Steamboat Springs Jeremy Cota knew he was skiing well at the weekend’s Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships in Squaw Valley, Calif., but he would have to get past red-hot Joe Discoe to prove it.
Discoe, from Telluride, had beaten Steamboat Springs’ Cota on March 26 in the race for the U.S. national title in the men’s single moguls. Cota finished second in that race and said that the result was a driving force when he stepped into the starting gate Sunday to face Discoe for the men’s dual mogul title.
“I was really pretty happy with my second-place finish on singles day,” Cota said. “But getting that close to a national title really fueled me to go for it in the duals event.”
It paid off, as Cota crossed the finish line less than a second before Discoe. It was that slight margin that earned the Steamboat Springs moguls skier his first national title and has him excited to return to the World Cup next season.
“The whole season has been a confidence builder,” Cota said. “As the season went on, I kept doing well and was able to ski my best. It kept building, and here I am.”
Cota won the title with Discoe in second and Dave DiGravio in third.
Shelly Robertson, of Reno, Nev., won the women’s title by beating Steamboat Springs skier Eliza Outtrim in the dual event. Montana’s Heather McPhie filled out the podium.
“It’s incredible. I’ve probably had my best three results I’ve ever had in the last week and a half,” Outtrim said. “They’re my first podiums at the U.S. Championships and to get two seconds is pretty sweet.”
Outtrim recently won a World Cup event in Spain and also was second in the U.S. National Championship single moguls competition March 26.
In freestyle aerials, New York skier Matt DePeters and Massachusetts skier Emily Cool earned the U.S. national titles in men’s and women’s aerials, respectively, March 27. Lowell Whiteman School graduate Ryan St. Onge was fourth in the men’s event, and Jana Lindsey was third in the women’s event.