Zamansky makes most of 2nd change

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On Sunday, a second-run crash ended Jake Zamansky's giant slalom run before he reached the podium of the Steamboat Holiday Classic, which was held at Steamboat Ski Area.

But that wasn't the case Monday.

"I tied Charles Christianson with the top time in the first run Sunday, but I crashed on my second," Zamansky said. "Today was definitely an improvement for me."

Zamansky led both runs in Monday's event, cruising to victory in the race that featured a field of 140 regional, national and collegiate racers. The athletes had to deal with heavy snow and poor visibility throughout the day. But Zamansky credited the hard work of course crews for making conditions as safe as possible.

"Conditions were tough, but this is a great hill, and everyone here did a great job prepping it," Zamansky said. "The visibility was really bad. It was tough to see the ground and the holes. It was rougher than normal."

Zamansky, who is originally from Aspen, topped the field in the first run with a time of 57.91 seconds. He came back in the afternoon and finished an impressive second effort for a combined total of 1:58.20.

Park City, Utah's Tague Thorson, who was third Sunday, slipped into second with a time of 1:58.48, and Christianson, who won Sunday's event and was second after Monday's first run, placed third at 1:58.59. Christianson is from the Eastern division of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Zamansky said winning Monday's race was nice but that it wasn't the main reason for coming to race at the Rocky Mountain Trophy Series in Steamboat this week.

"I'm originally from the Rocky Mountain Division ... and it's really nice to bring points back into the region," Zamansky said. "Plus they put money up this year, and it's nice to come here and try to earn some money right before Christmas."

Despite not finishing in the top 10 Monday, several Steamboat racers also posted some solid results. Tony Cesolini, who is skiing for the University of Colorado, was the top local finisher in 11th, with a time of 2:00.76. He was 25th after the first run but laid down one of the fastest second-run times of the day to move up in the standings.

"I was sitting 25th after the first run," Cesolini said. "It was not as good as I wanted, but I will take it for now."

In the second run, the Steamboat skier made his way through blinding snow and flat light, to pick up ground on the competition.

"I can't attack the way I like to when the weather is like this, especially with as little training as I've had this year," Cesolini said. "Basically I wanted to attack a lot more, but I had to take what the conditions would give me."

Josh Bryan was 14th with a time of 2:01.13; Jason McNeill was 17th at 2:01.33; and David Lamb, who recently graduated from Denver University, was 19th at 2:01.53.

"I got harassed by my teammates and my old friends to come out and do this race," Lamb said. "I skied good and solid, but there are some different factors that are holding me back. It's tough to come back after winning these for years and years and place where I placed. But it's still fun."

Lamb, who also holds down a full-time job, said he hasn't trained for a race since last March. Other top Steamboat racers in Monday's results were: Nathan Asoian, 26th; Cory McConnell, 30th; and Nicholaus Kullas, 32nd.

The Steamboat Holiday Classic continues today with the women running the giant slalom at the Steamboat Ski Area beginning at 9:30 a.m. The men will move to Howelsen for the slalom at 5 p.m. today.

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