Event: Freestyle Moguls & Dual Moguls
Where: Steamboat Springs
What: Rocky Mountain Freestyle Competitive Series
Field: 72 Men & 39 women
Who: Telluride Freestyle Team; Ages 13 & up from across colorado, including Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Team Breckenridge, Team Summit, Winter Park & Australian Development Team.
Zak Watkins: Moguls - 1st Overall, 1st Senior Divison Dual Moguls: 9th
Wade Parkinson: Moguls - 11th Overall, 7th Senior / Dual Moguls: 33rd
Nicholas Jones: Moguls - 22nd Overall, 5th M2 Dual Moguls: 33rd
Ryan Parkinson: Moguls - 27th Overall, 8th M2 Dual Moguls: 33rd
Bridger Johnson: Moguls - 41st Overall, 15th M2 Dual Moguls: DNS
Morgan Osborne: Moguls - 48th Overall, 6th M3 Dual Moguls: 65th
Keaton McCargo: Moguls - 6th Overall, 1st F3 Dual Moguls: 9th
Lindsey Cannon: Moguls - DNS Dual Moguls: 6th
Kealey Zaumseil: Moguls - 30th Overall, 13th F3 Dual Moguls: 17th
It was a beautiful weekend for competition up in Steamboat, blue bird skies, and a great course. This was the season opener of the Rocky Tour. The U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup was held on the same course two weeks ago, so it was a great opportunity for the athletes to ski a World Cup caliber course.
Freestyle Moguls is a judged event where turning technique makes up %50 of the score, two jumps in the mogul course make up %25, while time is the remaining %25 of the total score. At this level, each skier gets two runs, the higher of which is used as the final score. A random draw dictates 1st run order, while the second run is seeded according to the first run results. 16th place to 1st place runs first, and then the 17th & up finishers run to the last place finisher of the first run. Dual moguls is head to head competition where the top 16 athletes are seeded and the rest of the competitors randomly paired. The same scoring criteria is used, the winner of each dual moves on to the next round, while the loser goes home. Once the field is eliminated down to the round of 8, losers brackets are in place to determine 3rd & 4th, and 5th-8th.
Zak Watkins, fresh off two victories at the U.S. Selection events earlier in December, continued his current hot streak, winning his third consecutive event. "Zak is skiing with tremendous confidence right now, his technique has improved dramatically the past two months thanks to a better work ethic in training, and he is skiing at a speed right now that the competition is having a tough time keeping up with." caleb martin Seeded fourth in the dual mogul competition, Zak was a clear favorite however he overshot his landing in the round of 16, after executing his Back Full (back flip with single 360twist) on the top jump.
Nicholas Jones had personnel best performances in all four runs he skied this weekend, highlighted by his new bottom jump the Lincoln Loop. “Nicki certainly turned some heads this weekend. Though he narrowly lost his second dual mogul run against a senior competitor, Steamboat’s Bo Randolph, he skied a fast aggressive run with two great jumps.”
It was a disapointing weekend for Wade Parkinson as he came into the event as one of the favorites but made some costly mistakes with his “D-Spin” (Inverted 720 with iron cross) off the bottom air. Younger brother Ryan unluckily lost a ski in his first run, which seeded him at the end of the pack for the second run, but managed to put down a clean second run with a 360 and a backflip off the jumps, despite the drastically more difficult course in the fading light at the end of the day.
Kealey Zaumseil and Morgan Osborne, last season’s Rocky Mountain Development Series( Ages 12 & under) State Champions, kicked off their Competitive Series careers with strong performances. Bridger Johnson put together a fantastic second run on the first day, demonstrating some excellent turns, but unfortunately was overcome with sickness and didn’t compete in the Duals. Lindsey Cannon only competed in the dual mogul competition as she failed to register in time for the single moguls. (events are capped at the first 110 competitors to sign up) Lindsey was a bit rusty this weekend as she was sick over the holidays and didn’t practice for two weeks.
Keaton McCargo led the women’s charge earning personnel best scores in both her single mogul runs on Saturday. “Keaton is one of the best turners in the business, at just 14 years old, it is really impressive to watch her ski as fast as the top girls in the Rocky Mountain Division.” caleb Keaton just missed the round of 8 in dual moguls, winning her first two duals handidly, but losing to Winter Park’s Alyssa Lawson in the round of 16.
U.S. Ski Team member Jimmy Discoe continues his quest for an Olympic Birth this Thursday and Saturday at the World Cup held in Deer Valley, Utah while the Championship Mogul Team will travel to Aspen for three more Rocky Mtn. events this weekend.