Steamboat Springs Coaches Ben Brown and Mike Fairbrother were thrilled with the way the U16 Alpine ski racers from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club performed in their first SmartWool Ski Cup races of the season in Winter Park last weekend.
“We were really happy,” Brown said about the showing. “We were thrilled with the finishes on both the men’s and the women’s side.”
Brown and Fairbrother co-coach the U16 group that earned three podium spots on the girls side and two top-10 finishes by Andrew McCawley during the men’s two giant slalom races.
“It was a great weekend,” Brown said. “It was an open USSA event, so there were a lot of older college racers hoping to tune up for the season, and all the top junior racers from our region were there.”
Steamboat’s girls team shined in Saturday’s race by earning two of the three podium spots in the giant slalom. University of New Mexico racer Courtney Altringer, who finished the course in 2 minutes, 12.04 seconds, was the overall winner. Third-place finisher Andrea Arnold (2:18.36) took the top spot for the U16 racers and was followed in that age group by Steamboat’s Logan Sankey (2:18.91) in second and Jazlyn Lynch (2:21.58) in third.
Other top Winter Sports Club finishers included Lauren Chavez, who was 13th overall and sixth among U16 racers, and Sierra Good, who was 25th overall and 17th among U16 racers.
Chavez was the top Steamboat finisher in Sunday’s race, placing fifth overall and second among U16 racers. Altringer led the pack with a time of 2:09.26, picking up her second win of the weekend. Arnold was second overall and was the top U16 racer.
Steamboat’s Sankey was 11th overall and eighth among U16 racers. Madeline Boucher made a huge jump by finishing 15th overall in the race after starting in the 35th position.
The Steamboat men's team enjoyed a strong showing from McCawley, who picked up two top-10 results, including a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s race, which was won by University of New Mexico senior Sean Horner. The top U16 racer was Central Division skier Louis Nguyen. McCawley was fifth in his age group in the extremely competitive field of racers.
Other top Steamboat finishes included Jett Seymour, who was 12th overall and ninth among U16 racers, and Will McConnell, who was 13th overall and 10th among U16 racers. Conner Channing was 18th overall and 15th in the U16 class, and Brittain Walton was 19th overall and 16th in his age category.
McCawley led the Steamboat racers in Sunday’s race with a ninth-place finish overall and sixth in his age group. Walton was 21st overall and 17th in the age group, Seymour was 24th overall and 20th in his age group and Will McConnell was 25th overall and 21st in the U16 age group.
Brown said many of the younger racers would forerun this weekend’s Holiday Classic in Steamboat Springs. A forerunner is an athlete who tests the course before the start of the race.
Racing will begin Friday with a daytime slalom race. The racing will continue with a nighttime event Saturday and another daylight race Sunday.
The next competitive event for Steamboat’s U16 group will come Dec. 28 and 29 at the SmartWool Slalom races in Copper Mountain.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966
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