Young skiers attempt racing

Championships give taste of competition

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— Steamboat Springs ski coach Scott Schaffer said the Age Class J5 Championships, held March 15 and 16 at the Sunlight Ski Area, offered local young ski racers their first taste of competitive ski racing.

The coach said the event was a place to reach goals and learn what it takes to find success on the slopes.

"I think the thing that really stood out at these races was how much all of our skiers improved this season," Schaffer said.

Fifteen girls and 12 boys represented Steamboat at the championship, which was open to 9- and 10-year-old alpine ski racers from across the region. Racing opened March 15 with giant slalom events. Schaffer said racers made two runs, but each run counted as a separate race.

"It was a chance to get in a lot of racing," Schaffer said.

Winter Park's Logan Martin won the first run, and Sunlight's Luke Proscence topped the second run for the boys.

Mathew White was the top Steamboat finisher in the first run in 10th place. Other top Steamboat finishers included Zachary Rosa in 20th, Andrew McCawley in 22nd, Jett Seymore in 24th, Tristan Arnis in 25th, Kane Park in 32nd, Tait Dixson in 34th, Channing Conner in 37th, Will McConnell is 39th, Riley Brodie in 44th, Parker Temple in 50th and Will Petersen in 62nd.

Top Steamboat finishers in the second run included White in ninth place, Rosa in 20th, Seymore in 23rd, Dixson in 31st, McCawley in 34th, McConnell in 36th, Arnis in 37th, Park in 40th, Brodie in 47th, Temple in 51st, Conner in 56th and Will Petersen in 66th.

Steamboat's Mackenzie Gansmann topped the first run of the girls giant slalom race with a time of 46.92. Ellese Lupori was fourth, Kristen Kinzie was fifth, Shannon Parks was 17th, Carolyn Walters was 19th, Paula Cooper was 26th, Lily Petersen was 29th, Jennie Symons was 32nd, Mariah Hoots was 33rd, Kaetlyn Arant was 38th, Mackenzie Ward was 55th, Lyta Foulk was 60th, Avalena Everard was 65th, Abigail Wiedel was 70th and Maritza Wiedel was 71st.

Summit County's Katy Harris won the girls second run.

Lupori was the top Steamboat finisher in seventh, Kinzie was ninth, Gansmann was 14th, Walters was 16th, Parks was 18th, Lily Petersen was 26th, Cooper was 29th, Arant was 45th, Symons was 48th, Hoots was 49th, Ward was 61st, Foulk was 62nd, Abigail Wiedel was 67th, Maritza Wiedel was 68th and Everard was 72nd.

The racers moved to the slalom course March 16 for the final races of the championships.

Tristan Lane of Aspen and River Radamus of Ski Club Vail topped the results in the slalom.

Top Steamboat racers in the first run included Rosa in seventh, White in eighth, McCawley in 18th, Dixson in 21st, McConnell in 23rd, Park in 26th, Arnis is 31st, Will Petersen in 33rd, Brodie in 40th, Seymore in 61st, Conner in 62nd and Temple in 65th.

White's sixth-place finish in the second run led the Steamboat racers. Other top finishes included Rosa in eighth, Seymore in 20th, Dixson in 23rd, McCawley in 24th, Arnis in 28th, Will Petersen in 33rd, Park in 38th, Brodie in 41st, Conner in 47th, McConnell in 49th and Temple in 56th.

Megan McGrew of Vail and Galena Wardle of Aspen won the girls slalom races.

Top Steamboat finishers in the first run included Gansmann in 10th, Lupori in 13th, Cooper in 14th, Walters in 20th, Kinzie in 24th, Arant in 27th, Parks in 32nd, Hoots in 36th, Symons in 38th, Foulk in 41st, Ward in 60th, Maritza Wiedel in 64th, Abigail Wiedel in 65th and Everard in 70th.

Gansmann also led Steamboat skiers in the second run, finishing in 14th place. Other top finishers included Kinzie in 19th, Walters in 22nd, Cooper in 25th, Parks in 33rd, Hoots in 39th, Lily Petersen in 44th, Maritza Wiedel in 46th, Arant in 50th, Symons in 53rd, Foulk in 54th, Ward in 64th, Abigail Wiedel in 66th, Everard in 74th and Lupori in 75th.

Schaffer said the championships were the biggest races of the season for this young age group. He said the racers normally take part in about seven lower-level races, mainly Steamboat Cup or Age Class races, each year leading up to the championships.

"It's mostly about having a good time and learning about ski racing," Schaffer said. "The championships are a great way for these young skiers to wrap up the season."

-To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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