Discoe added last Sunday’s dual moguls win to his 2010 National Championship single moguls victory, giving this Ridgway-bred and Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club-trained athlete bragging rights as a two-time National Champ, with wins in both single and dual moguls.
“It was a great way to end the season, gaining that confidence going into next year,” Discoe said from his home in Ridgway this week, noting that the Nationals win felt especially sweet since his last few World Cup showings didn’t go as well as he had hoped. “To win on duals day definitely tapped off the season on a good note,” he said.
Discoe climbed onto the winner’s podium Sunday following a tight competition between the top mogul skiers in the country, including fellow Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club-trained skier Zak Watkins, whom he faced off against in the round of four. TSSC head freestyle coach and freestyle team director Caleb Martin said the dual was an exciting match-up of the two Telluride-trained teammates. Watkins actually beat Discoe across the finish line with a blazing fast run, but judges scored Discoe higher on turns, thus sending Discoe into the finals against Jeremy Cota (who had taken the silver in the single moguls) and Watkins into the consolation round against his longtime rival Bradley Wilson. Both Discoe and Watkins won their next duals, putting Discoe in first and Watkins in fourth.
The win solidified Discoe’s standing as one of the top mogul skiers in the country. His season-long results, which included three top ten results at World Cup events, re-qualified him for the World Cup tour again next winter.
“It was a solid rookie season,” said Martin, Discoe’s former coach, of the skier's season, which put Discoe ranked 19th in the world. “He’s just getting comfortable with this new level of competition, which takes some time, but he’ll no doubt bring new tricks and faster skiing to the World Cup next season.”
He’ll spend the next month at home in Ridgway, before resuming training with the U.S. Ski Team in Utah in May.
Other TSSC-trained skiers Wade Parkinson, Troy Tulley, Keaton McCargo, and Kealey Zaumseil also received invites to 2011 U.S. Nationals, confirming the team’s standing as one of the most competitive in the nation. On singles day, three Telluride skiers landed in the men’s top ten, including Discoe in fourth, Watkins in seventh, and Parkinson in tenth.
For the women, McCargo qualified in seventh, finishing 16th overall. Zaumseil, meanwhile, struggled with her backflip on singles day (it was the first time in competition she had used that trick), but came back in the duals competition to qualify in 12th place. Her first dual was against NorAm Grand Prix champ Casey Oakley, one of the sport’s strong up-and-comers, but young Zaumseil gave her a good fight, ultimately losing the dual to take 14th overall.
Competing at such a high level at such young ages (Zaumseil is 14, McCargo 15) gives these athletes invaluable experience, Martin said.
“It’s an incredible experience for these young girls to make it into the finals in a National Championship,” Martin said, adding; “I’m proud of the whole team in terms of progressing throughout the entire season, rising up with their best performances in March, when it really counts.”