Steamboat Springs The simple fact that there was a race was an accomplishment, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine skiing coach Deb Armstrong said Sunday moments after the final skier had flown through the finish line and skidded to a stop.
A soggy Saturday conspired with a snowy Sunday to make “fast” the last thing on most skiers’ minds, but the conditions didn’t stop nearly 250 J4 skiers — ages 11 through 13 — from tackling the Steamboat slopes in a three-race Super G event.
Waves of athletes tore down the slopes, and a few Steamboat skiers earned top finishes.
“The conditions were quite challenging to pull this weekend off for speed. I couldn’t be more proud of our course crew, our parents, of Mount Werner and our Winter Sports Club organization,” Armstrong said. “This was high quality speed racing for this young people, and we need more than that.”
Kristina Steinberg led the way for Steamboat skiers, bagging a pair of third-place finishes Saturday. Both times, she ended up in the midst of very tight races. Kaitlyn Vesterstein won one event in 58.93 seconds. Nellie Rose Talbot, of Vail, was second in 1:00.47, narrowly edging out Steinberg, third at 1:00.48
Vesterstein also was on top in the second event, winning in 58.59 seconds. Sylka Snyder, of Vail, was second in 59:06 and Steinberg was third at 59.25.
Steamboat’s Mackenzie Ward also stood out Saturday, finishing fifth twice. Margaret Dickson was ninth and 13th, Delaney Pratt was 24th and 44th, Amber Elliott was 39th and 56th, Madeline Boucher was 36th and 60th, Taylor Olson was 49th and 67th, Ashley Spiegel was 85th and 94th, Isabel Rillos was 86th and 89th, Caitlin Smith was 91st and 95th and Lilly Patterson was 66th.
Ward was fast again Sunday, grabbing her third fifth-place finish. Steinberg was seventh, Dickson was 23rd, Boucher was 48th, Olson was 54th, Pratt was 66th, Elliott was 81st, Patterson was 88th, Rillos was 96th and Spiegel was 99th.
Vail dominated the boys podium, taking five of six spots Saturday and two on Sunday. Colby Lange was Saturday’s top skier, winning both races. Brendan Keane had a second and a third, Bridger Gile a second and Reese Irwin-Pack, of Winter Park, a third.
Sam Frackowiak was 20th for Steamboat in one Saturday race. Trey Seymour had a 26th-place finish, Chase Seymour had 30th- and 33rd-place finishes, Cole Puckett was 26th and 38th, Anders Brockway was 43rd and 53rd, Gabriel Everard was 86th and 93rd and Bryan Gilbertson was 48th and 95th.
Keane won Sunday’s event. Lange was second and Aspen’s Dexter Edelman was third.
Trey Seymour led the boys Sunday, finishing 19th. Puckett was 28th overall, Chase Seymour was 41st, Gilbertson was 55th and Brockway was 68th.
“At this age, you see a little of everything, and I was very proud of our kids,” Armstrong said. “Our kids skied very well. I was very proud of them. They really attacked the hill aggressively and did a good job.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com