Local skier sweeps age division

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— It was a clean sweep for Christina Roberts at last weekend's Alpine Junior Olympic Championships.

"That was my goal," Roberts said of winning the downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom titles. "But I didn't know if it was realistic."

It was. The 15-year-old Steamboat Springs skier won all four events in the younger age division at the J-1/J-2 Junior Olympic Championships, which were held at Keystone and Cooper Mountain.

She also placed second overall (skiers ranging in age from 15-19) in the slalom and giant slalom events and was fifth in the super-G and a seventh in the downhill.

"It's very different from some of the other Junior Olympic races I've raced in the past," Roberts said. "Everybody goes at the same time in this race, so you may be going against a girl that is four or five years older."

While the J-2 results are separated at the end of the event, Roberts said her goal was to beat all the other racers no matter how old they were.

The four-day Junior Olympic races came to a close on March 4 with the slalom race.

Emily Colin won the race with a time of 1 minute, 16.08 seconds. Roberts was second at 1:17.71 and Claire Abbe placed third with a time of 1:18.99. Steamboat's Jenna Cesolini placed fourth at 1:21.71.

Winter Park's Ian Dunlop cruised across the finish line at 1:29.56 to win the boys race. Central Division skier Kyle Davis was second at 1:29.59 and Steamboat's Dan McKay was third with a time of 1:29.97.

Steamboat coach Chris Puckett couldn't have been happier with the way the local skiers finished on both the boys and girls side.

While Roberts topped the overall standings on the girls side, Steamboat's Tyler Smedsrud dominated the boys standings.

Local skier Tony Cesolini was second in the boys standings and Heidi Hillenbrand was third in the girls. Both Roberts and Hillenbrand are J-2 skiers.

"These are amazing finishes for our team," Puckett said. "It just shows how much talent and depth we really have."

The Steamboat boys team took six of the top-10 spots at the Junior Olympics. Other top finishers included Dmitry Chase in fourth, Carter Allen in eighth, and Joey Marias in ninth. Steamboat's Scott Allen was 10th.

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

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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