Lane Shipley isn't old enough to drive a car, but he reached 64 mph on a pair of skis Tuesday morning en route to winning the J3 Junior Olympic Downhill title in Winter Park.
The 15-year-old Shipley completed the course in a time of 55.38 seconds to win on the first of five days of Junior Olympic racing in Winter Park. He beat Taylor Lynch of the Quantum Ski Club and Andrew Flower of Ski Club Vail in the race. Steamboat's Dylan Roberts, who was fifth in a training run earlier in the week, placed 21st in Tuesday's race.
Molly Leonard of Winter Park slipped past second-place finisher Alice McKennis to win the girls event. Steamboat's Jenny Allen finished eighth, Priska Sorenson was 10th, and Anabelle McLean was 13th.
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Terry DelliQuadri was happy with his team's showing on the opening day of the event and is expecting the 14 skiers from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to get stronger as the week continues. Traditionally, Steamboat is strongest in the giant slalom and slalom events, which will take place later this week.
"It's was a good day for Lane and a great way for our team to open these races," DelliQuadri said.
In addition to Shipley, Steamboat's Dylan Roberts, Ian Landy, Jace Wirth, Wiley Thayer, Ryan Coe, Taylor Coe, Trevor Wert and Ramsey Bernard are competing in the men's events.
Allen, Sorenson, Anna Anderson, McLean and Lauren Letson are representing the girls team.
All of the Steamboat racers had a chance to warm up for the event last weekend during a series of SmartWool races in Steamboat Springs. Those super-G events took place March 5 through 7.
Evan Barrett won the first men's event. Steamboat's Drew Roberts was third, Sean Dixon was fourth, and T.J. Cannon was fifth in that event.
Steamboat's Lisa Perricone won the women's race. Emily Colin was fourth, Kathleen Lyon was seventh, and Sorenson was 10th.
Aspen's Mallin McCabe won the men's event March 6. Top Steamboat finishers included Dixon in fourth, Roberts in eighth and Shipley in ninth.
Steamboat racer Lindsay McClure won the women's race. Steamboat Perricone was sixth, and Lyon was 12th.
McCabe also took the final men's super-G race Sunday. Steamboat's Dixon was second, Robby Lewis Zehner was sixth, and Marsh Gooding was 21st.
DelliQuadri said the SmartWool races in Steamboat were important for a couple of reasons. First, they gave the athletes a chance to warm up before this weekend's Junior Olympic Championships. But it also gave some younger skiers a chance to pick up points.
DelliQuadri said Jimmy Hostetler, who finished 35th overall, had a good weekend. He was the top J3 racer in Sunday's super-G and picked up some important end-of-season confidence.
The coach was also impressed with the showing from Michael Lyon (45th) who was consistent all weekend.
The SmartWool series has one more race in Telluride this season. The J3 Junior Olympic Championships will continue this week in Winter Park.
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