TS women win twice at freestyle skiing divisionals
STEAMBOAT No surprise here. The Team Summit freestyle team basically ran away with the awards both team and individual at the Rocky Mountain Freestyle divisional championships last weekend at Steamboat.Team Summit women swept the podium at Saturdays singles moguls event, then had another of their own fill the top spot at Sundays duals event. The local club won four of the seven competitions this season (no other club won more than one) and garnered the Golden Buff Award, which is annually given to the team of the year, as determined by performance and spirit.Sarah Ruckriegle, who won Sundays dual moguls championship, also was awarded the Don Banghart Award, which recognizes the divisions overall Grand Prix Duals title winner. Not to be forgotten, Derk Slottow won Rocky Freestyles coveted Sportsman of the Year award.Last weekend, beginning with Saturdays competitions, J3 Mikaela Matthews won the event and was joined on the podium by fellow Team Summit skiers Cheryl Pearson and Whitney Henceroth. Matthews score (23.25) was a personal best, while Pearson threw the biggest airs of the day, according to TS coach John Dowling, and Henceroth landed her trademark backflip iron cross.Ruckriegle finished sixth, and Rebecca Miller took 10th to give Team Summit half of the top 10 women.On the mens side, TS ripper John Eaton came back from a layoff due to tendonitis to take seventh, followed by Justin Henceroth (11th), Brandon Denker (16th) and Riley Campbell (24th).Mike Degrandis finished third to claim a spot on the aerials podium, and Slottow finished fourth.Whitney Henceroth took second to Winter Parks Kelly Slater in the Junior Mogul Day competition. Matthews, Ruckriegle and Miller placed fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively.For the men, Brandon Denker was Summits top finisher in 11th, Riley Campbell took 13th and J4 Michael Degrandis was 17th and first in his age group. Eric Haywood finished 21st.Turning to duals, Ruckriegle continued her dominance in the exciting, head-to-head event on Sunday with a win over Vails Heidi Kloser. Becky Miller finished fifth.Justin Henceroth took third after losing to eventual mens winner Jimmy Discoe of Telluride. John Eaton pulled out of the competition in the round of eight due to hip tendonitis and thus finished eighth.Team Summit will travel to Park City, Utah, for the U.S. Junior National Championships with approximately 17 competitors in the disciplines of moguls, dual moguls, slopestyle, aerials and halfpipe from March 14-18.On March 23-26, 10 Team Summit athletes will go to the U.S. National Championships at Killington, Vt.
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