Bumpers head to the Basin
ARAPAHOE BASIN – It might be too steep for D-spins at the Landon Sawyer Memorial mogul competition at Arapahoe Basin this weekend, but more than 100 of the top mogul skiers in Colorado will throw down their best runs on Slalom Slope.
“It’s definitely exciting to watch a contest on Slalom Slope,” said Team Summit freestyle coach John Dowling. “The pitch over the second half of the course is about 35 degrees, right in the area where the second air is.”
Team Summit skiers Justin Henceroth and Jenny Haywood won last weekend’s men’s and women’s Rocky Mountain Division mogul events at Aspen Highlands, and several other Team Summit skiers took top spots.
“We’ve got top regional skiers coming,” Dowling said. “This race is like a NorAm. It’s at its top level, but the field’s not as thick. These contests are going to qualify people for regional and U.S. qualifiers and eventually, national championships.”
Because of a lack of snow last year, the Landon Sawyer event – which is sponsored by the University of Colorado and was named in memory of a CU freestyle skier who passed away two seasons ago – the competition was held on lower International. This season, however, A-Basin officials say snow conditions are optimal on Slalom Slope, and Team Summit freestyle coaches have been working the last couple days to perfect the course.
“The course is looking really good,” said A-Basin mountain manager Alan Henceroth. “We’ve traditionally done the event on Slalom Slope. There’s a decent vertical drop, and it’s good and steep. This is the last event before JOs (Junior Olympics at Steamboat Springs) and divisionals at Winter Park.”
Dowling, whose proteges include David Babic, who recently earned his first World Cup podium spot, said his team has been working on some big airs.
“A bunch of guys are throwing 360s, and some are off-
axising,” he said. “Some guys are going inverted and doing rodeo back flips with a mute grab. The one thing is, with the landing on Slalom Slope, you have to be pretty exact. You’re going to have to hit it just right.”
The competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at A-Basin, with finals beginning around 1:15 p.m. on Slalom Slope.
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