World University Games continue to unfold for local skiers

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— The World University Games moved into Day Seven with a pair of former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes looking for top finishes.

Freestyle skier Katie Hitchcock placed fifth in the slope-style event at the World University Games in Trentino, Italy, on Wednesday.

Hitchcock was third in the first run but struggled in the second run to qualify fourth for the finals. American Alexis Keeney posted the top score in the finals to win the event. Swiss skier Fabienne Werder was second, and American Katie Souza was third. Hitchcock, who now skis for the University of Colorado, fell to fifth in the final results.

Steamboat’s Shane McLean opened the day with a strong showing in the first run of the women’s giant slalom race. McLean was sitting in eighth place, but a mistake in the second run took her out of the race. Poland’s Maryna Gasienica-Daniel won the race.

On Tuesday, Steamboat’s Hig Roberts placed seventh in the men’s giant slalom race, which was dominated by Europeans. France’s Jonas Fabre won the event, and he was followed by teammate Thibaut Favrot. Italy’s Giulio Bosca was third.

Roberts is scheduled to compete in Thursday’s men’s slalom. McLean will take to the slopes Friday, the final day of the games, to compete in the women’s slalom.

The World University Games happens once every three years and includes 12 sports ranging from curling to biathlon.

Hitchcock and McLean are juniors at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Roberts is a senior at Middlebury College in Vermont. Colorado Mountain College ski coach Terry Leonard, who was named to the American team’s coaching staff under University of Colorado coach Richard Rokos, is also in Italy with the local skiers.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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