Locals have strong showing at JO

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— Steamboat Springs ski racer Marsh Gooding tore up the slopes last week in Winter Park, earning two gold medals at the J-3 Junior Olympic Championships.

"Yeah, it was my best Junior Olympics ever," Gooding said. "I went down there hoping to do well and it all came together."

Gooding highlighted a strong week with first-place finishes in the boys' super-G Thursday and the boys' slalom race Saturday. He was also took second-place finishes in the downhill race Thursday and in the giant slalom Friday. The top results helped him grab the overall title as well.

The Steamboat girls also had a strong week but failed to post a top-3 in the races. Jenna Cesolini led the way with a fourth-place finish in the slalom race and fifth-place finishes in the girls' downhill and giant slalom.

"I'm just so happy for these kids," Winter Sports Club coach Tony Nunnikhoven said. "They all skied great last week."

Championship racing began a day late in Winter Park. Heavy snow forced the downhill and super-G races to be held on the same day.

The Rocky Mountain Division opened strong with Jenny Gilman winning the girls' race with a time of 56.87 and division teammate McCabe Mallin taking the boys' downhill title with a time of 57.05.

Top Steamboat finishers on the girls' side included Cesolini's fifth at 58.12 and Stacy Cavanagh in 10th at 59.25. Christine Roberts was also in the top 20 at No. 14 with a time of 59.92. Shannon Gormley was 26th and Christine Callahan came in 42nd.

Gooding's silver-medal effort of 57.35 made him the top Steamboat finisher. He was followed by Peter Zimmer in fifth at 58.54, Andrew Zopf in ninth at 58.96 and Thomas Allen in 12th at 45.10. Steamboat's Mikkel Simoes-Correia (67th) and Kevin Dombey (DNF) also raced.

That same day, the skiers took on the super-G course. Blizzard conditions on Wednesday forced the downhill to be moved back a day and packed Wednesday's schedule.

The girls were led by Central Division skier Shelley Glover, who won the girls' race with a time of 1:05.25. The top Steamboat finishers were Roberts in 15th at 1:10.58. Gormley came in in 29th and Callahan was 42nd. Cesolini and Cavanagh failed to finish the race.

Gooding, who was disappointed with his effort in the downhill, topped the boys' field at 1:04.45.

Other top Steamboat boys included Zopf in ninth (1:06.86), and Zimmer and Allen finished in a tie for in 10th at 1:06.98. Kevin Dombey came in 13th and Simoes-Correia was 43rd.

The racers returned to the giant slalom course Friday. Glover won the girls' race with a time of 2:11.58 and Central Division skier Bobby Poehling topped the boys' race with a time of 2:03.99.

Steamboat's Cesolini was the top Steamboat girl in fifth place with a time of 2:15.43. Roberts was ninth at 2:17.72, Cavanagh was 13th with a time of 2:20.78 and Gormley placed 22nd.

Gooding's second-place finish was tops for the local boys as he finished the course in a time of 2:05.45. Other top local finishers included Allen in fifth at 2:09.04, Zimmer in seventh at 2:10.04 and Zopf in 12th with a time of 2:12.67. Dombey placed 50th and Simoes-Correia was 69th.

Gooding ended the final day of racing Saturday with another gold-medal showing this time in the slalom.

He finished the course with a time of 1:28.78 to beat out second-place finisher Poehling (1:30.65) and third-place finisher Eric Andersen (1:31.17). Zopf came in fifth at 1:31.80 and Zimmer was seventh with a time of 1:32.44.

The girls' race was won by Central division skier Claire Abbe with a time of 1:28.84. Cesolini was fourth at 1:34.81, Cavanagh was 21st with a time of 1:43.51, Callahan was 28th at 1:47.92 and Gormley placed 33rd at 1:48.70. Roberts, who was on track to record the third-fastest first run, missed a gate near the bottom and was disqualified.

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