Coe, Brown lead racers in qualifier

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Taylor Coe and Vikki Brown led the way for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club on Sunday during a blazing fast Alpine Super-G race on the Vagabond ski run.

The race is one of six serving as qualifiers for the Junior Olympics, which will be held in March in Beaver Creek.

All of the 170 ski racers taking part in the weekend's racing were in the 13- to 15-year-old J3 category.

Coe followed up his eighth place in Saturday's Super-G with a ninth on Sunday. And Brown improved on Saturday's 22nd place with a 20th on Sunday.

Christa Ghent of Vail won the girls' race. Will Gregorak of Eldora won the boys' race.

Steamboat's Ryan McConnell (12th) and Jace Wirth (14th) also broke into the top 15.

SSWSC Coach Terry DelliQuadri said a large contingent of his skiers solidified their standings as candidates to qualify for the Junior Olympics. The two Super-Gs in Steamboat are among six competitions in which the racers can break into the Junior Olympic field, with only their best two races being considered. The remaining four races will be held Feb. 13 to 15 at Winter Park.

"We have more boys in position to qualify than any other team," DelliQuadri said.

The Vagabond Super-G, at 4,662 feet in length, offers one of the best opportunities in the Rocky Mountain Division for young racers to test themselves in a speed event, DelliQuadri said.

"It has some great terrain," he said. "They were getting some pretty good air off the Surprise bump."

The boys' race was particularly competitive, with the top four finishers coming in between 1 minute 9 seconds and 1 minute 10 seconds.

Coe finished in a group of four skiers from sixth through ninth position who were within seven one-hundredths of a second of one another. It was almost as tight from 10th through 14th place, where McConnell and Wirth found themselves in a group of five skiers, all within three-tenths of a second of one another.

Among the girls, Brown's time of 1:15.88 was just seven-tenths of a second out of 15th place.

Other finishers among the SSWSC J3 girls included Cassady Roberts (24th), Jorid Halsnes (30th), Amanda DeVos (32nd), Monica Nackard (33rd), Charlotte Letson (37th), Caitlin Colgan (39th), Erika Walters (41st), Carolyn Chotvacs (46th), Jamie Gay (48th), Chrissy Ford (62nd) and Sarah Dixson (65th).

Additional SSWSC finishers among the J3 boys were: Jimmy Hostetler (19th), Michael Lyon (20th), Jordan Bernard (21st), Max Marno (22nd), Ryan Coe (23rd), Hig Roberts (24th), Joshua Fix (32nd), Nelson Kane (36th), Andrew White (41st), Benjamin Paley (52nd), Cody Wirth (63rd), Tim Scalo (70th), Mark Dennis (79th), Jake Supple (80th) and Alex Gibbs (81st).

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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