U16 skiers soar at nationals | SteamboatToday.com

U16 skiers soar at nationals

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club sent its top U16 skiers to nationals in Maine last week.

— The golden rule for NCAA basketball in the spring is "survive and advance." It's not that different for skiing, either.

A pack of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club U16 skiers advanced through regionals last month and to the U.S. Alpine Skiing Junior National Championships last week at Sugarloaf Resort, Maine, and after a strong showing there, several skiers will advance yet again.

Nicolas Richeda finished first overall at the event among skiers in his age class, those born in 2002. That caps a strong, breakthrough season. He'll advance to ski later this month at the Whistler Cup in British Columbia, Canada.

"Nico just had an amazing season," Club U16 coach Ben Brown said. "He started off without really being on the radar but earned his opportunities and has just continued to ski strong."

Teammate Jack Reich, also of the 2002 class, earned the right to continue his season at the Whistler Cup as well.

"He has been amazing in (giant slalom) and super-G, and he put together really good slalom results, too," Brown said.

They were only two of the team's skiers to enjoy strong results in Maine. Noah Riemenschneider, a 2001-born skier, had the top result for the team, earning a podium spot in the super-G with a third-place finish.

Colton Sankey, also of the 2001 class, had two strong finishes, placing ninth in GS and 12th in slalom.

Richeda was fifth in slalom, fifth in GS and 12th in super-G. Reich was eight in GS and 15th in slalom.

"It was a great event," Brown said. "The conditions were some of the best we've seen all season. The snow was awesome. The racing hills in Sugarloaf are some of the best in the country. They're challenging, and our group had a lot of fun, raced hard and represented Steamboat extremely well."

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