McCargo Wins Bronze Saturday
TELLURIDE – Visiting and local mogul skiers blasted a powdery Hermit mogul course last weekend, tearing up the “hero” snow and slicing through sometimes white-out conditions during the second annual Telluride NorAm mogul competition.
Rising above the already lofty field of international competitors were a handful of Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club members. Troy Tully’s smoking fast runs and gravity-defying aerial tricks put him at the top of the podium at Saturday’s single moguls event.
TSSC’s Kelsey Albert also blasted the bumps on her home course on Saturday, finishing in third. Meanwhile, TSSC teammate and Telluride-born mogulist Keaton McCargo battled through Sunday’s grueling series of duals runs, emerging from the dual moguls fray unscathed and with the bronze medal in hand.
The FIS NorAm tour is one step below the World Cup circuit, with competitors from around the nation and world jockeying for NorAm rankings that could ultimately catapult them to future World Cup start lists. Nearly 100 competitors attended this first NorAm event of the winter, from the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, and beyond, with a healthy contingent of local skiers making their home mountain proud with stellar runs down the meticulously constructed Hermit mogul course.
According to TSSC Freestyle Director and Head Coach Caleb Martin, the two-day event provided the perfect stage for some of the sport’s up-and-coming talents – including, of course, some local bump skiing luminaries.
“It was a great weekend, with lots of snow on the course that made for really ripping conditions,” Martin said, noting that the new snow received over the weekend made for some spectacular skiing and stunning aerial maneuvers at the well-attended event.
Among those rising stars was Tully, whose fastest run down the course on Saturday, at just over 23 seconds, helped catapult him to the winner’s podium. His back layout (full extension back flip) sealed the deal, as judges gave him the highest possible score for that trick.
According to Martin, the win was a big one for Tully, who is back in the competitive saddle after breaking his femur in a NorAm event last winter.
“To see Troy come back and win the season opener is huge, and really speaks a lot to the time and effort he’s put into his rehab and getting back into competition,” Martin said.
TSSC competitor Thomas Rowley also laid down some of his best runs of the 2012-13 season last weekend, finding the top ten on Saturday. Telluride’s Morgan Osbourne, competing in his first ever NorAm event, stuck solid runs to finish in 30th overall, while Telluride-based French exchange student Clement Cabrol also skied well and took 44th.
Two Winter Park competitors, Casey Andringa and Bruce Perry, placed second and third, respectively, for a U.S. sweep of the men’s single moguls podium.
On the ladies side, TSSC’s Albert nailed her run in the qualification round, following that up with two more superb runs in the semi and final rounds. A big and beautiful ironcross backflip trick off the bottom jump ratcheted her score up considerably in the final, putting her on the podium in third behind U.S. Ski Team members Ali Kariotis in second and Telluride-born Sophia Schwartz, who now skis with Steamboat, in first. TSSC skier Kealey Zaumseil narrowly missed the semifinal cut, landing in 21st after qualifications, while McCargo made the finals but crashed in her next run to take 16th overall.
Sunday dawned stormy, setting the stage for yet another big day of action – this time, for Telluride’s first-ever NorAm Dual Moguls competition – on the Hermit course.
Top Telluride honors went to McCargo, who picked up her speed and her aggression on Sunday. McCargo separated herself from her competition with “some of the best turns in the business,” according to coach Martin, and thanks to a high-scoring back layout flip found herself in fourth place after qualifications. She won her next dual, then lost the following race in the round of four to eventual winner Beatrice Bilodeau of Quebec; McCargo came back in the next heat to beat Kariotis for the third-place ranking.
Albert also made it into the round of 16, but lost her first dual.
Men’s duals saw Telluride’s Rowley race in the “dual of the day” against ultimate duals winner Shane Cordeau, of the U.S. Ski Team. With neck-and-neck turns down the middle of the course and huge, simultaneous cork 720 tricks on the bottom air, Cordeau just barely crossed the finish line first to knock Rowley out in the round of 16. Tully also qualified in the top 16 to enter the duals heats, but crashed in his first race against eventual third-place winner Sam Hall of Australia. Canada’s Simon Lemieux took second for a fully international podium for the men’s dual moguls event.
Although the powder cloud has settled since last weekend’s NorAm event, action on the Hermit mogul course is far from over, with Telluride welcoming the Rocky Mountain Divisional event Saturday,Feb. 16, through Monday, Feb. 18. This U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association-sanctioned event will showcase athletic talent from around the region, with a healthy local contingent of competitors, in Saturday and Sunday’s single moguls and Monday’s dual moguls events.