Club riders again dominate at Howelsen
Converse Fields led the way for another big day for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine snowboarders Saturday, winning the men’s division of the parallal slalom event at Howelsen Hill.
He stood atop a Steamboat-filled podium. He beat teammate Steven MacCutcheon in the finals while AJ Muss, the winners of the first three Race to the Cup events this season, finished third on Saturday.
“We have some amazing racers on the team right now,” Winter Sports Club Snowboard Director Tori Koski said.
On the women’s side, Maggie Carrigan pulled off a feat just as sweet. She capped a championship sweep of the two-event weekend, flying down Howelsen for the victory Saturday a day after she did the same Friday.
She flirted with danger in the finals and had to make up time on a slip in her last run. She did it well enough, edging out Abby Van Groningen for the win.
“It was incredible,” Koski said. “Yesterday her race was so close, and today she had to catch up. She was just cranking through the last part of the course and won. It was incredible riding at the bottom.”
Abby Champagne finished third and Steamboat rider Nina Argento was fourth.
For Fields, the win was a wonderful payoff.
He’s been racing with the Winter Sports Club for five seasons. He’s logged World Cup races in that span and had plenty of strong finishes at the Nor-Am Race to the Cup level.
Saturday marked his first victory, though.
He was beaming Saturday as he climbed to the top of the podium, his 1-year old daughter Adeline strapped in a baby carrier on his chest.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’ve been feeling like I’m ready for this for awhile. It just hasn’t been happening, but finally things came together.
“I’ve never won a Nor-Am. I’ve been second at races, and third. I was a little more on than I have been, with my movement focusing on heading down the hill.”
Muss was third and Bo-Gun Choi was fourth.
For many of the racers, the next stop is Canada as they continue on the Nor-Am circuit.
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Routt County will give the town of Hayden $35,000 to support construction on the Hayden Center, which has an overall price tag of $6.5 million to $7 million.