Vail Valley’s Ghent gets first college win in GS qualifier race
Vail, CO Colorado
BIG SKY, Mont. – University of Colorado sophomore Erika Ghent won the giant slalom race at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association giant slalom qualifier race Friday here ahead of the Montana State Invitational.
In all, the Buffs put 10 skiers in the top 13 of the men’s and women’s race, five on each side.
A native of Edwards, Ghent picked up her first collegiate victory in a time of 1 minute, 54.90 seconds, and it is her third podium appearance. Her previous best giant slalom finish was on this course in this race a season ago, when she took second in the RMISA qualifier.
Her other podium appearance was a third place finish in the slalom race at the Utah Invitational last season.
“Erika has been going in the direction of picking up a win,” CU head coach Riochard Rokos said. “She is improving all the time. We expect her to keep getting better and when Sara (Hjertman) and Katie (Hartman) both had small mistakes in their second runs, it was a good opportunity for her to step forward. She has adjusted a few things and really improve in the GS.”
Freshman Kirsten Cooper earned her first podium appearance taking third in a time of 1:54.94 while seniors Carolina Nordh (1:55.73) and Katie Hartman (1:55.84) both took home top 10 finishes in eighth and ninth, respectively. Junior Jenny Allen took 13th in 1:56.44 and sophomore Khyla Burrows finished 27th in 2:00.70, followed by senior Ashley Babcock in 28th, clocked in a 2:00.94. Junior Sara Hjertman, who took second last week in Utah, did not finish the second run but did have the fastest time in the field in the first run in 56.84 seconds.
The Buffs were equally as impressive on the men’s side, with senior Gabriel Rivas hitting the podium in third in a time of 1:53.63 followed closely by freshman Andreas Haug in fourth with a time of 1:53.89. Sophomore Max Lamb rebounded from a couple of hikes last weekend to take sixth in 1:54.00. Junior Eric Davis hit the top 10 with a ninth place finish in a time of 1:54.62 while sophomore Taggart Spenst brought home 12th in 1:54.91. Freshman Fletcher McDonald finished 27th in 1:58.10.