Skiers hope to keep momentum up

Freestylers headed into final stretch of season

— With the Rocky Mountain Divisional championships behind them, the members of the Steamboat Springs freestyle team are hoping to carry some of the momentum of a successful week into an important end-of-season stretch.

About 20 local skiers will travel to the World Junior, Junior Olympic or National Qualifying events which will be held in the next two weeks around the world.

"Last week was great," Steamboat coach Bobby Aldighieri said. "But it's not a secret that most of our elite skiers are really focused on this week."

Three skiers, Gina Gmeiner, Travis Mayer and Emiko Torito are off the Czech Republic and the World Junior Championships this week.

Six other skiers, including Kyle Ewing, Patty Hanly, Nick Bucci, Luke Belz and Charlie MacArthur will travel to Big Mountain, Mont., for the Junior Olympic Championships March 8-11.

Steamboat's Carly Gmeiner, Erica Damon, Jordan Chiovarelli, Logan Belz, Kyle Scoby, Jarrett Arguelles and Chris Pusey will be attempting to make the national cut at several qualifying events in Killington, Vt., March 13-14.

The skiers are hoping to join former Steamboat teammates Mayer and Torito at the U.S. Nationals in Waterville Valley, N.H., March 16. Torito and Mayer are both members of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and graduates of the Lowell-Whiteman School.

Several Steamboat Springs skiers capped of an impressive showing at the RMD championships by sweeping the standings on the final day of the Rocky Mountain Division Freestyle Championships at the Steamboat Ski Area on Saturday.

"It was an awesome day for Steamboat," Aldighieri said. "In fact it was an awesome week."

Emily Heller topped Team Summit's Katherine Lynch to win the women's dual moguls. Chris Pusey also topped a Breckenridge skier in the finals. He topped Team Summit's Andy Musser in the head-to-head battle.

The Winter Sports Club took the top spot in all six of the mogul events held last week and also placed well in the upright aerials.

Other top Steamboat finishes in Saturday's Rocky Mountain Division finale included Carly Gmeiner on the women's side in fourth place. Damon and Gina Gmeiner tied for fifth.

Steamboat's Scoby was fourth for the men while Ewing and Bucci tied for ninth.

We are very fortunate to have the base of athletes that we do and that's why we have such solid results," Aldighieri said.

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