Skiers worked through a training session Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area ahead of a trio of moguls competitions, which begin today in Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Skiers worked through a training session Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area ahead of a trio of moguls competitions, which begin today in Steamboat Springs.

Freestyle, slalom events start Monday at Steamboat Ski Area

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Schedule

Monday: Moguls at Voo Doo and a slalom race at Sitz/See Me

Tuesday: Slalom race at Sitz/See Me

Wednesday: Moguls at Voo Doo and a night slalom race at Howelsen

Thursday: Dual moguls at Voo Doo and a slalom race at Howelsen

— It was not so much about what did happened, just the stress about what might have, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports club freestyle skiing coach Rob Day said Sunday.

He stood at the bottom of the Mayer’s Mogul Run on Voo Doo ski run at Steamboat Ski Area on another above-freezing day that had once again not brought any new snow.

With weeks of hard labor, the course itself sat above him, and he looked at it and spoke about it with a since of pride.

“Changeling and stressful,” Day said about building the course. “We didn’t have the temperatures, but when they finally dropped, they turned the guns on and hammered it.”

The weather might have made for a few long nights, but Day and the Winter Sports Club crew along with a dedicated effort of the snowmaking crew at Steamboat Ski Area got it done. The course is ready and the table set for an exciting week of ski competition in Steamboat Springs.

Dozens of freestylers will be flipping and dozens of racers slaloming starting Monday as a pair of top-tier ski competitions set down in Ski Town USA. The U.S. Freestyle Nationals will begin with a single moguls competition Monday. Another singles competition will follow Wednesday and a dual moguls event Thursday, all on Voo Doo on Mount Werner.

The Holiday Classic Alpine skiing slalom races also begin Monday with a slalom event on Sitz and See Me at the ski area. Another ski area-based slalom event will follow Tuesday and two more are set for Howelsen Hill on Wednesday and Thursday.

“It’s a very high-end race. We don’t have that level of racing here all the time,” club Alpine Coach Deb Armstrong said.

This marks the second consecutive year Steamboat has played host to the freestyle selections event, and club coaches are eager to see if local skiers can replicate last year’s success. Two Steamboat skiers scored spots on the U.S. Ski Team at last year’s event.

That option won’t be available this year, but winners will earn a start in a January World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y.

For club skiers on the cusp of the next level — men like Michael DeGrandis, Reed Snyderman and Dalton Lee, and women like Lane Stoltzner, Rebecca Miller and Sophia Schwartz — there’s plenty on the line.

Starts on the NorAm circuit also will be up for grabs.

“It’s not officially a spot on the team, but it would be huge,” Day said. “If they ski well at that World Cup, they have the possibility to get starts through the rest of the season.”

There will be plenty at stake for the Alpine skiers, as well. The event annually brings top skiers from the University of Colorado and Denver University ski teams, as well as other top collegiate racers. Winter Sports Club alumni, many who’ve gone on to college teams, come back and tear down the same slopes they did for so long.

“Training up on Howelsen was like homecoming,” Armstrong said. “It’s always just so much fun to have everyone back.

“The atmosphere will be quite exciting, four days of exciting slalom racing. People really should come on out and watch.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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