Steamboat skiers shine in SmartWool finale |

Steamboat skiers shine in SmartWool finale

— The hard racing was finished, completed Friday at Mount Werner and Saturday on Howelsen Hill.

Sunday's dual slalom, which wrapped up the SmartWool Alpine ski race series, was just for fun, not points. Still, it certainly didn't go unnoticed to those in attendance who emerged atop the heap on a day of racing.

"Today was total fun, but it was about club pride, whether it was for official points or not," said Deb Armstrong, Alpine director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Her racers were left with plenty to be proud about. The club capped a strong weekend of racing by winning both the boys and girls side of the Sunday competition. Annie Ochs made her way through the bracket on the girls’ side while Devin DeJong emerged atop the boys’ bracket, capping what was a podium-filled weekend for Steamboat skiers.

Ochs had to beat out teammate Serina Kidd in the quarterfinals Sunday, then eventually edged out Rachael Desrochers, of Vail, in the finals.

"I just went as fast as I could," Ochs said. "It's a lot of pressure, and I think I did pretty well under the pressure."

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DeJong, meanwhile, beat Vail's Sam Simonton in the finals for the win.

Those two joined a healthy collection of other Winter Sports Club skiers to earn spots on the podium throughout the weekend.

Natalie Pearl had a dominating weekend, winning Friday's giant slalom at Steamboat Ski Area and again Saturday in the slalom at Howelsen.

Ochs also had a top finish Friday, coming in fifth. Perri Meeks was eighth for Steamboat and Erin Gaffney was 10th. Ochs then was second on Saturday and Kidd finished fourth, Ellesa Lupori was eighth and Mackenzie Gansmann was 10th for Steamboat.

Colorado Mountain College racer Will Cutler won Saturday's men's race. Jamie Bender, in 11th, was Steamboat's top finisher. River Radamus won Friday. Steamboat's Zack Monsen was second.

Steamboat even came through this weekend with a win in the coach's race Sunday, U14 coach Erik Gilbert swooping down the course the fastest for the win.

Trey Seymour and Margaret Dickson won the U14 category Sunday.

"I'm proud of our kids in holding the home hill," Armstrong said. "Steamboat took it home, all of it, today."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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