SSWSC snowboarders pick up podium finishes at Howelsen Hill (with video)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The conditions were weird at Howelsen Hill Ski Area all weekend. Sure, it was snowing more often than not, but the warm weather made for thick and heavy precipitation and sticky slopes.
Nevertheless, the Race for the Cup parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom races persisted at Howelsen Hill this weekend.
Rolling with the punches and the weather, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarder Will Taylor, 19, was the winner Saturday.
“It’s been dumping, so there’s a lot of snow, but it’s all really moist and heavy,” Taylor said. “We’ve been doing a pretty good job of getting the actual race line in good as best as you can do, getting all the chunky stuff pushed out to the side.”
Taylor was the only Steamboat snowboarder to make it past the round of eight Saturday. Johnny Duty and Nicholas Pierce, 16, were both eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Pierce came from Virginia to join the club this year and has been doing well. Last weekend, he took first in ski cross and snowboard cross at Copper Mountain.
“I just like the fast-paced action behind it. It’s not the same thing every time, which is kind of exciting,” he said.
Saturday’s trip to the quarterfinals was Pierce’s best performance all weekend. He missed out on the round of eight Thursday and Friday.
Duty took second on the first two days, but a wipeout in his quarterfinal round prevented him from moving to the next round Saturday.
Taylor was consistent, earning victory on all three days. He said his time free-riding and skiing moguls helped him navigate the terrain and maintain endurance.
“(I want to) keep having fun,” Taylor said. “That’s why I keep coming back.”
Rose Bransford was the winner for the girls Friday and Saturday and always had the same competitors nipping at her heels. Steamboat Springs native Maggie Rose Carrigan took second Friday and third Saturday.
After spending time in Europe and Russia on the World Cup, Carrigan said she was happy to be home. She also was happy to have stayed upright and finished the races so well in such odd conditions.
“It was definitely very challenging just trying to stay on your feet and make it down,” Carrigan said. “I’m glad we’re all OK. It was a good race.”
She said the SSWSC and the volunteers did a great job keeping the course in great condition.
Kendall Harrington was the next best female Steamboat finisher. She finished fourth Thursday and fifth Friday in the parallel giant slalom race. In the slalom race Saturday, Harrington made the round of eight but was bested by Carrigan and eliminated.
Carrigan has been improving her finishes in World Cup races, most recently earning 33rd at a race in Russia.
“It’s impressive how all the events have been able to happen,” she said. “I’m really blessed I’m able to travel right now.”
Full results from the weekend at Howelsen Hill can be found at fis-ski.com.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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The annual Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Ski & Sport Swap will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Howelsen Hill Lot.