Julia Littman tops the podium in New Mexico
It’s just been a great weekend for local skiers wherever they may be.
Sarah Schleper took fifth in Saturday’s World Cup giant slalom in Germany.
Back on Golden Peak, the local high schoolers impressed Friday in a state-qualifier.
And, if you would, please look to the south now as Julia Littman continued the trend Friday.
The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail product and Vail Mountain School alumna struck gold in an International Skiing Federation University-Level GS in Taos, N.M.
The lingo in the previous paragraph means that 19 year old took on some of the best and the brightest college skiers around the world and took them to the woodshed.
“It felt very good,” Littman said. “I wanted to win bad and I did. … I think it will definitely boost my confidence.”
And the timing for that would be perfect because Littman is coming into the crunch time of her season. She has races at Big Mountain, Mont., followed by the Nor-Am Finals in Callingwood, Ontario, during the second week of March.
Littman was in control from start to finish in Taos Friday. She laid down a first-run time of 1 minute, 5.24 seconds, a full half-second ahead of Slovenia’s Mateja Gombac. Littman increased her lead on her second trip down the hill, besting Gombac by 1.4 seconds with a cumulative time of 2:12.74.
SSCV coach Ethan Beck says it was Littman’s work in practice which made the difference.
“She trained all last week and her focus was on moving her body down the hill every time she switched her edges,” the coach said. “And, she did it as well as I’ve ever seen her do it.”
Littman said they ke was speed – and who’s to argue with success?
“It was a pretty flat hill,” Littman said. “It was just a matter of hustling and accelerating out of all the turns. I just had to generate speed whenever I could. That was pretty much key.”
Littman wasn’t the only skier from SSCV making tracks on Friday. Kristen Poehling finished 12th with a time of 2:15.55. On the men’s side, Ian Lochhead was 17th in 2:10.62.
“He’s started to really come around and gain some confidence,” Beck said. “At the Beaver Creek Speed Series, he won two super-Gs and was second in two downhills. He’s carrying that momentum into the technical races. He was the top junior in GS (Friday), so that’s a pretty big deal.”
Other local names of note include Cody Jenick in 19th, Aaron Bolduc in 23rd, Muzi Gazioglu in 31st and Duncan Robinson in 37th.
There was a slalom on tap for Saturday. Official results were not available as of press time.