‘Flying Blueberries’ blast competition
ARAPAHOE BASIN Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s young devo freestyle team got its first taste of head-to-head dual moguls skiing this weekend at Arapahoe Basin.Saturday’s dual moguls heats, an informal warm-up to Sunday’s sanctioned moguls event, attracted 38 of the region’s top freestyle skiers the ages of 12 and 14.AVSC’s J4 skiers wound up taking two of the spots on the podium. Keegan Swirbul won gold at the last second with some heads-up skiing.”Both Swirbul and his competitor were neck and neck at the air,” AVSC freestyle coach Jamie Lawson said in a news release. “The other kid didn’t throw a trick, but Keegan threw a twister spread, and it was a drag race to the finish, where Keegan edged him out at the line.” The final heat of the day featured AVSC’s Alex Ferreira against Bruce Perry Jr. from Summit. “Bruce is considered the guy to beat in the J4 age category,” Lawson said. “This was the best skiing and the best jumping dual of the whole day. They both got their airs off at the same time, but Alex threw a  that was bigger and cleaner. They both stuck thelandings, and Alex beat him across the finish for a decisive win.” Swirbul and Ferreira came into the competition prepared. “They’ve both got a really good competitive mindset,” Lawson said. Ferreira’s 720 won for trick of the day. Teammate Kyler Sciarrone took home the crash-of-the-day award for a botched 360. “He rotated well, but landed forward and did a full front flip onto his feet before both of his bindings released at the same time,” Lawson said. “It was pretty spectacular.” The team shined again Sunday. Caitlin Safchick, AVSC’s lone female devo freestyler, earned her second straight win.Ten-year-old J5 skier Mikey Schumacher overcame a difficult morning of training. “He made the decision to change lines before the competition, so Mikey’s first run was his first time down that line,” Lawson said. Schumacher’s second run propelled him to silver among 20 competitors.Ferreira won the competition off his first run, beating out Perry of Summit once again. “He had the best turn scores of the day and the best jump scores of the day,” Lawson said. “His 360 was the nicest jump I’ve ever seen from him.” Teammate Torin Yater-Wallace came to Arapahoe Basin from having won Saturday’s USASA halfpipe competition at Buttermilk to take the bronze. “Torin made a great transition to moguls, and had some of the top turn and jump scores of the event,” Lawson said.Sciarrone built upon his eighth-place result from Steamboat the week before with a personal-best sixth-place finish. “Kyler’s climbing the ladder,” Lawson said. “He tied Alex for the top air scores of the event with a really clean straight-air twister spread. He was in the mix until the very end.”This past weekend’s competitions represented one more step before the devo championships in mid-March.
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The state track and field championship meet got underway Thursday at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, with Basalt High School coming away with a couple of podiums.