Sports briefs for Feb. 27 |

Sports briefs for Feb. 27

Dave Shively

Local snowboarders compete in Revolution Tour

— The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s top junior freestyle snowboarders had their fill of big crashes and top finishes at the next-to-last Chevy Revolution Tour event of the winter.

Tyler Anderson’s second-place halfpipe run – which SSWSC pro-am freestyle coach Spencer Tamblyn said featured a 13-foot method air into back-to-back 900s – was the highlight of the competition, which took place Friday through Sunday in Mount Hood Meadows, Ore.

Blake Eddington also advanced to the 12-man halfpipe finals but couldn’t nail the technical cab 1080 that Tamblyn said was “the cornerstone of his finals run.” Eddington finished in 10th.

Ariel Tredway had a tough run warming up for the halfpipe, suffering a minor break in her left arm. Despite the setback, Tredway still rode in the competition and just narrowly missed qualifying for finals.

“That was a real test of willpower and nerve,” Tamblyn said.

In snowboardcross, Will Peddie qualified for the elimination bracket and bounced back from a rough crash of his own. Cleve Johnson proved why he earned his spot to the FIS Junior Snowboarding World Championships, taking fifth place in the event.

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Demong closes gap to cup

The U.S. Ski Team’s Bill Demong came from behind Sunday, moving up 18 places after the jump to finish third in a World Cup Nordic combined sprint in Zakopane, Poland. Demong remains second in the World Cup standings and is closing the gap on leader Ronny Ackermann, who was 11th.

Austria’s Bernhard Gruber won after finishing second in jumping and hanging on for a 12-second victory against Switzerland’s Tommy Schmid. Demong, who led the cross-country race, was another second back in third.

Austria’s David Zauner led the jumping by soaring 132 meters, with teammate Gruber second with the same distance. Demong was 21st with a jump of 120.5, putting him 1:07 back at the start of the 7.5-km cross country.

Demong moved quickly through the pack in the cross-country sprint, moving into second behind Gruber by the 5-km mark before Schmid bumped him to third near the finish.

Steamboat Springs’ Johnny Spillane finished 40th.

Demong remains second on the World Cup with 841 points, to 1,040 for Ackermann of Germany with four events remaining. The circuit now heads to Lahti, Finland, for a pair of events Friday and Saturday.

Jewell fifth at Cup event

Steamboat’s Tyler Jewell led U.S. riders and finished fifth at a World Cup parallel giant slalom Sunday in Gujo-Gifu, Japan.

Jewell’s finish puts him in 13th place in the World Cup parallel giant slalom standings.

Jasey Jay Anderson of Canada won the men’s competition followed by Roland Fischnaller of Italy in second and Matthew Morison of Canada in third. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club rider Vic Wild finished 18th, and Steamboat’s Justin Reiter finished 38th.

Michelle Gorgone of Boston was the top American woman in 18th. World Cup parallel giant slalom points leader Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands won the women’s races. Julia Dujmovits of Austria was second, and Ekaterina Tudigescheva of Russia was third. Steamboat’s Erica Mueller finished 41st.

World Cup snowboarding now moves on to Lake Placid, N.Y., with the Visa U.S. Snowboarding Cup with snowboardcross Saturday, a snowboardcross team event Sunday and parallel giant slalom Monday.

Locals dominate Telluride

At Sunday’s USSA Jim Drew Memorial/Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup slalom race in Telluride, the No. 2 and No. 3 podium spots belonged to Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers Jennifer Allen and Ann West, respectively. Erika Ghent, from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, posted her fourth win in as many days, taking home the gold in the event.

For the men, SSWSC’s Nicholaus Kullas clinched first place. Crested Butte Academy’s Max Lamb took second, and third went to Vail’s Bryan Shpall.

The next stop on the Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Tour is Eldora on March 8 and 9, where the men and women will have a giant slalom and slalom race.

Block wins Rally America

Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block earned a dominant victory at the Rally in the 100-Acre Wood on Sunday, his third consecutive win at the central Missouri event.

Block’s Subaru Rally Team USA teammate Travis Pastrana and new co-driver Derek Ringer finished second, while two-time Rally America PGT class champion Matthew Johnson finished third to earn his first podium finish in an open class car.

“Once we figured out how much grip we had, it was just a matter of figuring out how to go fast on that grip,” said Block, who assumed the Rally America National Championship points lead with his performance at 100-Acre Wood.

The Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team duo of Tanner Foust and co-driver Chrissie Beavis were in third place when mechanical trouble knocked them out on Day 2, while their teammates Andrew Pinker and co-driver Robbie Durant crashed on the penultimate stage and failed to finish.

The DNF bumped Foust down in the overall standings to a tie for seventh place.

“Unfortunately, in rally, the devil’s in the details, and a $1.50 piece of hardware – a throttle cable – snapped and ended our rally. We were chasing down the setup and felt that we had just started to find some traction and some speed when the cable went,” said Foust, a former Steamboat Springs resident racing for the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team.

The nine-event 2008 Rally America National Championship Series season continues with the Olympus Rally on April 19 and 20 in Olympia, Wash.

Chix extinguish Flames

Clutch situations are familiar territory for the Chix with Stix hockey team.

The Chix pulled off two come-from-behind victories this weekend in Fort Collins, both ending 3-2. The wins put them at 10-3-2 overall and 8-2-2 in their division with five games left in the season.

“This is the best record we’ve ever had,” assistant captain Cathy Wiedemer said. “We have a lot to be optimistic about. Our roster is as phat as it’s ever been.”

The Chix put points on the board first Saturday night when defenseman Jodi Lightfoot set up her defensive partner, Carly Helm, who one-timed it to score with 11:33 left in the first period.

A Flames high-sticking penalty gave the Chix a one-player advantage with 1:46 left in the game. Thirty seconds into the penalty, Helm put a shot on net and Kaiser made the initial save, but winger Riley Polumbus buried the rebound in the back of the net for the win.

Sunday morning, the Chix were down, 2-0, with 15 seconds left on the clock in the first period when Sue Heineke found Wiedemer, who found Helm, taking it in for the score with just eight seconds left on the clock.

The Chix tied it up late in the second period when center Melanie Nimtz netted a goal off an assist from Lisa Lorenz. Lorenz doubled her points in the third period when she set up an open Sarah Fox, who took it in for the winning goal.

Chix with Stix hope to keep up the momentum when they face the Angry Beavers on Friday night at home. This game marks the first meeting between the two teams and could prove significant for playoff standing.

With a full, healthy roster and a six-game winning streak, the Chix are looking forward to their last home games of the season. Friday’s 9 p.m. game is Fan and Sponsor Appreciation Night. The two teams will play a second game Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

– Courtesy Riley Polumbus