Steamboat winter athletes finish strong

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— The visit to the White House might have served as a virtual end of the season for the country’s Olympic athletes, but many have been plenty busy since the end of February’s games, and Steamboat Springs athletes recorded some of their best performances in season-ending events in recent weeks.

None came on stronger than moguls skier Eliza Outtrim, a Lowell Whiteman School graduate who finished sixth in Sochi, Russia, which was her first Olympics.

The Connecticut native won the moguls and dual moguls events at last weekend’s U.S. Freestyle Championships in Deer Valley, Utah, capping a big year for the skier and a big weekend for Steamboat Springs-connected moguls athletes.

“It feels amazing,” she said in a U.S. Ski Team news release. “I don’t really know what I expected this week. There weren’t that many (U.S.) Team members here, so I was really hoping that me and the few teammates here could sweep the podium.”

Former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers Sophia Schwartz and Lane Stoltzner were right on Outtrim’s heels, in second and third, respectively, in the moguls event, then Schwartz was second and Stoltzner was fourth in the duals event.

Avital Schimko was sixth, Lindsay Mustard was eighth, Jaelin Kauf was 14th and Brittany Loweree was 16th in the moguls competition.

Pat Deneen, also sixth in Sochi, led the way on the guys side, winning the moguls event. Bradley Wilson was second in the moguls competition and the champ in the dual moguls. Steamboat skier Jeremy Cota was third in moguls and Ryan Dyer 12th.

Taylor Gold wins in Aspen

Elsewhere, Steamboat Springs snowboarder Taylor Gold wrapped up a spectacular finish to his breakout season with yet another big win, coming out on top at the Red Bull Double Pipe competition March 24 in Aspen.

The event — the first of its kind — challenged riders with side-by-side half-pipes. The pipes even featured rails on the walls, allowing for more new opportunities for tricks.

“I’ve never done anything like it. It was hard to adjust,” Gold said in a Denver Post story. “A regular half-pipe is already terrifying, so this was just next level.”

The win in Aspen follows up on another big March victory for Gold, earlier in the month at the U.S. Open in Vail. All that came as he rocketed from the U.S. Snowboarding half-pipe rookie team to be the first American half-pipe snowboarder to secure a spot on the Olympic team.

The event will air on NBC at 2 p.m. April 12.

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