U14 skiers start strong on home hill | SteamboatToday.com

U14 skiers start strong on home hill

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

— In plenty of ways, Friday offered something big for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club U14 team to celebrate.

The squad took first and second on the boys side and fourth on the girls in the super-G at the U14 Regional Championships, taking place this week in Steamboat.

Coach Erik Gilbert hopes those results are only the start, however.

"The kids are excited and energized," he said. "This was an accomplishment in a way, but I'm hoping its more of a charge and they can all be confident in what they're doing."

Cooper Puckett flew down the course, laid out on All Out at Steamboat Ski Resort, to the win on the boys side. He finished in 50.84 seconds.

Right on his heels was teammate Jordan Simon, second in 51.77.

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Gilbert said both achieved huge accomplishments. Puckett skied excellent while Simon challenged himself with a very direct and dangerous line, and emerged to reap the rewards.

"They inspected the course together and talked about the different pieces of terrain," Gilbert said. "They knew they'd be able to release their skis down the hill and ski with confidence, knowing there was nothing out there to surprise them. It wasn't a course they'd skied before, but they're very familiar with the hill and they used the terrain."
 On the girls side, Ryli Adrian came in fourth, in 56.84 seconds. Purgatory skier Isabelle Washburn won in 54.57, while Vail skiers Taylor Hoyt and Emma Resnick placed second and third.

"Ryli skied strong today," Gilbert said. "She had a really hard crash yesterday in training, but she bounced back, a little bruised but not too bad. She was able to execute in the race today and do what she needed to do."

Next up for the skiers is giant slalom, starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with the first of two boys races, again on All Out. The girls will follow at 9:30. The boys will race again at 11:30 and the girls at 12:30.
"We have a lot of speed on this squad," Gilbert said. "We same some of it today, but there's a lot more in the tank if it wants to come out."

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

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