No matter where people look on the Nordic skiing circuit, they’ll find Steamboat competitors at the top.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club dominated in Park City, Utah, at the Utah Winter Games and second Junior Olympic qualifier during the weekend.
The club left Utah with eight Nordic combined champions and six special jumping champions.
“It’s a lot of things,” said Todd Wilson, Winter Sports Club Nordic director. “One of the main things is we’ve had a great year at Howelsen working with the city.
It was getting our facilities up so early. We were open six weeks before Park City did, if not more. That’s a huge advantage for us.”
Nordic combined champions included Maggie Morton in the J5 girls division, Decker Dean in J5 boys, Kathleen O’Connell in J4 girls, Finn O’Connell in J4 boys, Natalie Bohlmann in J3 girls, Spencer Petersen in J3 boys, Mary O’Connell in J2 girls and Erik Lynch in J2 boys.
Wilson said after the first Junior Olympic qualifier in Steamboat, he had a good feeling the Winter Sports Club would dominate the way the team did.
Mary O’Connell won the girls J1 special jumping on the K-90 hill and J2 girls special jumping on the K-64 hill.
Lynch was first in the boys J2 jumping on the K-64 hill, and Jasper Good was first on the J3 boys K-40 hill. Kathleen O’Connell won the J4 girls special jumping on the K-20 hill, and Dean won the boys J5 special jumping on the K-10 hill.
The next and last Junior Olympic qualifier is Feb. 12 and 13 in Steamboat. After that, the Junior Olympic team will be named. The Junior Olympics are March 2 to 6 in Steamboat.
Freestylers among top competitors
Rebecca Alfone and McKenyon King picked up first-place finishes at a Rocky Mountain Division Freestyle meet in Winter Park last weekend to lead the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s development freestyle program.
Alfone topped the results for the J3 girls division, which also included a fourth-place finish from Kayla Voeltzel in the Jan. 23 event. King took first, and Ethan Dyer was third in the J5 boys division.
“It was a great weekend for Steamboat junior freestyle,” coach Cory Prager said. “I am proud of all our athletes for giving 100 percent.”
Other notable finishes included Nicholas Simon (14th), Robby Brown (15th), Jack Craig (18th), Jack Vanderbeek (20th), Tyler Strnad (21st), Aaron Vandergraaf (22nd), Connor Smith (23rd), Zachary Rosa (24th), Jack Starkey (27th) and Kolton Voeltzel (28th) in the J4 boys division. Payton McElhiney (11th), Ben Hoefer (16th) and Landon Wendler (17th) skied in the boys J5 division. McElhiney was also second in the Saturday King of the Gromets slope style competition.
Pilot & Today reporter John F. Russell contributed to this story.