Steamboat snowboarders pocket top results, prepare to hit the slopes in rare home appearance | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat snowboarders pocket top results, prepare to hit the slopes in rare home appearance

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarders came away with top results at last weekend's halfpipe and slopestyle competitions in Breckenridge.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs snowboarders will hit the slopes at Howelsen Hill and Steamboat Ski Area this weekend hoping to find big air and impress the judges with some high-scoring tricks.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Erik Gunderson said it’s rare that his athletes get to compete at home.

"We had a slalom and a giant slalom race at the beginning of the season back in December, and now we have this one,” Gunderson said. “This is just our second time having an event here this season."

The coach said these events will be the first freestyle events of the season for his Alpine athletes. From 12:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Steamboat competitors will be joined by others from across the region for a rail jam at the base of Howelsen Hill.

On Sunday, the competition will move to Steamboat Ski Area for a halfpipe event with preliminary runs expected to begin at 10:30  a.m.

Gunderson said both events will provide an opportunity for the athletes to qualify for end-of-season events, but more importantly, it will be a chance to build on the results from last weekend in Breckenridge.

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Highlights from the event included first-place showings in Saturday's halfpipe by Rochelle Weinberg in the grommet girls division, Jake Suchowski in the youth men and Meredith Connor in youth women.

Other top Steamboat finishers included Elias Christian, who earned a seventh in the breaker boys division; Marty Boyd, who earned a fourth place in youth men; and Forrest Christian who finished fifth in youth men.

On Sunday, Steamboat athletes moved to the slopestyle event where Weinberg and Boyd both picked up first-place finishes in their divisions. Kai Jensen was 17th in the Menehune boys, Elias Christian was fourth in the breaker boys and Jackie Clemente was 16th. Forrest Christian was 10th in the youth men and Suchowski was 13th in that division.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.