Thursday, December 15, 2011
Rifle The U.S. Freestyle Moguls Selections event was good to Steamboat Springs skiers last season. The three-competition event put Ryan Dyer and Brittany Loweree on the U.S. C Team and gave them North American World Cup starts.
If the start to the season for the next wave of Steamboat moguls skiers was any indication, next week’s Selection event on the Voo Doo course at Steamboat Ski Area could be similarly good.
Competing at one of the first events of the season, Steamboat’s NorAm team picked up seven podium finishes Dec. 10 and 11 in Winter Park.
“Our athletes we’re just getting warmed up for this upcoming weekend and the U.S. Team Selections,” said Mike Amatto, a coach with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Steamboat girls made it a clean podium sweep on the first day of competition. Lane Stoltzner was first, Rebecca Miller was second and Sophia Schwartz was third. On the men’s side, Michael DeGrandis was third and Dalton Lee was seventh.
The second day didn’t produce as many top results, but it still was good for the local contingent.
Miller finished first, Stoltzner was third and Schwartz was sixth. DeGrandis was third again on the men’s side, Lee was fifth and George DeGrandis was eighth.
Perhaps the most surprising results were those from Schwartz. After two years away from competition because of injury, Schwartz showed why she was once considered one of the brightest up-and-coming skiers in the country.
Now, the Steamboat skiers turn their attention to next week’s U.S. team selection event. Training takes place Saturday and Sunday, and the first moguls event is scheduled for Monday. There will be training Tuesday before the second moguls event Wednesday and dual moguls Thursday.
Ten skiers from Steamboat and more than 90 in all are expected to compete. If a skier finishes high enough in Monday and Wednesday’s single moguls events, he or she could earn United States World Cup starts.
Amatto pointed to Michael DeGrandis and Reed Snyderman as having good shots at earning World Cup starts on the men’s side. He said Stoltzner, Schwartz and Miller are positioned well on the women’s side.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com