Steamboat's Serina Kidd wins NorAm ski racing circuit spot

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— Steamboat Ski Area isn’t even open, but Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier Serina Kidd already is off to a fast start to the competitive season.

Kidd, 17, scored several big finishes Wednesday and Thursday at U.S. Ski Team NorAm qualifier, the National Junior Race, at Copper Mountain.

She placed 19th after a pair of giant slalom runs Wednesday, sticking in the top 20 by a mere 0.04 seconds with a combined time of 1 minute, 54.57 seconds. On Thursday, she was even faster in a slalom event, finishing comfortably in 10th place at 1:33.42.

The prize is a spot on the NorAm ski racing circuit, a huge step for a young skier.

“The NorAm series is the top one in North America, and it is not easy to reach,” said Winter Sports Club Alpine Director Deb Armstrong. “Serina broke through, and it’s a nice start to the season.”

Kidd’s coach, Scott Tanner, said a summer’s worth of work came together to allow her to get over the season’s first, big challenge.

Kidd got a pair of starts on the circuit a year ago and three starts two winters ago, but she’s never placed higher than 28th. Now she’ll be able to compete in the first NorAm of the season against what likely will be a stacked field at Loveland early next month.

“She’s been working really hard on the technical aspects of her skiing all summer,” Tanner said. “After that, you really have to put your competitive side back with it. That’s what she’s starting to get. She made some improvements to technique, and now she’s getting her competitive spirit back, her attitude.

“We’ve built the foundation, and now it’s about continuing to move ahead.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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