Anna Marno captures J2 Nationals ski title

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Local Alpine ski racer Anna Marno opened the 2009 J2 National Junior Olympic Championships on a high note Monday by racing to the top of the podium in the women's downhill event.

It was the first event of the J2 national championships for ski racers between ages 15 and 18. Racers also will compete in super G, giant slalom and slalom events later this week.

Marno ripped through the course Monday, finishing in a time of 1 minute, 12.41 seconds. Lauren Samuels, of the Gilboa race team out of Minnesota, finished second at 1:13.63. Samuels previously has trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Alpine coach Anje Worrell said.

Steamboat's Shane McLean was 11th in the women's race with a time of 1:16.06.

Brant Crossan was the top male finisher for Steamboat, placing 32nd with a time of 1:13.34. The only other Steamboat racer, Sam Glaisher, did not finish the race.

"We've only got four skiers here, so this was a great way to open the week," Worrell said. "All of our racers did a great job, and Anna really came through for us."

Ben Morse, of the Eastern Division, skied past Scott Snow of the Western Division to win the men's race in a time of 1:10.68.

Racing will continue today in Aspen with the super G. The giant slalom events are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. The championships will come to a close Friday with the slalom events for men and women.

-To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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