Powerhouse Team Summit freestyle girls tops at JOs | SummitDaily.com

Powerhouse Team Summit freestyle girls tops at JOs

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news
Special to the Daily The Team Summit group that took part in the Chevy Freestyle Junior Olympics in Park City, Utah, is pictured here. Back row, left to right: coach Chris Carson, Becky Miller, Mallory Cleveland, Sarah Ruckriegle, coach Jonah Drescher, Riley Campbell, Paige Eggebrecht, Eric Haywood and Louis Cirillo. Front row: Whitney Henceroth, Caitlin Shay, Mikaela Matthews, Jordan Poyfair and Scott McDonald.

PARK CITY, Utah – Ski like a girl? Easier said than done thanks to the recent success of Team Summit’s female freestylers.After storming through the Rocky Mountain Division schedule this year, the local bumpers and jumpers added a few more feathers to their helmets last weekend at the Chevy Freestyle Junior Olympics in Park City, Utah. Led by individual stars Jordan Poyfair and Whitney Henceroth, Team Summit’s girls shined throughout the event, demonstrating depth to be proud of along the way.Poyfair won the girls single moguls competition (one skier on course at a time), while Henceroth finished an impressive third in the duals (two skiers competing head to head).

As a whole, despite the fact that virtually every freestyle team in the nation sent athletes to compete – more than 30 teams in all – Team Summit’s girls filled nearly 25 percent of the finals slots in singles, and about 40 percent in duals.”To put that many girls in those finals is (incredible),” said coach Jonah Drescher, who accompanied the 13 Team Summit athletes (eight girls) to Utah along with Chris Carson. “Honestly, this didn’t surprise me. We are such a powerful girls team right now … I knew our girls team at least had potential for success, but then they went out and stepped up to the plate.”In addition to Poyfair’s win in singles, Sarah Ruckriegle finished 12th, Mallory Cleveland skied to 17th and 14-year-old Mikaela Matthews took 19th in the 68-skier field.Following Henceroth in duals were fellow top-10 finishers Ruckriegle (fifth place) and Matthews (sixth). In the men’s mogul events, Scott McDonald’s 14th-place showing in singles was the highlight. “With the depth of men’s mogul skiing right now, that was an unbelievable accomplishment,” Drescher said. “There’s probably 25 men out there that have a shot at the national team over the next three or four years.”

Not surprisingly, the Team Summit girls also fared well in aerials. Poyfair led the team in eighth place, and was joined in the top 20 by Matthews (14th), Becky Miller (16th) and Caitlin Shay (18th).The Junior Olympics wrapped up this season’s schedule for a number of the athletes, but eight are competing in nationals: newly annointed U.S. Ski Team member Heather McPhie, Mallory Cleveland, Mike Mead, Kris Pepe, Cheryl Pearson, Poyfair, Henceroth, Ruckriegle and Matthews.The team’s first competition of the 2005-2006 Rocky Mountain Freestyle season will be the Landon Sawyer CU Bump Bash, set for April 9-10 at Arapahoe Basin.Perry Jr. wins devo finale

On the devo front, Team Summit’s Bruce Perry Jr. put together one of his best runs of the year to win the season finale last weekend, the Southwestern Junior Mogul Championships in Durango.”Bruce was stomping his feet in the gate like a race horse before his winning run,” said his dad, who traveled with him to Durango.The only other Team Summit finisher was Kenny Savage, in ninth.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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