Sailors garner top spots at races

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— Alpine skiers Stewart Beall and Cassidy Kurtz kicked off the Sailors' 2001 season by leading their teams to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots at Saturday's Rocky Mountain Division Slalom races at Howelsen Hill.

Beall, who ended his first run in a time of 35.25 seconds, was runner-up to Middle Park's Dan Flygere in the men's division.

Beall's performance, though, helped Steamboat to a first-place finish while Battle Mountain placed second and Aspen came in third.

In his first run, Flygere clocked in at 33.77 seconds. He ended with a time of 35.3 seconds during his second go-around.

The Sailors' Joe Liefer was the No. 5 finisher for the men, and Steamboat's Andrew Porter-Merrill was 10th.

Despite having three top-10 finishers in the race, Beall said, the Sailors still have work to do.

The Sailors next compete in a giant slalom race Friday at 9:30 a.m. in Loveland.

"We skied pretty good considering that we had three people in the top 10," Beall said.

"I still feel that all of us guys can ski faster. I think we have the strongest team in the state."

In the women's competition, Kurtz was second only to Vail Mountain's Julie Littman.

Brittany Lamb finished No. 6 for the Sailors.

Steamboat's women's team placed second in the race, while Aspen ended up No. 1.

Kurtz finished her first run in 36.07 seconds and missed placing first overall by just .45 seconds.

Beall, along with teammate JoJo Bucci, said the Sailors have not gotten the respect they deserve this season.

Steamboat was ranked No. 5 by The Denver Post at the beginning of the season, though Bucci and Beall say their high school team is the most talented one in Colorado.

"There's definitely a lot more experience and quality on our team (than last year)," Bucci said. "We don't go out there to slack and get beat. We're out there to win."

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