Perricone continues podium trend


— Three podiums in three days.

It's a trend that Steamboat Springs racer Lisa Perricone wants to see continue as she heads into some of the biggest races of the season next month.

"I've got two weeks of training before the Junior Olympics and then it will be one big race right after the other," Perricone said.

The skier said last weekend was important because it gave her some confidence heading into the season's marquee events (Junior Olympics, nationals and the NorAm finals).

"This is the time of the year when you really need to podium," coach Chris Puckett said. "Lisa had been struggling a bit lately, but she got back on the slalom hill and things came right back to her."

Puckett said last week's finishes were not surprising. Perricone had been struggling because most of the recent FIS events have featured the speed disciplines (super-G and downhill) instead the technical events (slalom and giant slalom) in which the Steamboat skiers are stronger, he said.

Not only did the top finishes gave the local racer a boost in confidence, they provided some much-needed exposure.

"There were a lot of college racers and college coaches at those races," Perricone said. "It's important to get your name out there."

If the Steamboat Springs High School senior was hoping to get noticed by college coaches last week at Beaver Creek ski resort, she was successful.

The local racer posted the fastest two-run time of the day in Friday's slalom en route to winning the event. She also collected a third-place finish in Saturday's slalom and another third in the final event -- a giant slalom on Sunday.

Perricone finished Friday's slalom with a time of 1 minute, 24.02 seconds. Vail skier Julia Littman followed her in second at 1:14.30 and Utah ski racer Alyssa Cartmill was third at 1:25.44.

Steamboat racers Christine Roberts finished in fifth, Jenna Cesolini was sixth and Emily Colin was eighth.

Perricone followed her first-place finish with another strong showing on Saturday.

Sophie Ormond from the University of Denver won that slalom event with a time of 1:21.93. Littman was second at 1:22.48 and Perricone stepped on the podium for the second day in a row with a time 1:22.52.

"It's a tough slalom course because it's so short," Perricone said. "You can't make any mistakes because you know it's going to take a fast time to win it."

Kate Bragg of Utah won Sunday's giant slalom race after finishing at 2:10.27. Ormond was second with a time of 2:10.93 and Perricone completed the hat trick with her third bronze of the week.

Colin was sixth, Cesolini was 12th and Heidi Hillenbrand placed 15th in that race.

Puckett said Hillenbrand recorded the third fastest second run in the giant slalom but a mistake on the first run hurt the young racer in the final results.

However, the coach was pleased with the way all the local skiers raced and finished in the events. He said the finishes were important for the local racers because the events were qualifiers for the nationals.

Both Perricone and Roberts picked up important finishes, which should help them get to the national championships later this season.


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