Local skiers grab top spots

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— Summit County racer Chelsea Lynch may have stolen the show in Thursday's giant slalom race at Mount Werner, but that didn't stop the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club from grabbing its share of top finishes.

Lynch won the race with a combined time of 2:16.26, just edging Steamboat Springs skier Emily Colin, who took second with a time of 2:17.44.

"I wanted to win of course, but Chelsea is a very good skier, so I'm pretty happy with the finish. She (Chelsea) was really fast."

Colin was one of three Steamboat skiers to finish in the top 5 of Thursday's FIS giant slalom race.

Steamboat's Christine Roberts made a run at the top spot, despite starting in the 47th position. She placed third in the final results.

"I was a little surprised with the result," Roberts said. "But the coaches told me that I was probably better off (starting late) in my first run. The snow was really soft and it kind of slowed down the first 10 racers."

Roberts put together a solid first run but admitted making a few minor mistakes in her second run.

"I was really happy with the finish," Roberts said. "Hopefully I can have another good race (today) and really improve my starting position."

Steamboat's Jenna Cesolini was fifth, and Brittany Bahle came in 25th in the final results.

Colin, a senior at the Lowell Whiteman School, is leading the overall standings thanks to a 10th place in the first slalom on Dec. 30, a seventh in the second slalom on Dec. 31 and a win in Wednesday's dual slalom event.

Colin said she was a little too conservative in the first run of the giant slalom race, which was held on Sitz/Seeme Thursday. But she laid down the fastest second run time of the day in an effort to overtake Lynch in the standings.

"I was a lot more aggressive in my second run," Colin said. "I really wish I could have skied that way for both of my runs."

Colin is planning on being more aggressive in both runs today. However, she admits that a bad back and a separated shoulder have slowed her.

"The slalom races really took a toll on me," Colin said. "I'm going to give it my all, but we will just have to see how my back holds up."

The second of two women's giant slalom races will take place today on the Sitz/Seeme racecourse at the Steamboat Ski Area. Racing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Colin is leading the overall standings for the women with 162 points and Brede Halsnes is leading the men with 240 total points.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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