Local ski racers qualify for JOs
The 11- and 12-year-old ski racers from the Rocky Mt. Division raced in Crested Butte Feb. 20-23 to qualify for the event, which will include racers from the Rocky Mountain and Central divisions.Ski & Snowboard Club Vail qualified more racers than any other Rocky Mountain club with five girls and 11 boys racing into the top spots.The athletes’ best two results were used to rank them overall.Christa Ghent earned second overall in the super-G, a pair of silver medals in the giant slaloms and bronze in both slaloms at the qualifiers.Kelly Van Hee brought home a sixth place finish in the super-G and seventh in the giant slalom, which put her eighth overall.Jamie Lee Roberts showed her versatility with a sixth and ninth in the giant slaloms and 10th in the slalom, placing her in ninth overall.Delainey Ackerman turned in a ninth-place finish in the giant slalom to rank 21st and Jocelyn Irwin also qualified in 27th place after having by far the best races of her season. Hunter Schleper, one of the youngest to compete, showed his strength by finishing sixth and ninth in both slaloms and qualified 12th overall.Brian Dorfman earned ninth place in the giant slalom to rank 18th overall and Matt Schovee turned in an impressive performance with a fourth place in the giant slalom after starting 43rd.Kitt Flowers turned in two top-15 results in super-G and giant slalom, Frazier Cavness raced to fifth place in the super-G and Cameron Smith earned 13th place in the giant slalom.Also qualifying with consistent results were Pete Moore, Alex Drew, Cody Unicume, David Graebel and Axel Speah.”The competition was intense and the conditions were challenging with new snow and adverse weather,” coach Bruce Knoepfel said. “The boys showed their well-rounded skiing abilities and we look forward to continued improvement as we prepare for the Junior Olympics. I was extremely happy with the number of boys that rose to the challenge, achieved their goals and qualified for the JO’s.”Jill Garel also had a great series, showing improvement with every race.Taylor Wettlaufer, Elliott Brenner and Marius Grant finished overall 54th, 60th and 68th respectively. Matt Jones, Blaze Heuga, Hayden Fitpatrick and Connor Klein also competed.”These boys and girls raced as hard as anyone out there,” coach Karen Ghent said. “Each athlete showed a lot of tenacity and heart. They are outstanding representatives of our club and we were proud of the entire team.”Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.
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