Ski and Snowboard Club Vail sweeps overall titles |

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail sweeps overall titles

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
SPT JO Celine Guilmineau DT 3-11-09

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Ski and Snowboard Club Vail should remember March 11 for a long time. It was a historic day for the club.

First, SSCV alumna Lindsey Vonn wrapped up her second-straight overall World Cup title. A world away, SSCV was putting the finishing touches on a spectacular Junior Olympics.

SSCV’s Nick Braun and Celine Guilmineau both won the overall titles at the J3 Junior Olympics. In Aspen, Greta Byrne won the slalom title at the J2 National Junior Olympics.

All in a day’s work.

“Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn,” SSCV coach J.J. Jensen said. “In my mind, she is best female skier ever. Everybody knew Lindsey was special when she was 12-years-old.”

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The current crop of SSCV skiers are pretty special too. Guilmineau clinched the overall title in dominating fashion. She started the week with a win in the downhill, then proceeded to podium in the other three disciplines.

After falling in the downhill, SSCV’s Katharine Irwin rebounded to podium in the super-G, giant slalom and slalom. She finished second in the overall to Guilmineau.

“I’m so happy for them,” Jensen said. “Those two girls really, really work hard.”

Braun proved his skills during the week. Like Guilmineau, he started with a downhill title and was strong in the other disciplines. Braun edged Aspen’s Bobby Moyer and Buck Hill’s Willy Blommer for the overall.

“Those are the kids that were the best all-around skiers here,” Jensen said. “Ski Club Vail won the overall for the boys and the girls and Katharine Irwin was in the mix. It’s awesome for SSCV and the Rocky Division.”

Bear Trap runs fast

Race officials won their battle against Mother Nature during the Junior Olympics. Wind, snow and sunny skies were all in the mix during the week but crews always had the course in fine racing shape. On Tuesday, not even 10 inches of snow could stop the giant slalom race.

The slalom course on Bear Trap at Beaver Creek was the last of the courses to draw rave reviews.

“I really like the course,” SSCV’s Alex Leever said. “It’s a little bit of a strange setup. It’s a challenge.”

Jensen heard similar sentiments about the entire event.

“This might have been the best JO ever,” Jensen said. “I’ve been going to the JOs since the 80s, and this was an incredible event.”

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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