Beal, Blommer fight back for Midwest at Junior Olympics
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Don’t mess with the Midwest when it comes to tech events.
After watching Ski and Snowboard Club Vail claim 10 of the first 15 medals at the J3 Junior Olympics, Ian Beal and Wisconsin’s Ausblick Ski Racing fought back.
Beal and teammate Willy Blommer claimed the top two spots of the podium in the giant slalom on Tuesday. Summit’s Colin Hayes took third.
“I just went for it,” Beal said. “I wanted to do really good.”
Beal trailed Hayes by 0.49 seconds after his first run down Golden Peak in Vail. Knowing he needed to lay one down, Beal went all-out.
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At one point toward the bottom of the course, Beal’s right ski came 2-3 feet off the ground around one of the turns. He made a Bode Miller-like recovery and zipped across the finish and into first with a combined time of 1:38.91.
“I was just laughing,” Beal said about his ski coming off the snow. “I was just having fun and laughing at myself.”
The win in giant slalom is nothing new for Beal. At the Midwest regional, Beal claimed top honors in the GS. The more turns a course has, the better the chances for Beal. On his home hill in Wisconsin, he trains slalom almost exclusively because there is only 175 meters of vertical feet.
“I was looking forward to the tech events,” Beal said. “I’m a lot more comfortable in them than in speed.”
Beal wasn’t the only member of Ausblick Ski Racing on the podium. Blommer recorded the third-fastest time on his second run to take the silver medal in 1:39.27.
“I was just going balls to the wall,” Blommer said. “I was just going to go for it.”
SSCV skis well
SSCV failed to reach the podium for the first time during the Junior Olympics on Tuesday, but there were still a number of strong performances. Nick Braun almost squeezed onto the podium after a sizzling second lap down Golden Peak. His time combined time of 1:40.43 was good enough for fourth place.
“He had an attitude where you wanted to come back (after his first run) and get on the podium,” SSCV coach J.J. Jensen said. “He almost did it.”
Alex Leever also finished in the top 10 for SSCV with two strong runs. His combined time of 1:41.36 put him in ninth.
“Alex Leever, I think he skied awesome today,” Jensen said. “He ripped it. I’m proud of him.”
Another SSCV skier who moved his way up the leaderboard was Anthony Romano. Sitting in 46th after his first run, Romano blistered the course in 50.26 on his second try to move into 16th.
“On his first run, nothing went right for Anthony,” Jensen said. “On his second run, he wanted to put it down the hill. He had a pretty good second run.”
Thomas Grant (25th) and Greycody Johns (30th) both took spots in the top 30 for SSCV.
The J3 Junior Olympics wrap up today with the slalom. The venue changes to Bear Trap at Beaver Creek where the athletes had a chance to train the past couple of days. The first run is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.