Bumps, gate a good mix for Hickey
Maybe a few more Far West Division bump skiers should follow Ryan Hickey’s lead and ski the gates for their high school teams.
Hickey has augmented his competitive moguls season with Heavenly Ski Foundation by competing for the South Tahoe High Alpine ski team.
The extra speed work seems to be paying off as Hickey won Far West moguls singles and duals events Sunday at Alpine Meadows.
“Nobody could hang with his speed,” said Heavenly freestyle coach Jere Crawford. “They tried to hang with him, but nobody could ski as clean going that fast.”
Hickey opened the busy Far West racing weekend by placing fourth overall – first J1 – in a singles format Saturday. His score of 25.46 was well behind Squaw Valley’s Todd Disbrow’s winning score of 27.40.
But Hickey received a 25.39 from judges to win Sunday’s singles by .26 over Squaw’s Nat Schirman. Schirman also had the distinction of finishing runner-up to Hickey in the duals event.
Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Amber Ramos also won twice in three events. After starting the weekend by finishing second (16.62) to U.S. Freestyle Ski Team member Shannon Bahrke (19.83) on Saturday, Ramos won Sunday’s singles with an eye-popping score of 23.23. Ramos capped her successful Sunday by winning the duals final with Squaw’s Mckenzy Golding as well.
Courtney Royce of Heavenly came in third in duals and was third in singles (first J4) Sunday with her 15.88 run.
Heavenly’s Jerel Dutton and Sho Kashima also had break-through performances Sunday.
Dutton, who placed 12th overall, won the J3 singles with a lifetime-best 20.65. This came a day after finishing fourth among J3s and 23rd overall with 20.60.
“He was skiing more aggressive,” said Crawford of Dutton, who was the top J4 in the nation last year. “He’s in a really tough division, and he’s been wanting to get a win real badly. Far West has such good J3s and there’s a lot of them.”
Kashima finished third in the J3 singles on both days, scoring 20.65 in miserable conditions Saturday and 18.82 in partial sunshine Sunday. In addition, Kashima made the round of 16 in duals.
Heavenly’s Brent Abrams opened with a ripping performance, placing first for J3s with his 19th-place overall score of 21.11.
Sierra’s Jason Scott performed consistently in singles, finishing seventh and ninth overall.
Hickey, Royce and Tyler Bradford of Heavenly have all qualified for the upcoming junior nationals in Big Mountain, Mont. Hickey, however, has decided to compete in the Junior Worlds in Czechoslovakia, according to Crawford.
Other Heavenly results from Saturday’s singles included: Thomas Schwindeman, 26th overall and fifth J3, 20.03; Jason Strull, 27th overall and third J2, 19.98; Bradford, 29th overall and 10th J1, 19.68; Derek Clemmensen, 42nd overall and eighth J2, 17.10; and Eric Nageotte, 49th overall and 10th J3, 15.97. In Sunday’s singles, Bradford was 18th overall and eight J1 with 19.57; Strull, 19th overall and third J2, 19.44; Schwindeman, 25th overall and fourth J3, 18.80; Clemmensen, 36th overall and sixth J2, 14.81; Nageotte, 46th overall and 12th J3, 6.01; and Abrams, 47th overall and 13th J3, 4.3.
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