Steamboat Springs Gelande jumpers from Steamboat Springs have been making the trip to Missoula, Mont., for years, but until last weekend, none of them had brought home the trophy that goes to the winner of the Snowbowl Cup.
That changed Sunday, when Steamboat Springs native Marsh Gooding topped Erik Wilson with jumps of more than 200 feet in the finals to earn the title with a score of 683, which includes distance and style points. Wilson was second at 669 and Tim Magill was third at 633 points.
After four years of trying, the win was Gooding's first, and according to a core group of Steamboat Springs Gelande jumpers who travel to Missoula, it’s the first time a Steamboat athletes has stood atop the podium.
“It was a relief,” Gooding said about winning the event.
Gooding grew up in Steamboat racing on Alpine skis at Howelsen Hill. He raced for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club until 2006, when he headed to college at the University of Vermont, where he raced on the team. He started Gelande jumping after he stopped ski racing in 2009.
These days, Gooding lives in Maine but visits Steamboat frequently. He typically makes the trip to Missoula with a group of Steamboat jumpers, including Pat Arnone and Tm McGill. Gooding, who still considers Steamboat home, said it was those jumpers who encouraged him to go to the Snowbowl Cup and always thought he had what it takes to win the event.
“There has been a lot of pressure to win this from the Steamboat guys,” Gooding said. “It was great that I could finally get it done.”
The Snowbowl Cup took place Feb. 23 and 24 just outside of Missoula on a makeshift jumping hill that is comparable to a HS75. The title was up for grabs this year with defending champion Rolf Wilson on the sidelines with a back injury.
The competition included a qualifying round Saturday and two competitive rounds Sunday. Gooding qualified first Saturday with a recorded jump of 192 feet. On Sunday, Gooding dominated the competition with a jump of 200 feet in the second round and 202 feet in the final round. Each round consisted of two jumps with the best jump counting.
Magill, third with 633 points, and Arnone, fourth with 626 points, also contributed to the strong Steamboat showing.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com