As one USSA alpine championships race ends, another quickly follows. The U14 championships officially kicked off in Winter Park on Wednesday with the super-g competitions. The Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) U14 team has been unstoppable this season and has placed over five athletes out of the top ten in just about every competition. While the U14 racers headed to the other side of the divide, the U18 racers drove back from Mammoth where they competed in blizzard conditions at their Nationals event. Even with difficult racing weather, and race delays, spirits were high and great results came from local U18 racers.
An injury can often be a humbling and centering experience. Dozens of professional racers have come back from injuries with a newfound appreciation and love of the sport, and stronger than they thought possible. Focus replaces fear when the realization of vulnerability comes into play.
Montana Marzario ended her season last January with a tibia, and fibula, break. After multiple surgeries by the Steadman Clinic she came back this season to race in the U18 age class with no expectations. The U18 age class is one of the most competitive age classes in racing and can really determine whether or not a racer will go on to compete in college, or professionally.
Marzario was hungry for greatness in Mammoth whether she knew it or not. Even going into the down hill race Marzario had an eye infection, but overcame and placed well. After placing fourth in slalom, and 11th in the down hill, Marzario ended up third overall. Unfortunately, Marzario wasn’t even in attendance at the awards ceremony due to her eye issue. “I couldn’t have been more excited to go to nationals. I honestly never thought I would be third overall after being out all of last season with a broken leg and multiple surgeries,” said Marzario. Earlier this season, Marzario tied for first place in a slalom race at the Atmore Cup in Spirit Mountain with current U.S. Ski Team member, and SSCV alumnae, Paula Moltzan. Marzario’s injuries may have been a bump in the road, but her determination and hard work has clearly trumped any set backs. Alex Leever also placed well for SSCV in the slalom event and came in ninth.
Meanwhile, the U14 athletes continued their season’s reign of dominance at Winter Park on Wednesday in the first competition of the championships, super g. The weather was perfect and the young athletes took full advantage of the clear visibility.
The SSCV boy’s started well at the championships event by placing seven athletes in the top ten. In second place there was Colby Lange, who has landed in the top ten of nearly every event this season. SSCV’s Bridger Gile placed third followed by Jacob Dilling in fifth, Brendan Keane in sixth, Reese Irwin in seventh, Flinn Lazier in ninth, and Ben Kooiman in 10th. The SSCV U14 boys are without a doubt some of the best racers of their age class in the nation, and they sure haven’t been afraid to prove it. On the girl’s side, Jessica McMurtry skied to a third place finish followed by Zoe Livran in seventh.
The racers will continue to compete for the remainder of the week and into the weekend. For more results go to live-timing.com.