SSWSC moguls skiers earn podium finishes in season opener
The freestyle moguls course on Steamboat Resort’s Voodoo trail was a doozy.
Steep and a little longer than most courses, it took out skier after skier during the singles competition Saturday, Jan. 8. However, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier Collin Hassel remained unyielding.
“I would say this course was really intimidating when I was younger, but now I’m pretty comfortable,” he said. “I just don’t let it get to me. I’ve crashed plenty of times before, but I just trust my skiing and trust myself.”
His lack of self doubt and talent earned Hassel third at the first Rocky Mountain Freestyle Competitive Series race of the season. On Sunday, Jan. 9, Hassel finished eighth in the doubles competition.
“He throws two really cool airs, and he’s a big kid. He’s on the taller side, so when he goes off those airs, it’s really impressive to see,” said SSWSC Interim Freestyle Program Director Anne Battelle. “He takes them really big. … It’s really impressive when he skis.”
Anyone throwing big airs and landing cleanly was impressive this weekend because Voodoo was more intense than usual. Thanks to Mother Nature and the feet of snow that fell over the past week or so, the moguls weren’t built until Monday.
Then more snow fell on the course. The jumps were built recently and aggressively, as some of the female athletes described.
Both exit or landing zones were taking out skiers, but most fell after the first jump.
“The first jump was big, and when the athletes were landing, they were making a big sliding turn so it kept getting steeper, and the first bump was getting farther and farther away,” Battelle said. “It was eating a lot of the athletes up and spitting them back out.”
Anabel Ayad was the top SSWSC female athlete, finishing third in the singles competition and second in doubles.
“Her competitive drive is pretty awesome. She has a good head for competition,” Battelle said. “She doesn’t like to get beat. She can put it on the line for a competition.”
Ella Walker was eighth in singles and sixth in doubles, while Jaime Maudson was fifth in singles and eighth in doubles.
In addition to the tough course, Mia Satkiewicz was facing a different type of intimidation.
Satkiewicz, 15, is in her first year competing at the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Competitive Series and was looking to complete her first-ever backflip in competition. Satkiewicz was one of three athletes attempting their first backflip in competition, and she finished 26th in the singles event.
“It’s a lot bigger than what I did last year, and it’s my first time flipping in competition, so I think I did pretty decent,” she said. “I know I can do a little better next time.”
While she was bubbly at the bottom of the course, at the top, Satkiewicz was all business.
“(She had her) super-competitive game face on in the gate. It was really cool to see,” Battelle said. “I haven’t ever been in the start with her before. She’s a freshman and she’s very, very intense. It was fun to see her really get in there.”
Saturday, Jan. 8
• Girls top 3 — 1. Evelyn Harris, Summit, 76.03. 2. Reese Chapdelaine, Vail, 75.6. 3. Anabel Ayad, Steamboat, 74.8.
• Other Steamboat finishers — 5. Jaime Maudson 70.5. 8. Ella Walker 67.41. 12. Isabel Powell 63.82. 23. Zoe Schaab 56.23. 26. Mia Satkiewicz 53.16. 28. Megan Faherty 50.68. 31. Leah Sullivan 42.17. 35. Abby McLarnon 25.92.
• Boys top 3 — 1. Jackson Harvey, Winter Park, 89.67. 2. Asher Michel, Winter Park, 85.23. 3. Collin Hassel 83.62.
• Other Steamboat finishers — 9. Xander Tatar-Brown 79.95. 36. Liam Siefken 57.75.
Sunday, Jan. 9
• Girls top 8 — 1. Reese Chapdelaine. 2. Anabel Ayad. 3. Cristina Morelli. 4. Evelyn Harris. 5. Kaiya Torres. 6. Ella Walker. 7. Tenley Leonard. 8. Jaime Maudson.
• Boys top 8 — 1. Garrett Marley. 2. Jackson Harvey. 3. Peyton Billeisen. 4. Asher Michel. 5. Jiah Cohen. 6. Ben Thrush. 7. Drew Lukowski. 8. Collin Hassel.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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