Super-G gold

Roberts, 13, takes first for SSWSC

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The week started out a little rocky for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's newest golden girl, Cassady Roberts.

Wednesday's super-G training didn't go as well as she would have liked, she said. But by late Thursday morning, things were looking up for the 13-year-old racer.

"I didn't feel very good on the training day (Wednesday), so I just went out today hoping to do my best," Roberts said. "I didn't expect to do that well. ... I knew the hill, I knew that I had to do better than in training."

Luckily for Roberts, and the field of 161 11- to 13-year-old racers, low temperatures Wednesday night made for a fast super-G course on Sitz/SeeMe, a bright blue mountain sky made for a pleasant race day and the first of three championship events in Steamboat Springs this week went off without a hitch.

Roberts won the event with a time of 56.68 seconds to edge Summit's Angie Elliot in second at 56.89 and Winter Sports Club teammate Ashley Stamp in third with a time of 57.07.

Steamboat's Jorid Halsnes was 16th, Amada DeVos tied for 29th and Erika Walters was 40th. Lorin Paley placed 46th and Maria Hillenbrand placed 50th in the field of 66 girls.

"It was an awesome day for Steamboat," said Tony Nunnikhoven, Winter Sports Club Alpine director. "We earned three out of six podium spots in the two races (boys and girls). You can't ask for much more than that."

Steamboat Springs racer Ryan McConnell took third in the boys race. That event was won by Central Division skier Michael Ankeny of Sports Hut Ski Team. Ankeny finished the race with a time of 53.73. Hunter Schleper of Ski Club Vail was second at 53.73 and McConnell finished third with a time of 54.31.

Other top Steamboat finishers in the boys race included Hig Roberts in sixth, Jordan Bernard in 13th and Andrew White in 21st. Scott Ptach also had a great race, moving from a 79th-place starting position to finish 36th in the final results.

Organizers had been worried that the week's high temperatures would make for an unfair and possibly unsafe super-G race. But Nunnikhoven said temperatures dropped enough Wednesday night to freeze the race surface and conditions held through the women's race, which ended before noon.

Roberts said conditions were a bit icy for the men's race but turned out to be nearly perfect for the women's event.

Roberts said she was thrilled to get the win in the opening event but plans to forget about it -- at least until the Junior Olympic Festival comes to an end Saturday.

"I kind of want to forget about the win. I just want to pretend that I never won and that I still need to win," Roberts said. "The last thing I want to do is get overconfident."

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