Duke, Levy take home freestyle gold | VailDaily.com

Duke, Levy take home freestyle gold

Ryan Slabaugh

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s freestyle ski team took home two first-place trophies at a competition last week in Steamboat, earning one local racer a trip to the Junior World Championships in March.

Andrew Duke, who trains with the club but commutes from Denver, won the judges over with an alley-oop 540 in the halfpipe competition. The gold medal gave him his ticket to the junior worlds held in March.

“He was just getting really far out of the pipe,” freestyle coach Brian Baker said. “It was a smaller pipe than we have here (in Vail), which is harder. It’s harder to go as big and, the competition was at night under the lights. But Andrew just came out and skied really well.”

Duke, now one of three members of the U.S. Junior Halfpipe team, also finished third in the second upright-aerial competition.

On the girls’ side, 17-year-old Ali Levy, of Vail, won the junior-moguls competition and finished third in the open moguls, losing to older racers from the University of Colorado.

“It was a pretty good field,” Baker said. “There were a couple girls missing, but it was a pretty good field. She’s been racing and skiing really well.”

Other club racers had strong finishes too. Richard Deluge finished third in the halfpipe and third in the first upright-aerial contest. John Spriggs finished fourth in the first upright-aerial competition.

The season continues. Levy will head to the NORAM events in Killington, Vt., next week. Duke, meanwhile, will be heading with the team to Breckenridge this weekend for moguls, duel moguls and slopestyle competition.

Town race series starts today

VAIL – The Vail Town Race Series, run by Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, starts another season today at 10 a.m. with a giant slalom on Golden Peak.

To register a team, the $350 charge covers six team members and seven races. To races as an individual, a competitor can pay $25 per event or $150 for the season. For information on the Vail series, contact Brian Rooney at 476-5119 ext. 116.

For information on the Beaver Creek series, which occurs Mondays, call 845-6207. Athletes can register the day of a race for $12 between 9-9:45 a.m. at the race course.

SOS competitions this weekend

AVON – The Snowboard Outreach Series, a 16-event U.S.A. Snowboarding Association competition series, continues Saturday with a slalom event in Keystone and comes to Beaver Creek Sunday for a slopestyle contest.

Competition winners will be on their way to qualifying for the slalom USASA Nationals at Sunday River, Maine, March 24-30. This is the third week in the eight-week series.

Competitors can register online at http://www.sosoutreach.org or at the race course the morning of the vent. There is a $25 competition fee and a one-time annual USASA membership fee of $40. One-day lift tickets will be available for competitors without season passes.

Ryan Slabaugh is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at rslabaugh@vaildaily.com.