Steamboat Springs Jenny Allen stood at the top of the Sitz/See Me course Friday morning trying to calm her nerves before hitting the Junior Olympic course.
It wasn't an easy task for the 12-year-old Steamboat Springs ski racer who was all-too-aware a huge number of skiers in front of her had fallen victim to the icy snow just below the "knoll" halfway down the course.
"It was super icy," Allen said. "I was pretty far back, so I knew that a lot of skiers were falling."
Just before pushing off for her turn down the icy giant slalom course, Allen stomped her skis one last time to help relax her nerves and gave it her best.
"She nailed it." Allen's teammate Lauren Letson said. "Making that turn was the key to placing well."
Allen navigated the turn successfully en route to the top Steamboat finish of the day fifth.
Her teammates also made the turn successfully and were rewarded with top-10 finishes.
"I almost missed it," Steamboat's Macy Margolin said. "But I held on."
Letson raced to seventh and Margolin raced to 10th place for one of Steamboat's best finishes ever at the J-4 Junior Olympic Championships.
"It was a great day for our girls," coach Matt Graves said. "We spend a lot of time training on that hill and it really paid off today."
Independent skier Lauren Lockwood won the first of two races with a time of 55.93 seconds. Timber Ridge skier Madison Shepard was second at 55.97 and Alexis Vest-Burton was third with a time of 56.23.
It was the first of two runs for the girls. In the afternoon the skiers returned to the same course. This time Shepard took top honors with a time of 52.09. Kelsey Roddick followed her in second at 53.03 and Jennifer Van Wagner was third at 53.35. The top Steamboat finisher was Priska Sorensen in 11th.
The boys also took part in two giant slalom races Friday.
Alex Gruber of Team Summit took top honors with a time of 53.38. He topped second-place finisher Charlie Lasser of Aspen and third-place finisher Tony Seibert.
The top Steamboat finisher was Lane Shipley in 13th at 55.81. Teammate Taylor Coe was 15th at 56.23 and Ramsey Bernard was 18th at 57.16. Bernard started in the 80th spot and moved up further than any other racer in the boys event. Other Steamboat finishers included Jace Wirth in 47th and Wiley Thayer in 49th. In the afternoon race, Steamboat's Shipley moved up the third place with a time of 56.26. Gruber won his second medal of the day finishing the course in a time of 55.71. Seibert chased Gruber down the course to finish second with a time of 55.87.
Steamboat's Dylan Roberts was 16th, Coe was 23rd, Thayer was 26th and Wirth was 48th.
The Junior Olympic Championships will wrap up today with slalom racing at Howelsen Hill. The boys will race at 8:45 a.m. and the girls will follow at 10 a.m. The athletes will also take runs in at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.