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Finding her comfort zone

Gmeiner earns title with ease in first event of 2003 Junior Olympic Championships

— With its 18-foot-high walls and unequalled length, most area riders can find plenty of words to describe the Mavericks Superpipe at the Steamboat Ski Area.

Challenging, intimidating and scary are a few, but on Wednesday, local freeskier Gina Gmeiner’s performance entertained thoughts of a different kind of word.

Comfortable.



During her two-run assault, she made skiing the longest pipe in North America look like slipping into your favorite pair of Levi’s, putting on an old pair of shoes or collapsing into a La Z-Boy recliner.

“It was pretty good,” Gmeiner said. “It got a little icy as the day went on, but otherwise it was the best pipe this competition has ever been held in.”



Gmeiner was rewarded with 58.4 points on her best-of-two runs, earning the title in the first event of the 2003 Junior Olympic Championships in Steamboat Springs.

McKenzy Golding was second at 44.6 and Danielle Chamberlain was third in the field of 21 women with a score of 43.6.

Brent Abrams netted 89 points on his second run of the day to top the men’s field of 120 skiers. David Digravio was second with 85.2 points and Sean Field finished in third with a score of 80.2.

Steamboat’s Rory Kriz was the top local finisher in seventh place and teammate Bart Robinson came in 17th.

“Both of our riders had great runs,” Steamboat coach Aaryn Briggs said. “Bart would have liked to have placed a little higher, but he had a great run anyway. It was a good day for the club.”

The second event of the Junior Olympics Championships will take place today, with the mogul skiers getting their shot at a title on Voo Doo. The first run is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Editor’s note: All results are unofficial until Sunday’s awards banquet.


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