Fiala pops in for win in last race of the season
Too bad the Vail Town Race Series doesn’t count for FIS points.
Otherwise, Jake Fiala of the U.S. Ski Team would have picked up 100 on Wednesday after a cameo appearance in the last VTRS event of the season, a giant slalom on Golden Peak.
Fiala, the former Battle Mountain star who now calls Frisco home was given 10 days off from the World Cup circuit in Europe, following the super-G in St. Anton, Austria on Feb. 15.
So, the eight-year U.S. Ski Team vet decided to jet home for a bit, and as luck would have it, do some ski racing as well.
“It was fun,” Fiala said, while chewing on a piece of pizza and having a few laughs with buddy David Viele at the postrace party at Tanga’s on Wednesday night. “It’s a lot more mellow. There’s no pressure, just skiing.”
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Viele and Fiala go all the way back to their Huskies days, and with Viele being a former U.S. C-teamer himself, it was no surprise on Wednesday that the two tried to one-up the other, just for old time’s sake.
“Viele set a tough one up there,” said Fiala. “He reset (the course) and made it kind of turny. I’m more of the downhiller, so by making it turnier, he thought he could beat me, but I still got him.”
Just by a little, though. Fiala, racing for Up The Creek blazed the fastest run of the day at 29.14 seconds, while Viele of Mill Creek came in second at 29.60. John Meckem of Snowell finished in third with a time of 30.00.
As usual, the Mill Creek Team and the Snowell team filled out eight of the top 10 spots and finished with the top-two positions in the season long team competition.
The town race series isn’t just about two teams, though, it’s about every member of every team doing their part – everyone from Jake Fiala who gave the Up The Creek squad its first of the season to Jake White of the Black Forest Race team who finished in 32nd.
Fiala may be one of the fastest skiers in the world, but at the end of the day he was just another guy in the bar having a few laughs and enjoying the afterglow of a great day of skiing.
Too bad for the rest of the VTRS racers that their season is over while Fiala still gets one more go-round next week in Norway.
For complete results of Wednesday’s race, see Page A23
Contact sports writer Nate Peterson at 949-0555 ext. 608 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org