Steamboat Springs As Eliza Outtrim has progressed in the world of competitive moguls, the goals become simpler and simpler.
The 2003 Lowell Whiteman School graduate is coming off her best year in 2011 and is primed for another step forward in 2012.
“I definitely want to finish on the podium,” said Outtrim, who will leave town Tuesday to head to the next leg of the World Cup. “If I can get top five at every event the rest of the season, I’d be extremely happy. Of course, the goal is to win every event, but I’d be happy to get in the top five.”
But it hasn’t been the easiest ride for Outtrim. The 26-year-old, who originally is from Connecticut but moved to Steamboat in 2002, has seen her share of things go right and wrong.
Big things have been expected from Outtrim since she moved to Steamboat. After terrorizing the NorAm tour for several years, she made the U.S. Ski Team in 2005.
Things were progressing well, and near the end of the 2009 season at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Steamboat, it looked as though Outtrim would have a chance to make the 2010 Olympic Games.
But her runs weren’t quite good enough. The struggle dropped her from the A Team to the B Team and eventually to the C Team.
It meant several things for Outtrim: One, she had to pay her own way again. And two, it meant she was back on the same NorAm tour she had dominated four years earlier.
“I didn’t want to go back to skiing NorAms and paying my own way,” she said. “It’s tough. It’s frustrating to be feeling like you’re close but sort of stuck in the middle. For a couple of years, I skied NorAms and skied OK on the World Cup. The year after the Olympics was when I realized I belonged on the World Cup.”
That 2010 season, she got some discretional World Cup starts.
She picked up her first World Cup win at the final event of 2010 in Sierra Nevada, Spain. She followed that up with a pair of second-place finishes at the U.S. Championships.
“The fact I ended the year on the A Team helped a lot,” she said.
Last season was the first full season she spent on the World Cup. She was fifth at the World Championships and won the U.S. Championship in dual moguls. She finished the year ninth in the world, culminating her best season on skis.
She opened this season with a second-place finish in Ruka, Finland, and followed it with a 10th-place finish in Meribel, France.
She’s currently ranked second in the world as skiers prepare for the second half of the season.
The good thing for Outtrim is she enters 2012 as confident as she’s ever been. Her summer training and workouts at the ramps at Bald Eagle Lake and a camp in Zermatt, Switzerland, have helped propel her forward.
Like the rest of the world, Outtrim is chasing 2010 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Cup champion Hannah Kearney.
Outtrim said that everyone is far behind Kearney right now but that she thinks the gap can be closed.
She is trying to add a D spin — a trick between a back full and a corked spin — to try to narrow the gap.
She said she wants the trick to become second nature. Outtrim, who holds a degree from Colorado College in economics, said she plans on skiing through the 2014 Olympics and then retiring from skiing to pursue other ventures.
She said with a successful year behind her and hopefully several more in front of her, the goal is to medal at the 2014 Sochi, Russia, games.
“Oh, absolutely I can,” she said. “Especially, if I can get my D spin going. If I can get that in the run I’m doing now, I think that can be something that will put me on the podium.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com