Snowell claims sixth straight title | VailDaily.com
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Snowell claims sixth straight title

B.C. Champs2 3-1 CS
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Winning a championship the first time is sweet, the second time even sweeter, but what about the sixth time?For the Snowell team it was sweeter than the Agave margaritas being served at Monday night’s Beaver Creek Town Series post-race party, after the boys in blue won what was the toughest, most competitive series in recent memory to complete the six-peat.In the end, after the snow had settled following Monday’s dual giant slalom, Snowell edged Mill Creek by a total of 192-187, a margin so slim that one did-not-finish or one no-show for Snowell would have created a tie at the top of the leader board.”This is one of the closest final standings I’ve ever seen in the league for sure,” series organizer Greg Johnson said. “It has been really, really competitive. Had Snowell had some minor thing go wrong, they wouldn’t have ended up in first place.”Some minor thing didn’t go wrong on the final day of racing for either top-flight team, although there was discussion Monday night over Snowell’s midseason roster moves, which were the key to their sixth overall title.After trailing the first three weeks of the season to the upstart Mill Creek squad, Snowell brought in aces Anton Pogue on snowboard and Tory Hauser on telemark skis to diversify its lineup and pick up the coveted win points for both men’s telemarking and snowboarding divisions.Pogue and Hauser in the end accounted for eight of Snowell’s win points – the difference in the neck-and-neck finish.”The rule is really open,” Johnson explained. “It’s not designed for these top teams. It’s designed for everybody else in the league. In the spirit of competition, in the spirit of letting people race, we want people to show up and participate. The rules are flexible, though. The top teams this year started taking advantage of that, particularly Snowell first.”They went out and worked within the rules to manipulate the final standings. They said they were going to do it and they went out and chased those win points that made a slight difference in the final two teams.”Just like its near identical acronym that decides college football’s champion, the BCRS rule book has its critics – but no one discounted Snowell’s sixth title as illegitimate Monday night.Just like the Yankees without a salary cap in Major League Baseball, or signing bonuses in the NFL, Snowell put the best team together under the current rules and won fair and square.”They didn’t do anything illegal. They followed the rules and they used the rules to their advantage,” said Mill Creek’s Bob Bartels, winner of the men’s overall alpine title. “It’s kind of like being a lawyer. There are always loopholes in laws. That’s just the way it is. They figured out how to do it when they got behind and, yes, it is kind of a sour taste in people’s mouths, but that’s just how it goes. They didn’t do anything wrong.”That doesn’t mean that everybody has to like it, though, or that there won’t be changes in the future.”Likewise, we brought in a couple fast ringers over the year. They just happened to bring in ringers outside of alpine to make sure that they won,” Bartels said. “There is a lot of talk that the rules should be changed. Snowell is saying that and we’re saying that. Make it more fair. Maybe you register five people at the beginning of the season and you only have so many substitutions throughout the year.”Aside from the discussion, all sides agreed that despite the usual outcome of the team competition, this year’s series was by far the best yet.”It was just such a good year,” said Snowell’s Jon Meckem, who finished second in the men’s alpine overall race to Bartels. “It was such a good series. Just the smack talking back and forth. I thought it was fun. I appreciated that. I think that generated more participation, really.”Added Bartels, “We’re proud that for three weeks we had them worried. That’s huge.”For complete results of Monday’s race and overall series winners, see Wednesday’s scoreboard.Nate Peterson is at 949-0555 or npeterson@vaildaily.com


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