Ghent, Unicume spin super-G gold
GOLDEN PEAK ” Silver is sweet, but gold is always better.
Just ask Christa Ghent for proof.
On Wednesday, a day after a runner-up finish in the downhill at the J3 Junior Olympics, the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail racer reigned supreme in super-G on the Golden Peak course.
Ghent’s winning time of 1 minute, 5.68 seconds was more than a full second faster than runner-up Madison Shepard of Winter Park, who finished in 1:06.84. Michigan’s Hannah Wolf finished third in 1:07.22.
“It felt really good,” Ghent said of her gold medal run. “I felt like I nailed the pitch and everything. I felt like I skied the right line and I guess I did because it showed. It felt really fast. Sometimes runs like that don’t feel that great, but it felt fast.”
Ghent’s medal was only the first Wednesday in what was a dominating gold medal sweep for SSCV on its home hill.
Cody Unicume picked up a first-place medal of his own by edging Steamboat Springs’ Taylor Coe. Unicume’s winning time of 1:04.23 came on the heels of his fourth-place finish Tuesday in downhill ” a race in which teammate Hunter Schleper finished second.
“It’s pretty cool,” Unicume said of the sweep. “It proves that we’re here to race and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got. We’re going to use all the advantages that we have from knowing the hill better.”
Steamboat Springs’ Ryan McConnell secured a 2-3 finish for his ski club with his bronze-medal time of 1:04.89.
SSCV also placed three other racers in the top-10. Whitney Setterberg finished eighth in the girls race with a time of 1:09.17 and Delainey Ackerman was 10th in 1:09.48.
Unicume’s teammate Kitt Flowers finished ninth with his time of 1:06.13.
Ghent and Unicume both said pre-race strategy played a big role in their wins.
Ghent said she chose skis that were shorter than what most of the other racers were skiing on to take a more aggressive line in the tightest turns on the course.
“(The course) definitely did suit me very well,” Ghent said. “I knew I was ready for a course that you had to turn in. I’m pretty good turning and it was a pretty turney course. It was fun.”
Unicume said his win came as a result of skiing smart.
“When I say smart, I mean knowing where to ski extremely aggressive and where not to,” he said. “Coming onto the pitch, there was a little jump. If you didn’t have the correct line coming off the jump, you could get screwed up. If you landed right, you could take the right line and ski aggressively. You could ski aggressively on pretty much the whole course, there were just some turns on the upper flats, especially one, that were extremely turney. You had to ski smart there and make sure you had it.”
The J3 Junior Olympics continueThursday at Beaver Creek with women’s giant slalom.
The boys race GS Friday.
Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.