Student skiers fly high in aerial event |

Student skiers fly high in aerial event

Steamboat Springs men take 3 of 4 top spots in freestyle event Saturday

— In his first competition since breaking his ankle last month, Steamboat Springs’ Broc Sheue captured first place in the upright aerial competition Saturday at Mount Werner.

Sheue, who moved to Steamboat from Sun Valley last fall, said he did not really have a home-course advantage competing in the one of two Rocky Mountain Freestyle events hosted by Steamboat this year.

“I’m new here, so many of the names I just didn’t know. I really just tried my best,” Sheue said.

The Lowell Whiteman student took first place with a combined score of 129.27. On his first jump, Sheue had a solid landing on a 360 multi-grab helicopter that gave him a score of 26.25. He followed it up on his second jump where a 720 iron cross earned him a score of 28.20.

“I wasn’t planning on a 720, I was hitting it (in the practice jumps) then did it,” Sheue said.

Steamboat took three of the top four places in Saturday’s event. With a combined score of 129.27, Steamboat’s Jarrett Arguelles took second with jumps of a 360 iron cross spread and another 360 iron cross spread.

Arguelles, who came from Telluride to train in Steamboat, said he used Saturday’s aerial competition to work on his mogul technique.

“Aerials are not my main event, the single moguls are. I came in here to have fun and get some points in aerials,” Arguelles said.

With a recently broken thumb and late arrival, Guy Nickerson of the University of Colorado was not sure if he was going to compete in Steamboat, a favorite place to compete.

“I showed up late, had three practice jumps and everything felt good, so I decided to compete,” he said.

With a solid landing on his first jump of a 180 iron cross to a 180 spread and a second jump of a 180 iron cross to a 90 zudnik to a 90 spread, Nickerson earned a third place in the competition. His combined score was 118.62.

Steamboat’s Tommy Halvorson took a fourth place with a combined score of 118.50. After a fall on a 720 jump during the practice round, Halvorson said he decided not to do a 720 in Saturday’s competition.

“(Today) I did easy tricks really well,” Halvorson said. “I felt more comfortable with the 360. I jumped a 720 (during practice) and almost killed myself, my confidence was broken.”

For the girls, Aspen’s Brittany Biebl took a first place with combined score of 95.34 off a first jump of two spread eagles and a second jump of one spread eagle. Winter Park’s Melissa Mooney took second and Steamboat’s top finisher was Maryann Skraba, who took eighth place with a combined score of 85.06.

The Rocky Mountain Freestyle events continued Saturday night with a halfpipe competition at Howelsen Hill and continue today with a dual moguls event on Mount Werner’s Voo Doo run starting at 10 a.m.

In Friday’s open mogul competition at Voo Doo, Steamboat skiers also fared well with Chris Pusey taking first, Jordan Chiovarelli taking third and Logan Belz taking fifth. For the women, Gina Gmeiner took a third and Skraba took fourth.

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