Monday, February 19, 2001
Steamboat Springs After recording first-, second- and third-place finishes in the final qualifying races of the season last weekend in Steamboat Springs, local racer Jenna Cesolini will now turn her attention to the Junior Olympic Championships.
Cesolini, Marsh Gooding and Peter Zimmer all recorded first-place finishes for Steamboat in the four qualifying races that were held at the Steamboat Ski Area and Howelsen Hill.
Cesolini chalked up a first and second in Sunday's slalom races. In the giant slalom events, she placed third in the second race and 24th in the first.
"My best race of the week was the first run of the slalom," Cesolini said. "I beat everyone by two seconds."
Cesolini finished that one-run event with a time of 40.27 seconds. Tucker Vest-Burton was second at 42.63 and Christina Roberts, another Steamboat Springs skier, was third with a time of 43.48.
"I wasn't really pushed in the race," Cesolini said. "We usually race two runs. I didn't really change anything for these races. I just went after it and tried to win."
Vest-Burton won the second run with a time of 48.62 narrowly beating the hometown favorite Cesolini. She finished with a time of 48.86. Teammate Roberts was in third with a second-run time of 49.08.
Alyssa Cartmill won both the the giant slalom races on Saturday. She posted a time of 47.99 in the first race. Steamboat's Roberts was the top local finisher in that run in third place with a time of 51.41.
Cartmill also won the second race of the day, cruising down the course in a time of 47.31. Cesolini moved up to third in that race posting the fastest local time of the day at 48.63.
On Sunday, the local boys team was led by Gooding and Zimmer, who each raced to first-place finishes.
"The weekend was just a good reality check for me," Gooding said. "It let me know that I still have to work hard to prepare for the Junior Olympics."
Zimmer won the first event with a time of 42.51. He was followed across the finish line by Andrew Zoph (42.93) and Thomas Allen (43.02).
In the second race, Gooding led the pack with a time of 39.35. Zimmer was second at 41.22 and Allen came in fourth with a time of 41.58. Zoph was fifth in the race.
Gooding said he was happy with some of his finishes over the weekend, but overall he said he thinks there is still some work to do.
"I'm not really all that happy with the finishes," Gooding said.
He said he was happy with his final slalom run but said things just didn't feel right in his other outings over the weekend. He said he will take a couple of days off and then start training hard to prepare for the biggest races of the weekend.
Tony Nunnikhoven, alpine director for the Winter Sports Club, said he was pleased with his entire team's efforts over the weekend.
"The whole team skied well," Nunnikhoven said. "They are all such great kids. We had great weather and it was awesome racing."
The events were the last of five qualifying events for the J-3 Junior Olympic Championships, which will be held in Winter Park March 12-17.
"Our skiers just keep getting better and better with every race," Nunnikhoven said.