Allen win boosts Sailors to second

Racer comes from back of the pack to win slalom

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— When Steamboat Springs ski racer Jenny Allen stepped into the starting gate of Thursday's high school slalom race, the plan was simple.

"Attack from the back," Allen said. "The coaches choose which seed you get. I guess it was just part of the plan."

Allen may have started last in the first run, but it took only 38.63 seconds for her to dramatically improve her position in the race.

She had the second-fastest first-run time, finishing just behind Summit County racer Alex Guras, who made the trip from top to bottom in 38 seconds flat.

But ski races are won in the second run, and that's where Allen took control of Thursday's race. She posted the fastest run of the day - 37.07 seconds - to claim the victory with a combined time of 1:15.70. It was the Steamboat racer's first high school victory - and race - of the season.

"I missed the first race, so this was my first high school race," Allen said. "It was a good way to get things started."

Guras, who also was fast in her second run, finished second with a two-run time of 1:16.43. Battle Mountain's Kelly Van Hee was third in 1:18.96, and Summit's Joey Chevalier was fourth in 1:19.21.

Several other Steamboat racers also spent Thursday's slalom race climbing to the top of the standings.

Anna Anderson placed 11th with a time of 1:22.36 after starting the race 68th.

"That's a real impressive finish for us," team coach Chad Bowdre said. "Anna's also a skimeister, and she's not a club racer, either."

Teammates Sarah Dixson (14th), Jamie Gay (16th) and Hanna Berglund (20th) also finished in the top 20. Erika Walters placed 25th, Carolyn Chotvacs raced to 33rd and Lorin Paley was 38th. Paley was near the top of the pack before falling in her second run. Steamboat's Kaily Fischer was 53rd in the results.

The top finishes helped the Steamboat girls finish second in the team standings with 157 points. Summit won the event with 164 points, and Battle Mountain was third with 153 points.

The race was the second high school ski race of the season and the first slalom event. Copper Mountain hosted a giant slalom last month.

The Steamboat event used a unique format that allowed two skiers to take their runs at the same time on two separate courses. While the competitors went head-to-head, the skiers were actually competing against the clock and not the racer on the other course.

"It was awesome," Allen said. "I liked the dual format - it was cool."

Allen said she liked the format because the racer on the other course pushed her to ski faster.

But more importantly, the format allowed all 260 competitors (132 girls and 128 boys) to have two runs in the competition.

- To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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