Ashley Stamp arrived at the Sitz/SeeMe racecourse Saturday morning determined to earn a gold medal in this year's J4 Junior Olympic Festival.
She had collected two third-place medals in the super-G and slalom events and, based on her finishes at a qualifier earlier this year in Crested Butte, was confident that the giant slalom was going to be her event.
"All day I just kept telling myself that I could do it because this was my day and my event," Stamp said. "I told that to myself before I stepped into the starting gate and all the way down the course."
The good news is that she was listening.
Stamp ripped down the course in a time of 50.63 seconds to win the first of two giant races Saturday. Summit's Julia Keeler was second with a time of 50.95, and her teammate Angie Elliot was third with a time of 51.03. Kayla Miller of the Crested Butte Ski Team was fourth at 51.43.
Steamboat's Jorid Halsnes moved up from her 28th place starting position to finish 18th, Lorin Paley moved up from her 56th starting position to finish 19th, and Erika Walters moved up from her 67th place starting position to finish 30th in the results of the first race.
"I really liked the courses," Stamp said. "You had to work the whole way down the course. You couldn't stop working halfway down or you wouldn't finish."
Elliot recorded a time of 50.90 in the second race of the day to edge the hometown favorite. Stamp was second at 51.49, and her teammate Cassady Roberts came in third with a time of 51.75. On the first run, Roberts crashed and did not finish.
"I liked the second run a whole lot more," Roberts said. "The snow was soft, and I had a good run from the top to the bottom."
Other top Steamboat finishers were Amanda DeVos in 18th, Halsnes in 21st and Paley in 34th.
The giant slalom races wrapped up the three-event weeklong J4 Junior Olympic Festival in Steamboat Springs. Other events were a super-G last Thursday and two slalom races Friday.