Steamboat Springs With two first place finishes from Steamboat's Genny McGeary and ski meister Hennie Kashiwa sitting in third place in state standings, the Sailors are looking strong before entering next weekend's state meet.
"We see improvements being made all the time, we're ready to pick it up for state," Sailor coach Chris Arnis said of his young team.
In the last two competitions, last Friday's giant slalom race at Ski Cooper and the Feb. 4 slalom meet at Vail, McGeary took first in both meets as she came in far ahead of the competition.
At Ski Cooper, McGeary finished the giant slalom course in 56.45 seconds, a time that blew away Aspen's Gillian Hearn's time of 57.38. The Aspen team also captured third at Vail when Kathryn Eastley turned in a time of 58.61.
Even with the absence of two of the team's top competitors, Cassidy Kurtz and Rebecca Herman, the Sailors girls team finished in third place out of 14 teams.
Steamboat's Piper Reed and Henley Shepherd just missed the cutoff for qualification to the state meet. Their times of 1:03.01 and 1:03.27 put them in 24th and 25th place out of 67 racers.
In Vail's slalom event, McGeary's times of 37.91 and 39.24 seconds gave her a winning combined time 1:17.15, which was far ahead of the second place skier, Sierra Anderson from Summit who finished the meet with a combined time of 1:20.42.
Shepherd took a ninth place as she finished with a time of 1:29.40. Kurtz, who has placed in the top three in past high school races, did not finish her first run and Herman disqualified on her first run.
Arnis said that although the girls team is loaded with talent, they have trouble with consistency.
"If they can finish all the time, we'll be looking good," Arnis said. "It seems like one day one finishes and the next day she falls and the other one of them finishes."
On the boys side, it is ski meister Kashiwa who looks the most promising heading into the state meet starting Feb. 21. Performing strong in both the alpine and cross country ski meets this season, Kashiwa stands at third in the state for the combined disciplines and trails the leader by just three points.
At the Ski Cooper meet, Kashiwa had the highest finish for the Sailors taking a 29th place with a time of 59.10 and was the only Sailor skier to finish in the top third. The boys team ended the day by taking ninth out of 14 teams.
Steamboat's top skier on the boys side, Chris Dombey was absent from the Vail meet, but made his presence known the week before when he took a ninth at Vail with a combined time of 1:29.81. Battle Mountain's Cody Jenick took a first place in both the Vail and Ski Cooper events.
Steamboat's Trace Adams,18th, Hunter Hidalgo, 23rd, Jeff Albright, 28th, and Jeff Fowler, 32nd, all broke into the meet's top third to qualify for the state meet.
To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org