Skiers earn sweet results in Sugarloaf |
Melinda Mawdsley

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Skiers earn sweet results in Sugarloaf

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s J2 skiers posted encouraging results at the national competition at Maine’s Sugarloaf Ski Resort.

The group of 15- and 16-year-old racers adapted to the changing weather conditions and ever-changing schedule brought about by nearly 4 feet of snow at the Northeast resort.

Coach Tom Davis said ski coaches and the Sugarloaf race crew worked for hours on the course to ensure the national championships were held.

“The downhill was postponed for two days,” Davis said. “We had to fit a week’s worth of events into four days. Kids were racing on top of other races.”

Cory McConnell finished fifth overall, picking up a 14th in the March 9 downhill, a sixth in the March 10 super G, a 10th in the March 11 giant slalom and a 21st in the slalom March 12.

Jenny Allen was ninth overall for the girls. Teammate Suzanne Allbright was 11th overall.

Allen finished 17th in the downhill, 14th in the giant slalom and 19th in the slalom. Allbright was 22nd in the downhill, 18th in the super G, 15th in the giant slalom and 10th in the slalom.

“A top 15 or even top 20 finish in a national championship is outstanding,” Davis said. “Our kids skied exceptionally well there. Sometimes you look at a result like a top 14, and it’s not that exciting of a number, but it’s impressive what they did. Cory was fifth overall, which says we’re producing nationally competitive skiers. I’m extremely proud of him.”

Davis said Allen, who frequently had a high start number, turned heads with her impressive results, and Allbright’s 10th in the slalom March 12 was “probably her best race ever.”

For the most part, the J2 national championship is the first opportunity skiers from the Rocky Mountain Region have to compete against a national field.

Katie Hartman of Team Summit won the super G and giant slalom. Alice McKennis of Aspen was second in the super G and third in the giant slalom. The girls’ field featured 70 of the nation’s best J2 skiers. The boys’ field had 75 racers.

“That’s what separated this event from others,” Davis said. “We traveled as a region, so it was all the Rocky Central kids racing as a team basically, even though we are from different clubs.”

Other impressive finishes for the Winter Sports Club were: Lane Shipley, 14th in downhill and 37th in super G, and Andy White, 35th in super G, 33rd in giant slalom and 38th in slalom.