Steamboat moguls skier Kenzie Radway finds her speed, tops the podium | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat moguls skier Kenzie Radway finds her speed, tops the podium

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Three days into the biggest ski trip of her life, Steamboat Springs moguls skier Kenzie Radway had her doubts.

She got the chance last fall to travel with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's top moguls skiers to Apex Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Canada. It was a rare chance for a 14-year-old and, safe to say, she wasn’t sure what she was getting herself into.

After about three days of missing her friends, missing her family, even missing school, she was homesick.

"I was nervous and I wanted to come home," she said. "I fought through."

Being around those skiers, athletes on the verge of making the U.S. Ski Team, changed her and Sunday during the second day of a three-day moguls skiing competition at Steamboat Ski Area, Radway proved she could ski right with those women.

After placing fourth in Saturday's competition, she won Sunday's, adding to an already great start to the season.

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Competing last month in Winter Park at the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Selections event, she placed 6th one day and 10th the next, then third in the dual moguls finale.

"I learned I need to persevere through a lot, and I can do it if I really set my mind to it," she said, thinking back to that Canada trip. "The improvement was really great."

It's shown in her skiing in two big ways.

First, she said the work in Canada helped her refine her air package.

"I became more confident in my jumping," she said.

Most notable Sunday was her speed.

She blitzed down the Voodoo ski run moguls course at Steamboat Ski Area in the finals in 29.07 seconds, the fastest time by any woman in the first two days of racing. 

"It's more in the turns I improved," she said. "Once my turns improved and my body position is better, I feel more confident and in control and the speed comes with it."

Her early season success earned her a spot for the full season of skiing on the Nor-Am Cup tour. She won't take that all on quite yet. She plans to compete only in the events in the United States, next month at Killington Resort, Vermont and in March in Park City, Utah.

She's got plenty of time to expand her participation and build on the lessons she's already learned this year.

"Over the last two years I've grown up as a skier and an athlete, and I'm starting to realize what it takes to train and compete," she said.

She was just one Steamboat skier to post strong results this weekend. Sunday, Trudy Mickel was fourth, Kkaia Schmid ninth and Riley Hodges 12th on the women's side.

On the men’s side, Jesse Andringa of Vail came away on top while Landon Wendler was fifth and Wyatt Antkiewicz sixth.

Saturday, Vail's Kai Owens won on the women’s side and Benjamin Matsumoto on the men's. Maggie Ryan was fifth on the women’s side, Mickel seventh, Schmid 10th and Hodges 14th. Wendler was fourth for the men, Antkiewicz eighth and Ben Hoefer 12th.

The event wraps up Monday with dual moguls.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.