahead of you, you try to go faster to catch up."

Steamboat will field one of its largest contingents of the five-day event, with most of those who skied Friday returning, as well as several others.

"A lot of the people who didn't make finals Friday are hoping to do better," Bird said. "I'm looking forward to it. Duals day is always the most fun. It's head-to-head and super exciting."

Comments

David Wilson 6 years, 9 months ago

While I very much appreciate your coverage of the Freestyle Junior Olympics, your focus on whether particular Steamboat athletes won medals for a top three finish in their events has caused you to omit the rest of the story that would be of interest to freestyle skiing fans.

Although medals are awarded for the top three male and female finishers in each event, the top three male and female finishers per age class (13-14, 15-16, and 17-18) also win medals. For example, in Friday's single moguls, Ryan Dyer won a silver medal for finishing second in the country in his age class (15-16) and Michael DeGrandis (skiing with a broken hand) won a sliver for his age class (13-14). Shelby Dyer won a silver medal for her age class, and Aliison Crowe finished fourth in her age class, even though she was ill while competing.

I could make similar comments about your coverage of the halfpipe, slopestyle and aerial events. For example, Tyler Saxe and Stephen Wilson (both 14) competed in their second consecutive JO's for aerials, with Wilson in strong position after his first jump to win an age class medal. Saxe also qualified to compete in today's dual moguls as one of the youngest competitors in that field.

By focusing on top three overall finishes, you diminish the accomplishments of the 40 Steamboat athletes who earned a right to compete as the best athletes in their disciplines in the Rocky Mountain Division and among the best in the country.

David B. Wilson Steamboat Springs

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