Hickey, Amber Ramos second in Far West moguls event
Ryan Hickey of Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Amber Ramos responded to the beefed-up Far West freestyle competition last weekend at Squaw Valley.
Both South Shore skiers finished runners-up in their respective moguls classes.
Hickey laid down his highest score ever – 26.54 – to come in a close second to Squaw Valley’s Jesse Jenison. Jenison, the defending junior national champion, wowed the judges for a score of 26.74.
“Ryan has only trained six days this year,” said Heavenly coach Jere Crawford, citing his prize pupil’s limited course time. “Ryan has a good head on his shoulders and doesn’t get nervous in competitions. To him, it’s only a game. Some people make it more than a sport.”
Ramos’ challenge in the women’s division was enhanced by the appearance of U.S. Freestyle Ski Team member Shelley Robertson. Robertson lived up to her U.S. team status by winning the moguls with a 25.13 effort. Ramos, the No. 1 J3, was second with 22.21.
Courtney Royce of Heavenly was the top J1 and finished sixth overall at 22.21.
Competition at Squaw was heightened by the addition of a terrain park aerials event.
“This is totally new for the Far West and the kids had a great time,” Crawford said.
Independent aerialist Brent Abrams finished first with a score of 17.78 points.
“Brent is a whiz in the terrain park and it didn’t surprise anybody that he won,” Crawford said. “His tricks weren’t all that hard, but he was jumping cleaner than anybody else.”
The Far West skiers aren’t allowed to perform inverts until they receive certification by practicing in a pool in Utah. Unlike moguls, the terrain park performers won’t be eligible for nationals.
Sho Kashima of Heavenly was sixth overall and fourth among J3 aerialists with 16.26. Rounding out the South Shore results, Chris Craig of Heavenly was 15th overall, fourth J4, with 12.56 points; Brad Lipovsky, independent, 18th overall and sixth J3, 12.10; Jason Scott of Sierra, 22nd overall and third J1, 10.62; Heavenly’s Thomas Schwindeman, 28th overall and ninth J3, 7.68; and Jerel Dutton of Heavenly, 31st overall and 11th J3, 5.80.
Other mogulists tearing it up were Heavenly’s Tyler Bradford, 15th overall and fourth J1, 20.57; Abrams, 16th overall and second J3, 20.24; Dutton, 17th overall and third J3, 19.94; Schwindeman, 23rd overall and fifth J3, 18.31; Sierra’s Luke Palmieri, 24th overall and sixth J3, 17.43; Heavenly’s Derek Clemmenson, 27th overall and third J2, 16.01; Lipovsky, 28th overall and seventh J3, 15.77; Heavenly’s Jason Strull, 33rd overall and sixth J2, 14.82; Heavenly’s Chris Craig, 38th overall and fourth J4, 13.32; Heavenly’s Scott Lusby, 46th overall and 10th J3, 9.70; Sierra’s Chris Stamey, 51st overall and sixth J1, 5.68; Heavenly’s Jimmy Roberts, 52nd overall and second J5, 5.62; and independent Tim Lipovsky, 55th overall and 10th J4, 3.10.
Roberts debuted with the Heavenly team in a Far West event Dec. 30 at Squaw Valley, winning the J5 class with a sizzling score of 14.26.
“He’s been skiing the face of Heavenly all his life with his mom and dad, so I guess they did a great job with him,” Crawford said.
The strength of the field also was better than normal Dec. 30 as U.S. teammates Travis Cabral, Travis Ramos and Chris Hernandez competed.
Cabral, a 1999 national champion, won with a eye-popping 27.29 run. Hernandez was second with 26.31 and Ramos, who recently finished ninth in a World Cup event, holding fourth with 25.32.
Hickey led the rest of the area male finishers by placing eighth overall and second in the J1 category with 24.37. Also, Scott was 14th overall and fifth J1, 19.71; Dutton, 17th overall and second J3, 17.74; Abrams, 18th overall and third J3, 17.55; Bradford, 19th overall and seventh J1, 17.19; Strull, 21st overall and second J2, 16.88; Palmieri, 22nd overall and fourth J3, 16.80; Schwindeman, 25th overall and fifth J3, 16.61; Brad Lipovsky, 32nd overall and eighth J3, 15.01; Clemmenson, 35th overall and fifth J2, 14.22; Lusby, 43rd overall and 11th J3, 11.66; and Kashima, 50th overall and 12th J3, 2.92.
Amber Ramos and Royce led the female contingent, with Ramos eighth overall with 18.49 and Royce 11th overall with 15.01. Ramos was third among J3 skiers and Royce won the J4 class.
Far West action continues Sunday at Heavenly Ski Resort. Moguls competition is tentatively set to start at 10 a.m.
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