Club moguls team finishes on strong note | SteamboatToday.com

Club moguls team finishes on strong note

Steamboat Springs skier Olivia Giaccio flies down Voo Doo run at Steamboat Ski Area on Friday, en route to a second-place finish in the women's moguls national championships. The result capped a big season for the 15-year old, in which she joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club after a move from Vail.

— The final major moguls event of the season, last week's U.S. Freestyle National Championships at Steamboat Ski Area, had its ups and down for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes.

The club was led at the top by second-place finishes from Olivia Giaccio and Jaelin Kauf and a third-place finish by Jeremy Cota. For all the club's skiers, however, the event capped a strong sprint to the finish of this winter's competitions.

Zach Rosa, Tyler Strnad and Maggie Ryan all earned the right to compete at nationals, though none were able to piece together strong runs in the moguls competition, split over Thursday and Friday. They all failed to finish their runs with falls on their way down the course.

They fared better in Sunday's dual moguls competition.

Ryan had a strong 19th-place finish. Rosa won his first matchup there and went on to finish 38th, overall, while Strnad was 50th.

That only came after other strong performances to finish the season.

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Competing at the Junior National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, Giaccio won the moguls event, while Ryan was third on the girls side.

"They skied great," Winter Sports Club moguls coach Mike Powell said. "It was pretty rainy and wet, and the course was short, really short, and not that difficult, so it made for fast times, and speed was critical."

On the boys side, Strnad was 10th, Landon Wendler 11th, Rosa 24th and Ben Hoeffer 43rd.

"Zach has been our best skier all year and was a little slow in his run, so he was disappointed by that," Powell said. "He still had a great season."

Strnad was sixth after the first run.

"That's as good as he could have possibly done," Powell said.

Powell also said Wendler's 11th place finish represented a big step.

"He's a freshman; to have him 11th in the country is a huge accomplishment," Powell said. "Ben, 43rd, he had a really good season and improved quite a bit as we went along.

"The guys had a great season, and this was the cherry on top."

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