FIS racing wraps up at Golden Peak Vail
VAIL — International Ski Federation racing wrapped up at Golden Peak this weekend with the final race of the year for most athletes.
Monday’s FIS race at Golden Peak was a double slalom as one of the scheduled slaloms was canceled Sunday and held instead on Monday in doubleheader format.
Eric Read, of Canada, won the first race of the day for the men with two-run combined time of 1:32.2. Alex Leever, a former Ski & Snowboard Club Vail ski racer who now competes for Denver University, finished eighth in the race. Leever and Read are roommates.
“I gotta lay one down to let him know that I’m on top,” Leever said following the first race.
Read ended up in third in the second race of the day, Leever sixth. Ola Buer Johansen of Norway won the second race of the day for the men. On the women’s side, Tonje Healey Trulsrun, also of Norway, won the first race of the day and American Katie Hensien won the second race of the day.
‘WORK THE GROOVES’
Leever said the sunny skies and soft snow brought an element of fun to an event that was quite competitive otherwise.
“In the spring conditions it’s pretty tough because the snow is so soft, you have to be light on your feet and work the grooves,” Leever said.
The race brought together collegiate athletes, like Leever, from Denver University, the University of Colorado, the University of Utah and the University of New Mexico, as well as slalom skiers from the U.S. Ski Team, the Canadian Ski Team and handful of European racers like Johansen and Trulsrun.
“There’s a really tough field out here for the last races,” Leever said.
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Alpine Program Director Karen Ghent said for some of the athletes in Vail on Monday, it was one of the most important races of their season.
“Because it’s their last opportunity to make some kind of criteria that they’re working toward,” Ghent said. “ Some of them are maybe wanting to get into a school and have to lower their points, some of them wanting to make a certain team, so people turn out for these races … if you can put a couple runs together you really can get a good score and improve your standing.”
The race was also Ghent’s last race working as alpine program director.
“I am a little nostalgic, I’m not gonna lie,” she said. “I love working with the kids and I have a great staff and it’s been really a fun challenge to build a culture on our staff and work with the little guys and have an influence on young people’s lives, that’s really a big deal for me, I really enjoy that a lot, and I think I do have a pretty good impact on them, so I will miss that for sure. So it is a little nostalgic, it’s a little bittersweet.”
Nevertheless, Ghent said, “I’ll stay involved in lots of different ways.”
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