Usual suspects fill out top three in GS
David Viele won Wednesday’s Vail Town Race Series giant slalom with a time of 31.04 seconds, Eric Archer took second and Christian Questad finished third.
Ho hum, read this one before.
Wait, don’t flip the page, though, because Kristen Luckenbill of the Black Forest Race Team finished in 32nd place.
Yeah, Kristen Luckenbill, only the fourth-ranked goalie on the U.S. Women’s soccer team – a possible Olympian this summer in Athens if she can move up to No. 3 – who was also the starting netminder last season for the now-defunct Carolina Courage of the Women’s United Soccer Association.
Turns out Luckenbill can spend her offseasons anywhere, as long as there is a gym nearby – and her butt is in it everyday. So, for the last two ski seasons the three-time NCAA All-American and four-time All-Ivy selection from Dartmouth has made the Vail Valley her home away from home, and ski racing her sporting hobby away from her sporting career.
“Skiing is kind of my fun thing to do in the offseason,” said Luckenbill Wednesday night at the VTRS race party at Tangos. “Vail’s a good area to train in. As a goalkeeper, a lot of the muscles I use are the same as in ski racing. Same with the coordination. I do spend most of my time in the gym, but racing in the town race series is a blast. I don’t take it too seriously, though.”
Luckenbill will return to California this April, once the snow begins to melt to begin training with the U.S Team.
And, if she is able to make the cut, she may be heading to Athens during the second week of August to represent her country in the Olympics.
“Right now, they consider me the No. 4 goalie with the U.S. Team,” said Luckenbill. “I’ve got to beat out one other goalie to make the team. I had one training camp in January and I’ve got another starting in April. I’ll be training with the team pretty much from April to June, or longer, depending on what happens.”
So, “Lucks’ as her friends and teammates call her may have only been the 32nd best ski racer in Vail Wednesday, but she’s definitely the best story this week.
Viele, who won his fourth series race of the season, and was a classmate of Luckenbill’s at Dartmouth even said so himself.
In the women’s classes Pavla, Raclavska of the Ski and Snowboard Vail Alpine team was again the fastest female on the hill for yet another week, winning the Women’s Open Class with a time of 33.46 seconds.
Jo-Ellen Rowley of the Black Forest Race team was first in the Women’s A Class at 34.53 seconds and Darcy Zimmerman won the Restaurant Class with a time of 35.95 seconds.
In the men’s classes, Paul Smith of Team MacDermid won the A Class with a time of 33.37, independent racer Nate Asoian won the B Class with at 31.6 and Dirk Johnson won the Restaurant Class at 33.15.
George Konterski of the Midwest 20-something team was the fastest snowboarder of the day running a time of 41.96.
The Vail Town Race Series continues next week with a slalom on Golden Peak at 10 a.m.
Nate Peterson is sports writer for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.