Weather steals the show
Men's Junior Olympic slopestyle event cut short by storm
Steamboat Springs — Thursday’s weather was the clear-cut winner in the 2007 Chevrolet Freestyle Junior Olympic Championships slopestyle event at the Steamboat Ski Area.
Heavy snow hampered skiers in the men’s and women’s events. The snow slowed the speed at which the competitors could launch off the jumps, making it difficult to get good air on the course’s kickers. The weather cleared briefly for the second run, but a fast-moving storm that included lightning and thunder brought a quick end to the men’s second run with 10 skiers left to go. Event officials decided to base results on the skiers’ first runs only.
“I just went out there and did my best,” Steamboat Springs’ Tony Gallina said. “It was really crappy conditions, honestly. It really kind of sketched me out for the second run. It was intimidating, but I’m fairly happy with it.”
A couple of bobbles by Gallina kept him out of the top 20 in Thursday’s event.
The top Steamboat finisher was Chapman Geer, who skied to 15th place in the final results. Conor Garrecht-Connelly was 25th, Gallina was 40th, Adrian Pougiales placed 41st, and Will Berman was 43rd.
The shortened competition was especially painful for Garrecht-Connelly, whose best run was his second one – which he finished right before the storm rolled through.
“On my first run, I knuckled every jump because I didn’t have enough speed,” he said. “The second run was a lot better. My rodeo was a lot smoother and things went a lot better.”
Carrabussett Valley skier Evan Swartz topped the field with 84.2 points. Aspen’s Kelly Selby finished second with 83.7 points, and New Hampshire skier Hans Gardner finished third with 81.8 points.
Katie Dill won the women’s event with 68.6 points. She was followed by Michelle Galvin from the White Cap Freestyle Team with 66.3 points, and Mount Snow skier Devin Logan with 58.1 points.
The girl’s field got both runs in before the weather problems.
All the skiers will hope for better weather today when the Junior Olympic Championships move to the Voo Doo ski trail for the men’s and women’s moguls event.
The first run is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., and the event is expected to last most of the day.
– To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209
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Emma Harmon, of Durango, is pictured with journals she has kept about her mental health challenges. She said Axis Health System would not help her when in crisis. “The way things seem to work there, you’d actually have to have killed yourself before they’d meet with you.” | Jerry McBride/Durango Herald