Lisa Perricone, center, celebrates her victory in Saturday's giant slalom race at the Steamboat Ski Area. The all-Steamboat podium included second-place skier Mary Rachel Hostetter and third-place finisher Anna Marno.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Lisa Perricone, center, celebrates her victory in Saturday's giant slalom race at the Steamboat Ski Area. The all-Steamboat podium included second-place skier Mary Rachel Hostetter and third-place finisher Anna Marno.

Steamboat skiers stock up on medals this weekend

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When given a weekend off from her training with the University of Colorado Alpine ski team, Lisa Perricone opted to return to Steamboat Springs and "help out some of the younger girls."

Some of those girls might have second thoughts about about Perricone's "friendly" intervention.

Perricone, a former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club standout, dominated the two-day, two-event U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association SmartWool Cup in Steamboat Springs during the weekend.

She won Saturday's giant slalom race at the Steamboat Ski Area and Sunday's slalom race at Howelsen Hill.

"It's just nice to be home and hanging out with the Steamboat crowd," she said.

In Perricone's defense, her presence helped add stature to the event, which in turn increased the USSA points available for those younger skiers to earn.

The CU senior didn't show any mercy, though. She logged the fastest times in both GS runs Saturday down the Sitz and See Me trails at the Steamboat Ski Area. On Sunday, she came back to score the fastest first run down Howelsen by a whopping three seconds, then easily held on to win that event, too.

"Someone asked me how many runs I have on this hill," she said, standing at the base of Howelsen with a weekend's worth of medals in her hand. "They asked if it was a thousands runs. I started thinking - it's way more than that."

Perricone's star didn't entirely outshine Steamboat's other female competitors.

Mary Rachel Hostetter was second and Anna Marno third to make for an all-locals podium in the GS race.

Lindsay Mann, meanwhile, finished second in the overall slalom results.

Cassady Roberts was second and Kersten Scherer third among J1 girls in the GS. Natalie Pearl was second and Linnea Dixson third in the J2 division. Roberts was first, Jorid Halsnes second and Kersten Scherer third in the J1 slalom race. Dixson was the top J2 racer, and Julia Cooper and Suzanne Lyon were second and third, respectively, among J3 skiers.

The boys competitions were equally defined by the participation of an old hand.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine ability coach Eric Cates laid out strong runs in the GS and slalom races. He couldn't fend off one of his top students, however.

Max Marno won the GS race. His first-run time of 50.42 seconds put him just behind Cates, but he more than made up the difference in the second run, finishing the course in 47.80 to win the overall title.

"He's really smooth, and he gets after it," Cates said about Marno. "He's got great movements and good confidence. He's doing some good stuff."

Cates was second and Steamboat's Ryan McConnell third in the overall GS standings.

Cates bounced back by winning Sunday's slalom race.

"It hurts a little to lose to them, but it's fun to show them I know what I'm talking about," Cates said.

Again, the slalom race featured a podium full of Steamboat racers. James Schindler was second and Nelson Kane finished third.

Schindler was atop the standings after his first slalom run but broke his goggles when he hit a gate.

Murphy Roberts was the only other SSWSC athlete to score a medal, finishing second in the GS J3 division.

"Our athletes just skied really well on their home hill," SSWSC Alpine program director Deb Armstrong said.

Nordic teams excel in Utah

Michaela Frias won one race and was third in another Friday and Saturday at the Soldier Hollow Junior Qualifier Nordic ski event in Utah.

Frias, a Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club J2 competitor, was third in Friday's 1.3-kilometer cross-country ski sprint event, then bounced back Saturday to win the 5-kilometer skate-ski race.

"She has great consistency of training and a great work ethic," Winter Sports Club Nordic ability coach Brian Tate said. "She was our performer of the weekend."

Frias had plenty of company. Many Steamboat skiers found their way to the podium despite the race's massive size. With more than 600 athletes, it's actually larger than the Junior Olympic competitions athletes were striving to qualify for.

J3 skier Dori McNeill won her race Friday and finished second Saturday. J5 racer Tyler Terranova won his Saturday skate race.

Former Winter Sports Club athlete Ian Mallams, redshirting this year as a member of the University of Colorado Nordic ski team, was second in Saturday's 15-kilometer OJ skate race. Peter Daley was eighth in that race.

J1 skier Mary Rose was sixth in her skate ski race. Max Scrimgeour was sixth in the J2 skate race, and Mallory Richey finished eighth in the classic sprint event.

"We're real proud of all of our athletes' performances," Tate said. "We did really well as a group."

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