Steamboat’s Lukens wins NorAm Grand Prix |

Steamboat’s Lukens wins NorAm Grand Prix

Winter Sports Club Free Ski member has impressive finishes

Luke Graham

Penn Lukens, center, picked up a first- and second-place finish on Friday in a pair of skiing NorAm Grand Prix events in Killington, Vt. The finishes vaulted Lukens to a NorAm Grand Prix championship.

— On a snowy Friday in Killington, Vt., Penn Lukens just went bigger than everyone else.

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Free Ski Team member used two impressive finishes Friday to wrap up the skiing NorAm Grand Prix halfpipe championship.

With snow dumping, organizers decided to turn the event from two competitions into two one-run, winner-take-all competitions.

In a halfpipe where other skiers struggled, Lukens seemed to thrive. He was able to go big and land all his tricks. He won the first competition and was second in the second competition.

"Thinking it couldn't get any better, I sat down and started doing the math for the tour championship," Winter Sports Club free ski coach Jonah Drescher said in an e-mail. "In my calculation, with a first and second, Penn had a shot at winning the whole tour. After waiting for two hours for the official results to be announced, sure enough, he walked away with two medals and the Grand Prix Championship."

Last year, Conor Garrecht-Connelly finished second in the Grand Prix. Garrecht-Connelly was sixth on Friday.

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"This is another wonderful accomplishment for SSWSC Free Ski Team," Drescher said. "I could not be prouder of Penn and Conor. They competed like men on a very difficult course and presented a positive attitude that all coaches strive to see in all their athletes."

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