Skiers speed at Golden Peak slalom
VAIL – Eagle County skiers used some familiar snow to their advantage in Friday’s slalom at Golden Peak.Battle Mountain had a pair of top-10 finishes, while Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain each had a skier in the top 10.The Huskies’ Mitch Hendrix led local boys with a sixth-place finish to follow up his fourth-place finish last week in Aspen.Hendrix, like most other racers, enjoyed the speed of the course.”You had to hold on for dear life,” Hendrix said. “Down at the bottom (the gates) get straightened out and that’s where the steeps are.”Vail Mountain’s Mick Seeman was close behind Hendrix in ninth place, followed by the Huskies’ Petey Moore, in 11th.On the girls’ side, Kelly VanHee continued to ski with consistency, grabbing seventh place. Last week she was also in the top 10, placing eighth.
“I only didn’t finish in one race this year,” said VanHee, who was in seventh after her first run.Eagle Valley’s Hannah Nelson had her best race of the year, taking 10th.”I finally put it together like I used to,” Nelson said. “My first run put me in a good position. (The second run) was so windy, I was blowing over. Both runs were really fun, though, and I finally skied like I knew how.” Red tapeThe Gore Rangers’ Chris Woods came down the hill with red tape binding his left glove to his pole on both runs to take 19th place.”In Aspen, I broke my thumb and tore my ligament,” Woods said. “I was supposed to get surgery (Thursday), but I had postponed it so I could race today.””Going down it felt pretty good. I couple times I would hit the thumb and it would hurt. My run felt clean and I’m glad I finished,” Woods said.Woods, who is in the front-running for the Skimeister title, will rough it again today in the Vail Classic Nordic race. Unlike in Friday’s slalom race, his thumb is a lot more essential in the Nordic race.”I have no idea how it will work,” Woods said. “It’s going to be harder, and pushing will be different. Monday I’ll get surgery and I’ll be ready for state.”
Wilder Heuga (14th) Bart Cuomo (22nd) were also in the top 30 for Battle Mountain.For Battle Mountain, Colby LeFebvre ripped two great runs for his best finish of the year, 31st place, qualifying him for state.”It was pretty sick,” LeFebvre said. “I only practiced once this week. I was really scared.”Vail Mountain’s Jens Kjesbo grabbed 35th, while the David Deline fell hard on his first run, suffering a concussion.Second run surgeNicole Luczkow of Eagle Valley was in 15th after her first run, and moved up two placed in her second run to take 13th and the Huskies’ Kelly Scholl also was in the top 15 with a 14th-place run.Vail Mountain’s Lucy Sackbauer had a fast second run to drop her four spots into 16th place. .”I hit a gate and it fell out behind me,” Sackbauer said of her first run. “I thought it was a good course set, and the snow was really soft. Everyone on our team did well.”One spot behind Sackbauer was the Huskies’ Jane Lettovska., followed by teammate Josie John in 21st. Rounding out state qualifiers (in the top 32) were the Huskies’ Rebecca Richardson in 24th, and the Gore Rangers’ Joely Denkinger.
Vail Christian’s Terrin Kinser placed 55th, impressively finishing her second run after losing a ski. The Devils’ top boys finisher was Bo Lowe in 44th, while the Saints’ sole boys’ competitor, Brennan Stege, came in 45th. Next week qualified skiers will head to Winter Park to compete in the state championships.”We are all exited to be there,” Sackbauer said.Seeman is ready to ski on edge.”You’ve got to go all out – it’s state,” Seeman said.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado