Steamboat freestyle skiers earn NorAm starts |

Steamboat freestyle skiers earn NorAm starts

— It wasn’t the start Erik Skinner was hoping for.

But following last week’s U.S. Freestyle Selections in Park City, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s freestyle program director is hoping his team can find new motivation for the remainder of the season.

“I’m really happy for our athletes that earned NorAm starts, and I hope the ones who missed the cut will look at this as a challenge for the future,” Skinner said.

Skinner had hoped to qualify more skiers for this year’s NorAm Tour. But following last week’s events only a few of the team’s top skiers will get the chance.

Those skiers include Eliza Outtrim and Caterina Mader. The skiers earned singles and duals starts for upcoming Nor-Am competitions in Canada and the United States. Erica Damon is also in a good position. She secured starting positions for the American events and all of the dual events. But she is on the bubble to compete in singles at Canadian events.

“I think she is going to get a spot without any problems,” Skinner said. “I know that there will be a few skiers who will not be competing in Canada.”

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On the men’s side, Abe Maynard earned a singles start for all of the NorAm events. Maynard didn’t ski in enough dual events last year to compete in duals at the selection events. So he is only qualified for singles.

Bartley Damon is qualified for the American singles events and all of the duals. However, Skinner said he is a long shot to get a start for the singles in the Canadian events. Jamie McDonald and Kevin Hanian also qualified to ski in the dual events.

Steamboat will be represented by a couple of U.S. Ski Team members this winter, but their NorAm competitions could be cut short if they get a chance to move up to World Cup.

Emiko Torito looked strong at the selection events along with Michael Morse. Both of those skiers have NorAm starts, but will be looking to move up the ladder this winter. Eliza Outtrim also could move up with a few top finishes early this season.

The selection events, which included aerials, single and dual moguls, are used to seed skiers for NorAm and World Cup events later this season. Skiers doing well in the events increase their chances of top NorAm finishes and possible World Cup starts.

However, Skinner was quick to point out that a poor showing at selections isn’t the end of the road for young skiers. Those skiers will need to perform well in the Rocky Mountain Division meets so that they can earn another shot at selections next season.

The NorAm tour will resume Jan 22 to 28 with moguls, duals and aerials in Quebec.

Remaining NorAm schedule

Jan. 22-28: Mont Gabriel, Quebec, Canada (M, A, DM)

Jan. 29-Feb.4: Beaver Valley, Ontario, Canada (M, DM)

Feb. 5-11: Tamarack, Idaho (M, DM, HP)

Feb. 7-10: Park City, Utah (A, A)

Feb. 12-18: Snowbowl, Mont. (M, A, DM)