Canada takes top spots on Day 1 of NorAms in Steamboat |

Canada takes top spots on Day 1 of NorAms in Steamboat

U.S. Ski Team member Joey Discoe flies off the top kicker Thursday during the single moguls competition of the NorAm Cup event at Steamboat Ski Area. Discoe placed second.

It didn't earn him the win or even a spot on the podium. For Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club freestyle skier Michael DeGrandis, fifth place managed to yield plenty of vic­­tory, however.

DeGrandis, a 16-year-old mogul specialist, threw down a pair of clean runs on Mayer's Mogul Run on Voo Doo ski run at Steamboat Ski Area. He finished behind the leaders but a lot higher than the young skier, only recently recovered from a nasty broken collarbone, had expected.

"I could not have been more excited," DeGrandis said. "I was really just coming out here to try and make finals, but to finish fifth, I couldn't be more happy."

The two-day NorAm freestyle circuit's stop in Steamboat Springs kicked off Thursday with the single moguls competition. The tour is considered just one step below the World Cup and as much was evident Thursday as some of the continent's best skiers stomped massive aerial tricks and rocketed down the slushy Voo Doo run course.

It's a level of competition DeGrandis had hoped to reach all season after two consecutive seasons of sporadic NorAm Cup appearances. That plan came to a tumbling halt in early January, however, when DeGrandis took a spill while training. He flew 20 feet and landed hard, shattering his collarbone and putting the winter's big plans on hold.

He finally got back into competition last weekend at the Rocky Mountain divisional championships in Winter Park. He won an event there.

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"He's been back in competition for seven days and already has a win and a top-five finish in NorAm. That's awesome," Winter Sports Club freestyle coach Nate Bird said. "He's still one of the youngest, if not the youngest, guy here, so this is great."

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury dominated Thursday's show, landing the two most difficult tricks of the day and finishing with a score of 220.00. U.S. Ski Team member Joey Discoe was second at 176.00, and Marc-Antoine Gagnon, of Canada, was third at 132.00.

"Now this course is completely different," said Discoe, who competed in Steamboat in December at the U.S. Olympic Trials. "The bumps are smaller and the jumps bigger, whereas at the trials they had bigger bumps and smaller jumps. It's a good course for both competitions."

On the women's side, Can­ada's Chelsea Henitiuk ran away with the gold medal. She was first with a score of 200.00. U.S. Ski Team member Mikaela Matthews was second at 160.00, and Justine Defour-Lapointe, of Canada, was third at 120.00.

An icy morning quickly turned warm and temperatures neared 50 degrees as the final racers took their turns. That made for a slushy but comfortable trip down the bumps.

"The course was a lot icier for the first run, so I was more conservative, but for the second, it was softened up and was beautiful," Henitiuk said. "I just pushed it. My jumps felt really clean, and my turns were fast. It was a lot of fun."

DeGrandis wasn't the only Steamboat skier to take advan­­tage of the home competition, which Steamboat got two weeks ago after Arapahoe Basin backed out because of a lack of snow.

Rob Burden was fourth on the men's side, and Reed Snyderman was sixth, giving Steamboat three consecutive finishers in the top six. Dalton Lee was 25th on the men's side.

"We are pretty psyched," Bird said.

Becky Miller was the top local finisher among the women, at ninth. Brittany Loweree was 11th, Alissa Pinkoski was 14th, Alexa Stein was 18th, Alison Crowe was 21st, Lane Stoltzner was 22nd and Kiersten Adams was 26th.

"Our NorAm skiers, we just came off a long travel period. These guys haven't had a break, but they still came out and got it done," Steamboat coach Rob Day said.

The event wraps up today with the dual moguls competition. It starts at 10 a.m. with qualification runs, and finals should start at about 2:30 p.m.

NorAm freestyle event at Steamboat Ski Area


Men’s results

  1. Mikael Kingsbury, Canada, 220.00
  2. Joseph Discoe, USA, 176.00
  3. Marc-Antoine, Canada, 132.00
  4. Robert Burden, USA, 110.00
  5. Michael DeGrandis, USA, 99.00
  6. Reed Snyderman, USA, 88.00
  7. Jay Panther, USA, 79.20
  8. Bradley Wilson, USA, 70.40
  9. Nicholas Keating, USA, 63.80
  10. Arnaud Laurin-Landry, Canada, 57.20
  11. Pascal-Olivier Gagne, USA, 52.80
  12. Ryan Reilly, USA, 48.40
  13. Bryan Zemba, USA, 44.00
  14. Kyle Jordan, USA, 39.60
  15. Robert Carroll, USA, 35.20
  16. Cody Tempel, USA, 33.00
  17. Bartley Damon, USA, 30.80
  18. Troy Tully, USA, 28.60
  19. Eddie Hicks, Canada, 26.40
  20. Simon Pouliot Cavanagh, Canada, 24.20
  21. Nick Hanscom, USA, 22.00
  22. Nathan Park, USA, 19.80
  23. Zachary Hoffman, Canada, 17.60
  24. Simon Lemieux, Canada, 15.40
  25. Dalton Lee, USA, 13.20
  26. Sterling Crescimanno, USA, 11.00
  27. Julien Dufresne, Canada, 9.90
  28. Wade Parkinson, USA, 8.80
  29. Garrett Wiltshire, Canada, 7.92
  30. Luke Ulsifer, Canada, 7.04
  31. Branden Goldenberg, Canada, 6.16
  32. Tim Chamberlain, USA, 5.72
  33. Andrew Pool, Canada, 5.28
  34. Brandon Denker, USA, 4.84
  35. Brayden Pawlik, Canada, 4.40

Women’s results

  1. Chelsea Henitiuk, Canada, 200.00
  2. Mikaela Matthews, USA, 160.00
  3. Justine Defour-Lapointe, Canada, 120.00
  4. Jackie Brown, Canada, 100.00
  5. Whitney Henceroth, USA, 90.00
  6. Alexandra Dufresne, Canada, 80.00
  7. Aspen Witt, USA, 72.00
  8. Annie Serra, USA 64.00
  9. Becky Miller, USA, 58.00
  10. Lindsey Cannon, USA, 52.00
  11. Brittany Loweree, USA, 48.00
  12. KC Oakley, USA, 44.00
  13. Alyssa Lawson, USA, 40.00
  14. Alissa Pinkoski, USA, 36.00
  15. Kayla Burcin, USA, 32.00
  16. Ani Haas, USA, 30.00
  17. Keaton McCargo, USA, 28.00
  18. Alexa Stein, USA, 26.00
  19. Kristi Waring, 24.00
  20. Alison DiGravio, USA, 22.00
  21. Alison Crowe, USA, 20.00
  22. Lane Stoltzner, USA, 18.00
  23. Vienna McLeod, USA, 16.00
  24. Heidi Kloser, USA, 14.00
  25. Rebecca Goldstein, USA, 12.00
  26. Kiersten Adams, USA, 10.00
  27. Christel Hamel, Canada, 9.00
  28. Kylie Sivell, Canada, 8.00

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