Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Steamboat Springs Alpine snowboarders Justin Reiter and Michelle Gorgone wrapped up the World Cup season last week with the best showings of their careers.
"It was huge," Reiter said of his finish in Valmalenco, Italy. "It's been kind of a long World Cup season, and it's nice to top it off with the first World Cup podium of my career."
Reiter placed third in the World Cup parallel giant slalom by beating out Austrian rider Andreas Prommegger, who finished fourth. Canada's Matthew Morison beat Italian Roland Fischnaller in the final dual of the day to earn the victory. Steamboat's Tyler Jewell came in sixth and placed ninth in the final season rankings.
"I just decided to take it one gate at a time," Reiter said of the race. "I've been fast all season, but I haven't been fast on the right day."
Saturday proved to be Reiter's day. But he wasn't the only rider with connections to Steamboat Springs making noise.
In addition to Jewell, longtime teammates Vic Wild (21st) and Zachary Kay (33rd) also had strong showings on the men's side. Not to be outdone, former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Michelle Gorgone placed second to earn a podium spot, and Erica Mueller placed 30th.
"It was a good day for the riders who came through our program," said SSWSC coach Thedo Remmelink. "They are all riding really fast right now, and I expect big things from them in the future."
Gorgone also had the race of her career, finishing behind only Germany's Anke Karstens in the women's parallel giant slalom.
"I'm just happy, as I had a rough season. It seemed that it was getting worse since the Olympics," Gorgone said in a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team release. "It's cool to get a good result at the end of the season. I hope I continue like this next one. It was kind of my day. My coaches said that I could do it, and it just worked out."
With the World Cup season behind them, several riders from Steamboat will travel to Oregon's Mount Hood Meadows for a NorAm finals event, March 22 and 23.
Remmelink expects national team members Jewell, Reiter, Wild, Kay and Mueller to compete in Oregon. He also expects club riders including Madeline Wiencke, Ashley Nice, Darren Ratcliffe, Eric Haskins, Kristin Deon, Kenny Timms, Ben Fairchild, Michael Trapp and Taka Shirakawa to attend the races.
In related news, Winter Sports Club rider Callan Chythlook-Sifsof won the final leg of the Jeep King of the Mountain tour in Sun Valley, Idaho. The victory helped Chythlook-Sifsof win the overall title and the new Jeep that goes along with it.