Alpine skiers rack up results | SteamboatToday.com

Alpine skiers rack up results







In far-flung performances, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine skiers locked up stellar results and now move into the final events of the season with a head of steam.

Hannah Soria helped lead the way, emerging atop a tough field of competitors at the U16 Rocky/Central Alpine Championships in Vail.

Brother Cole and Cooper Puckett also shined, Cole skiing well at an elite Italian race and Cooper winning his age-division and earning the right to ski up an age class.

But that trio only offered some of the team's highlights in what has been a strong winter of skiing for the club.

"This is the best our kids have done in a long, long time," Winter Sports Club Alpine director Caroline Lalive Carmichael said. "This is really exciting for the club."

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Soria's big break came at the U16 championships last week in Vail.

New to the club this season, Soria had glowing results throughout the season, but nothing compared to how she did in Vail.

She won the giant slalom, was second in the downhill, second in the super g and third in the slalom, setting her up as the event's overall champion.

That success qualified Soria to move on to the U16 National Championship in Snowbasin Resort, Utah.

"Before, her results weren't indicative of this kind of phenomenal result, but she kept building and building, and she is an incredibly hard worker," Carmichael said. "Going into the event, she was skiing great, but her performance was way above and beyond what we expected, so it was really exciting."

Cole Puckett leads strong team at U16 regionals

Cole Puckett also had a stand-out performance at the U16 Rocky/Central Alpine Championships, landing on the podium in the super g, where he placed third. He was also fifth in the giant slalom.

That all came after Puckett raced in one of the top events for young skiers, a ski race at Trofeo Topolino, Italy. The top young skiers between age 12 and 16 attend the race, and Puckett placed eighth in the slalom and 18th in the giant slalom.

Back at Vail for the U16 Rocky/Central event, a pack of other skiers recorded big finishes.

Sequoia Anstine was eighth in girl's downhill. Chase Seymour was 10th, Colton Sankey 17th, Trey Seymour 18th and Kyler Armstrong 25th in the boys downhill.

In super g, Trey Seymour was 7th, Chase Seymour 28th and Kyler Armstrong 29th on the boys side, while Olivia Flake was 30th for the girls.

Chase Seymour was 16th in the boys GS, and Kyle Kagan was 28th. Grit Dickson was 16th on the girls side, Anstine 28th, Amber Elliot 29th and Taylor Olson 30th.

In slalom, Anstine was 21st, and Elliot was 25th. Colton Sankey was 15th for the boys, Chase Seymour 18th, Armstrong 23rd and Kagan 28th.

Trey Seymour was able to emerge from the event to qualify for the U16 National Championships.

Cooper Puckett punches through age class

Younger Puckett brother Cooper is also coming off a strong stretch of the season.

Competing at an event late last month in Winter Park, he won a pair of slalom races, was second and fifth in giant slalom races and eight in a super g.

He wasn't alone. Ryli Adrian was seventh and eighth in slalom races, Molly Mueller ninth and 10th, Ella Pietras 12th and Emi Cooper 16th. Marat Washburn was second in a slalom in third in a super g, Cole Gedeon fourth in super g and sixth in giant slalom, Nico Richeda fifth in giant slalom and Leo Davies 13th and 16th in slalom.

That group, along with Bode Flanigan and Emily Craig, qualified for the U14 Junior Championship event, held last week also in Winter Park.

There, the team again skied well.

Mueller was eighth in a super g and 12th and 18th in GS races. Adrian was 10th and 14th in slalom and 16th in super g. Pietras was 25th in combined, 25th in slalom and 30th in super g, Cooper 32nd and 40th in GS, Craig 37th in both combined and slalom, Gedeon 12th in combined, 10th in slalom and 14th in GS, Davies 19th in slalom and 30th in GS and Flanigan 14th in combined and 20th and 22nd in slalom.

Washburn and Richeda both earned the right to continue their season at the CanAms event at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine. Washburn was fourth in combined, seventh in super g and sixth and seventh in slalom races. Richeda, meanwhile, was sixth and seventh in GS and eighth in slalom.

Cooper Puckett won two GS races and was second in super g and third in combined, all adding up to a first-place overall finish.

That also earned him the chance to compete up a class, at the U16 National Championships. That's impressive enough for any U14 skier, Carmichael said, but for Puckett, in his first season as a U14 skier, it stands out even more.

"He's so young," she said. "This will be the first time they've ever allowed a kid of his age to go to the U16 nationals."

Trio of U19 club skiers competing at Nationals

At the U19 level, Jett Seymour will be competing in the U.S. Alpine National Championships at Sun Valley, Idaho. He's coming off a high finish at the U19 National Championships at Copper Mountain late last month, fifth in the slalom.

"We started the slalom with some high expectations. We were not disappointed," coach Eric Cates wrote in an email. "Jett did what he he's been doing all season, moving from the 28th start position to fifth with two solid runs."

Seymour will compete at the National Championships with fellow club athletes Nick Santaniello and Devin De Jong at the event.

That same group also racked up strong results late last month at an event in New Mexico. Competing mostly against collegiate skiers, Seymour was 23rd and 26th in a pair of slalom races. Santaniello was 20th in one and Zach Kjos 32nd.

At another U19 race in Winter Park late last month, Serina Kidd led the way with a fifth-place finish in giant slalom. Mary Kate Hackworthy was right on her heels, placing sixth, and Jazlyn Lynch was 19th. In a slalom race at the same event, Ellese Lupori was 12th, Lynch 16th, Maddy Smith 24th, Hackworthy 25th and Maddy Boucher 37th.

On the men's side at those races, Will McConnell was 17th, and Sebastian Mastor was 27th in GS. Patrick Gruber was 11th, Zach Mikkelson 20th and Mastor 32nd in slalom.

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