Ghent earns third medal in slalom
BEAVER CREEK – Christa Ghent added the final piece to her medal collection Saturday at Beaver Creek at this year’s J3 Junior Olympics. After taking silver in downhill Tuesday, then gold in super-G Wednesday, Ghent finished with a bronze in slalom in the last day of competition.Eldora’s Jasmine Cooper won gold with her two-run combined time of 1 minute, 22.49 seconds and Michigan’s Kelly Connelly was second in 1:23.65.Ghent was fourth after the first run with a time of 43.18. A pep talk from her coaches revved her up to be more aggressive on run No. 2.
“I went out (in the first run) and I was skiing really pretty, as my coaches would say, and that wasn’t fast,” she said. “They said that fourth is what I deserved by the way I skied. Then I came out and I just attacked. I really wanted to do well that (second) run.”Ghent’s final time was 1:24.35.The points from the bronze weren’t enough to push her past Winter Park’s Madison Shepard for the overall title, but she was pleased, regardless.”It’s good to come home from Italy and have a good race this year,” she said. “I still enjoy super-G the most, but slalom is really fun. You just have to go out and attack and that’s what I did.”
With the bronze, Ghent pushed Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s total medal haul to seven. Hunter Schleper finished second in downhill Tuesday and then won gold Friday in giant slalom. Teammate Cody Unicume won gold Wednesday in super-G and took silver behind Schleper Friday in GS.Unicume ended up as the boys’ overall winner and Schleper finished third in the standings despite the fact that the SSCV boys failed to place a racer in the top 10 Saturday. Michael Ankeny finished first with his combined time of 1:18.27. Scott Chrisman was second in 1:20.31 and Max Lamb was third in 1:20.35. Ghent’s teammate Tori Lockwood posted the second-best result for an SSCV racer with her seventh-place finish. The best result on the boys’ side was from Brian Dorfman who had a personal best at 15th.
SSCV’s Delainey Ackerman also capped a solid Junior Olympics Saturday by finishing second in the standings for the Bibbo award. The honor is a cumulative prize given to the racer who improves the most over the course of four races. The criteria is an average determined by start order and final finish order.Staff Writer Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado