Team Summit freestylers dominate at home
KEYSTONE – Talk about defending the home turf.Team Summit freestyle skiers won three of the four mogul competitions at the Keystone Classic last weekend, taking top honors in both women’s events and winning one of the two men’s contests.The stellar showing came on a hard-packed, ultrasteep course set up on the final pitch of the resort’s daunting Go Devil trail.Cheryl Pearson and Jordan Poyfair each won a women’s competition, the 23-year-old Pearson on Saturday and 15-year-old Poyfair on Sunday. Team Summit veteran John Eaton won the men’s event on Saturday.According to TS coach Jonah Drescher, the local kids won by proving they could handle anything the two days of adverse conditions threw at them.”That course definitely chewed some people up,” Drescher said. “It was a skiers’ course.”The home-snow advantage was doubly helpful because the kids, with the help of coaches Alex Wilson and Chris Carson, took nearly two weeks to build the bumps and jumps themselves.”They knew it inside out,” said Drescher.Still, they had to beat out plenty of other talented Rocky Mountain Division skiers. More than 80 competitors came out for the event, which was the RMD’s second of the season.As evidenced by their two wins in two days, Team Summit’s girls led the way, remarkably filling four of the top six spots both days. Along with Pearson’s win on Saturday – which came in her first competition of the year since undergoing full knee reconstruction a season ago – J1 Mallory Cleveland took third, J3 Mikaela Matthews was fourth and J2 Paige Eggebrecht was sixth. Caitlin Shay joined the fun in 12th place.On Sunday, Pearson took second to Poyfair, followed by Cleveland in fourth and Whitney Henceroth in sixth. Eggebrecht (ninth), Matthews (11th) and Rebecca Miller (12th) also fared well.Matthews took second and third in a pair of slopestyle events Monday, as well.”With our girls we have a strong shot at putting two or three in the top five every time out,” Drescher said. “We’re a girl team these days.”This is much more a factor of the recent female dominance than a dropoff on the part of Team Summit’s men, however. In addition to Eaton’s win, J2 Riley Campbell kicked off his season at home with a 12th-place finish on Saturday and a ninth-place showing on Sunday. Mike Mead took fourth on Sunday, and Eaton followed up his win with a sixth-place performance.Speaking of Eaton, one of the division’s most talented men’s skiers, Drescher said, “He started out the year the way we wanted him to, and the way we expected him to.”In addition to the weekend’s impressive contest results, Team Summit’s freestylers also made headlines recently with seven skiers qualifying for the NorAm tour.Kris Pepe, Mead, Poyfair, Cleveland, Henceroth, Heather McPhie and Sarah Ruckriegle all made the cut, and, Drescher said, the group has already experienced quite a bit of success in their limited time on tour.The freestylers return to competition Jan. 6-9 in Steamboat.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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