Thursday, February 23, 2006
Five Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine skiers qualified for next month's 2006 J2 National Championships.
They are: Taylor Coe, Lauren Letson, Jenny Allen, Mary Rachel Hostetler and Annie McLean. The J2 division is for skiers ages 15 and 16.
The Winter Sports Club also qualified five skiers last year, which Alpine coach Tom Davis said is an honor for the club.
"The regional quota is only 10 women and 15 men," he said.
Four of the 10 women being sent to the championships by the Rocky Central Division train with the Winter Sports Club.
The 2006 J2 National Championships is March 5 to 12 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
The J2 skiers recently took part in the Rocky Mountain Trophy Series race in Telluride during the weekend. Winter Sports Club skiers Austin Johnson won the first giant slalom run, and Heidi Hillenbrand was second in her second giant slalom run. Both are older skiers within the program, so the weekend races in Telluride offered valuable experience for the younger J2 skiers, Davis said.
The Rocky Mountain Trophy Series races are for skiers ages 15 and older, so the J2 athletes are at a disadvantage when it comes to trying to win races. But age didn't stop Crested Butte's John Kemp from posting a result certain to turn heads.
The 15-year-old won the giant slalom race Feb. 19, beating competitors seven years his senior.
"I've been coaching Alpine skiing for seven years and have never seen that," Davis said.
Top results for the Winter Sports Club in Telluride included Cory McConnell's fifth-place finish and Eric Anderson's sixth-place finish in the first giant slalom run Feb. 18.
Anderson and Thomas Allen placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in a slalom race Feb. 20.
Chelsea Lynch also had a fifth-place showing in the women's slalom Feb. 20 in Telluride.
The J3 Alpine results speak for themselves.
"This is probably one of the best group of J3s we've had," coach Dusty Matheson said.
Twenty-three of 29 Winter Sports Club skiers in the J3 division (ages 13 and 14) qualified for the J3 Junior Olympics to be held March 5 to 11 in the Vail Valley.
Leading the way was Ryan McConnell. McConnell won four of the six qualifying races leading up to the selections. He won two slalom and two giant slalom races and finished sixth and 11th in the two super G races.
Anna Marno and Cassady Roberts were the top female qualifiers. Each had at least one top-three finish this season.
Other Winter Sports Club J3 skiers who finished in the top three at least once in the six qualifying races were Emily Sackett, Max Marno and Hig Roberts.
The 23 members of the Winter Sports Club's J3 Junior Olympic Team are: Ryan McConnell, Max Marno, Hig Roberts, Jordan Bernard, Andrew White, James Schindler, Scott Ptach, Brant Crossan, Tony Rende, William Hoeschler, Graham Holland, Anna Marno, Cassady Roberts, Emily Sackett, Maria Hillenbrand, Caitlin Colgan, Jorid Halsnes, Ananda DeVos, Emily Rabbitt, Charlotte Letson, Hanna Berglund, Jamie Gay and Lorin Paley.
There were about 90 girls and 100 boys competing in each race, Matheson said.
Matheson coaches with Nate Johansing, Tom Becker and Marnie Smith.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com