Vail’s Schleper speeds to second |

Vail’s Schleper speeds to second

Ian CroppVail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyHunter Schleper skis down the course at U.S. Nationals in Maine last month. Schleper, a J2 skier with Iced out Racing, was second in a giant slalom Thursday in Breckenridge.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado April is a great time to wind down the ski season and take a few easy passes on the slopes.But dont tell that to Hunter Schleper.I think, if anything, things are picking up, said Schleper, a Vail skier who competes with Iced Out Racing.On Thursday, Schleper blazed through a Colorado Ski Cup giant slalom race in Breckenridge to take second place in a field with U.S. Ski Team members.I really wish I could have gotten first, but second is good enough, said Schleper, a J2 born in 1991.Schleper won the first run, but U.S. Ski Team racer Will Brandenberg moved up two spots in his second run to take first in 1 minute, 57.97 seconds. Schlepers time was 1.58.70. Ski & Snowboard Club Vails John Kemp, a first-year J1, was fourth after the first run and finished sixth at 2:00.24.The star of the second run was SSCVs Bryan Shpall, who moved all the way from 27th into sixth with a screaming pass through the course.My coach made me pretty upset because I hadnt skied well on the run before and he made me realize it, Shpall said. I got fired up and put it down the hill and got back to basics.Shpalls time of 58.09 was tops and 0.09 seconds better than Brandenbergs second pass.It was a nothing-to-lose situation, he said. Even if I didnt get a point result or podium, the fact that I beat a lot of guys like Jake Zamansky, who was (second) in the NorAm giant slalom standings, gives me a lot of confidence for (Friday) and the rest of the season.Iced Out Racings Kitt Flowers, starting with the 55 bib, was 15th, good for second among J2s. By virtue of Schlepers finish and the time difference among the top 10 finishers, he scored 19 points, which will more than likely move him to No. 1 in the world for his birth year when the next giant slalom rankings come out; hes currently No. 2 in the slalom and giant slalom rankings and in the top 10 for super-G and super combined.I think Hunter was a little off his game at U.S. Nationals, said Iced Out Racing coach Bruce Knoepfel. Its good for him to be back in form now.Knoepfel said that Schleper, who won two races at J2 Nationals in Aspen this season, will likely be nominated for a spot on the U.S. Ski Team, although Schleper has decided he will ski with Iced Out Racing again next year.I think Im a little young, Schleper said. And Bruce is a great coach. Hopefully, Kitt really lets it out next year and we be on the U.S. team together.The races continue with another giant slalom today.

VAIL, Colorado In a the ladies Colorado Ski Cup giant slalom at Vails Golden Peak, the University of Utahs Eva Huckova came in almost a second ahead of the field at 2 minutes, 6.30 seconds to take first.Ski & Snowboard Club Vails Erika Ghent, 13th after first run, moved up to sixth (2:08.85) with the fastest second run.SSCVs Delainey Ackerman moved up five spots on her second run to finish 16th, second among J2s. SSCVs Joelle Chevalier was 23rd, fourth among J2s, while teammate Abby Ghent (25th) was the next J2 finisher. SSCVs Mary Sackbauer, a J2, was 34th.The ladies have another giant slalom in Vail today starting at 9:30 a.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

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