When in Canada, Vail’s Flowers blooms | VailDaily.com

When in Canada, Vail’s Flowers blooms

Ian CroppVail, CO Colorado

Kitt Flowers found a great line to ski and has been holding it for nearly a month.Flowers, who skis out of Vail with Iced Out Racing, was stuck in a bit of a rut when he and his teammates went up to Canada for some races at the end of January.The season started off a little slow, then I had some good results, and then it slowed down again, Flowers said. And then I really put it together up (in Canada).After three top-five finishes to start out the trip in Alberta, Flowers moved to the Canadian Junior Nationals in Whistler, British Columbia, where he was top three among his age group all week. Last week, fresh off his junior nationals performance, Flowers headed to Red Mountain, British Columbia, where he won a giant slalom and took second in a pair of slalom races.It was awesome, Flowers said. Once you get on a roll, you cant get out of it. You know just what to do, and you keep doing it over and over.Along with a big boost of confidence, Flowers lowered his International Ski Federation points by a considerable amount. Skiers can lower points which is desirable by beating racers who have fewer than they do or winning races by large margins.My points were 70 before, and now they are 49 in slalom and 51 in giant slalom, he said. The new points list closes on Sunday, so hopefully I can get them even lower.Flowers is in Jackson Hole, Wyo., with his teammates for more technical races this week.One of Flowers teammates, Hunter Schleper, showed no signs of slowing after his great performance at junior nationals in Whistler. Schleper took fifth and sixth in a pair of U.S. National Development System slalom races in Part City, Utah.He beat almost all of the national team guys, Iced Out coach Bruce Knoepfel said.Iced Outs Cooper Cartmill had three top-10 finishes at Red Mountain.

A shutout is hard enough to earn in a team sport, but when it comes to skiing, its near impossible.That is, unless you happen to be Kaytlyn Samuelson.Samuelson, the J3 Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete, won all four Junior Olympic qualifying runs this past weekend at Winter Park.Going into the weekend I had already qualified, so I was thinking I had nothing to lose, Samuelson said. I knew I was already in the Junior Olympics, but I wanted to bring up my seeding.And once she earned a top seed in the first race Samuelson just put it behind her and kept going forward.I won that race, and it was good, but for the next three, I just wiped the slate clean and started over again, she said.She was determined to ski fast, and she did. She was ripping it, SSCV coach J.J. Jensen said.Right behind Samuelson in second for three of the four races was teammate Jessica Delacenserie.Those two girls were in a league of their own, Jensen said.And the SSCV girls were missing one of their racers in Greta Byrne, who is at the Topolino Games, the top race in the world for J3s.These girls have been chasing each other in training for the last two or three months, and they are all feeding off each other, and it showed this weekend, Jensen said.On the boys side, SSCVs Dan Graebel was second in a slalom qualifier, just 0.01 second off first place, while Sean McCormick had a pair of top-five finishes.Twelve girls and 13 boys from SSCV qualified for the Junior Olympics, which will be held in Vail March 9 to 15.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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