Finals set for men’s moguls national championship | SteamboatToday.com

Finals set for men’s moguls national championship

Austin Colbert

Steamboat Springs skier Jeremy Cota spins through a cork 720 during Thursday's men's moguls qualification round at the U.S. Freestyle Skiing Championships at Steamboat Ski Area. Cota qualified seventh, making the cut. Thomas Rowley was first. The top 16 skiers advanced to Friday's finals.

— More than 70 men competed in Thursday's mogul qualifying round of the U.S. Freestyle Skiing National Championships at Steamboat Ski Area, with only the top 16 making it to Friday's finals.

Unfortunately for Michigan native Peter Duesing, he wasn't among those 16. Not that he was expected to be. At 30-years old, Duesing stands out, especially compared to the numerous teenagers fighting for the same spots.

A lifelong skier, Duesing only started competing five years ago, which even then would have made him old for a rookie.

"I just knew I'd regret it if I didn't try it," he said. "I'm just trying to become the best I can. (I'll) keep doing it until I get the best that I can or get to a point something stops me."

There was never a freestyle program available to Duesing growing up in the Midwest, which is the reason it took him so long to start competing in the sport. Despite his age, he has no desire to call it quits anytime soon.

His qualifying round was far from what he was hoping for — his score of 47.81 placed him in 48th. Still, it was something he feels he can learn from.

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"I wasn't too happy with it," Duesing said of his lone qualifying run on Voo Doo, site of this weekend's championships. "There are a lot of things I can improve on. I just need time on the mountain to train."

While the dream of a national championship died for Duesing, it lived on for 16 others.

Thomas Rowley, the defending dual moguls national champion — he was third in moguls last year — qualified first with a score of 85.87.

Bryon Wilson was second with 85.08, and Joseph Discoe was third with 84.77. Rounding out the top five were Bryan Zemba (84.36) and Dylan Walcyzk (84.23).

"Just tried to keep the skiing tight and clean and fast throughout the whole thing, and it worked out," Rowley said.

Discoe, a three-time national champion, is hoping to end his winter with a bit of redemption after losing his spot on the U.S. Ski Team at the end of last season before re-qualifying this year. He ranks 25th in the World Cup standings, fifth among U.S. men, and feels he is back where he needs to be to make a bid at a fourth national title and his first since 2013.

"I'm feeling really good. The course is pretty quick, and the bumps are pretty deep, but it's a good challenge for everyone here," Discoe said. "It's been, all in all, a good year for me. I did what I needed to get back to where I was."

The remainder of the top 10 included Bradley Wilson, Steamboat Springs skier Jeremy Cota, Bruce Perry, Joel Hedrick and Robert Carroll.

"I think my chances are good," Perry said. "I'm in the eighth spot, but I'm definitely going to have to push it a little more in my finals. Hopefully, I'll end up on that podium."

Perry last competed in nationals four years ago, placing seventh as a 16-year-old. Junior World Championships have kept him from competing in the event the past few seasons.

Rounding out the qualifying 16 for Friday's mogul finals are Emerson Smith, Trevor Semmens, Troy Tully, Abe Studler, Jordan Strande and Hunter Bailey.

Friday's action gets underway at 10:15 a.m. with the women's mogul qualifications, followed by the women's mogul finals at 1 p.m.

The men's mogul finals begin at 1:30 p.m., with awards set for 4 p.m. at Gondola Square.

"I'm set up pretty well," Discoe said. "I just have to fix a couple things, hit my jumps a little bigger and cleaner and go a little bit faster tomorrow, and that should hopefully do it."

The national championships will continue Saturday and Sunday, as well, with the men's and women's aerial and dual mogul competitions.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

Men’s moguls finalists

1 Thomas Rowley 85.87

2 Bryon Wilson 85.08

3 Joseph Discoe 84.77

4 Bryan Zemba 84.36

5 Dylan Walczyk 84.23

6 Bradley Wilson 84.19

7 Jeremy Cota 83.80

8 Bruce Perry 83.75

9 Joel Hedrick 83.69

10 Robert Carroll 81.24

11 Emerson Smith 80.35

12 Trevor Semmens 78.41

13 Troy Tully 78.35

14 Abe Studler 77.78

15 Jordan Strande 77.70

16 Hunter Bailey 77.36

Full results

U.S. Freestyle Skiing National Championships schedule

Friday

10:15 a.m. — Women’s moguls qualifications

1 p.m. — Women’s moguls finals

1:30 p.m. — Men’s moguls finals

Saturday

11 a.m. — Men’s and women’s aerials qualifications

12:15 p.m. — Men’s and women’s aerials finals 1

1:25 p.m. — Men’s and women’s aerials finals 2

Sunday

10:40 a.m. — Men’s and women’s dual moguls competition