Bumper crop of top-10 for Heavenly in Far West opener
Heavenly Foundation moguls coach Jere Crawford can get used to what transpired during the opening weekend of the Far West freestyle season.
His team enjoyed nine top-10 finishes in a pair of singles moguls events last Saturday and Sunday on Red Dog Run at Squaw Valley USA. In addition, Eric Nageotte surprised the field to win his first duals event Sunday, with teammates Sho Kashima second and Thomas Schwindeman fourth.
Kashima and Courtney Royce finished the weekend with third and fourth-place overall finishes. Royce was the top J3 girl on each day, generating scores of 19.08 and 18.96. Kashima was fourth (22.65) on the first day of singles and third the second day (22.05).
“The first couple of years we had a team, (Chris) Hernandez, (Travis) Ramos and Brooke (Ballachey) had some pretty strong years. The last couple of years have been rebuilding years; now we’re starting to come into our prime again,” Crawford said. “We’ll actually be better next year, because they haven’t physically matured yet.”
Heavenly’s other top-10 finishers in singles moguls Saturday were Jerel Dutton, third; Thomas Schwindeman, sixth; and Jason Strull, 10th. On Sunday, Dutton was fifth and Schwindeman eighth, joining Royce and Kashima in the top 10.
The high overall marks also meant that Heavenly’s bumper crop did well in the division breakdown. Strull, Dutton and Jimmy Roberts won their J1, J2 and J4 classes, respectively. Kashima and Royce were division winners on Sunday.
Squaw Valley’s Kevin Gagne won both men’s contests, while U.S. Ski Team member Shelly Robertson, ranked sixth in the World Cup standings, won the women’s title Saturday with a score of 24.30.
Brent Abrams, who is sponsored by Heavenly but not part of the foundation team, was ninth in Saturday’s contest with a score of 21.71. He was 19th on Sunday at 14.61.
Other Heavenly results from Saturday included: Nageotte, 21st overall, 17.02; Derek Clemmensen, 25th, 16.67 and Brandon Morgan, 26th overall and second J4, 16.19. Sunday’s results reflected that Nageotte took 12th overall and sixth in his J2 class with a mark of 17.55 and Chris Craig was 36th overall and the eighth J2.
Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Tamara Stamey was 10th overall in the first moguls event and the third J2. Teammate Luke Palmieri was 24th overall and 10th in the J2 standings.
Dutton was in a logjam tied for ninth in duals and Craig and Abrams shared 33rd place with others.
Far West racing returns to Squaw Valley this wekend. Singles moguls are Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. A duals competition will follow singles action Sunday.
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