Photo by Joel Reichenberger
Zak Kjos cuts down a giant slalom run Sunday during an Alpine ski race in Steamboat Springs. Kjos won the race, leading the way for a podium-filled weekend of racing at Steamboat Ski Area.
Steamboat Springs It wasn’t his biggest race of the season. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine skier Zak Kjos just returned from three weeks of racing in Europe, and he used a pair of SmartWool Cup Alpine races at Steamboat Ski Area as tune-ups for a couple looming FIS races.
Still, what a tune-up for Kjos and the rest of the Winter Sports Clubs’ older-tier Alpine ski racers.
Kjos won Sunday’s giant slalom, scorching the the course with the fastest times in the first and second run. His first-run time of 47.08 seconds was nearly a half-second faster than any competitors. His second-run time, at 52.71, also was dramatically faster, 0.62 seconds. His combined time was 1:39.79.
“It was fast, but you had to fight the whole way,” Kjos said. “It was good to come home, have a little fun and come away with the win.”
The success in the overall men’s race capped what was a big weekend of podiums for Steamboat’s Alpine skiers.
Steamboat’s Dylan Fox finished right behind Kjos, in at 1:41.10. Vail’s Jack Keane was third on Sunday in 1:41.37. Nate Bowman was 11th overall and second in the U18 ranks.
Kjos also was the top U18 finisher Saturday, the leader in a Steamboat sweep on that podium. Devin De Jong was second in U18 and 10th overall, and David Kidd was third among the U18 skiers, in 15th. Steamboat’s U18 women were just as successful. Jili Jennerjahn was the top U18 skier Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Vreni Lupear was right behind her in second, 12th overall, and Olivia Rudolph was third, 39th overall.
Jennerjahn led Sunday finishing 10th overall and top among U18 skiers. Marnie Buckley was second, 30th overall.
Steamboat also came up big in the U14 class. Trey Seymour finished third among the U14 boys Saturday and Sunday.
Taylor Olson, meanwhile, earned two podiums on the girls side, winning the U14 division Saturday and placing third on Sunday.
“I felt better (Saturday), but I did a good job standing on my outside ski today,” Olson said.
Margaret Dickson placed second in both races while Delany Pratt was third on Saturday.
“I was proud all the way around,” coach Deb Armstrong said. “It’s always great to see different athletes make the podium. It gives them such a boost to make the podium. It’s such a marathon. This was really important.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com