The last chance for a few of the local skiers to make the junior championships came this past weekend. The Council Cup race at Ski Cooper provided two Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) U14 racers with the necessary points to qualify for next weekends big championship race in Winter Park. Not only was this race an opportunity for the U14 athletes, but it was also an opportunity for the U16 racers who will be competing at the championships in Beaver Creek this week.
“This was the last chance to qualify for junior championships so everyone there was looking to do well. Two of SSCV’s U14 racers qualified for the championships and one of SSCV’s U16 athletes narrowly missed the one spot they had for the U16 championships,” said SSCV U14 coach Nate Bryant. “There are six race runs over 3 days and they take the top three results and add those up. The U16 racers were racing for only one spot for both male and female at the championships and the U14 racers were competing for three spots. It was interesting because one of the U16 racers technically tied for first but didn’t quite make it due to logistics and tie breaking rules.”
The athletes who were already qualified for the championships did not compete in the Council Cup, which provided those that needed the spots an opportunity to excel. After three days of racing in slalom, giant slalom, and super g, the winners were announced. SSCV’s Burke Fancher took one of the three spots for the boys, and Anneli Holm took one of the spots for the girls.
Day one’s super g race had SSCV’s Katherine Harnick in second and Trinity Chelain in fourth for girl’s race one. The second race of the day had Holm in third and Chelain in fourth.
The boys skied equally as well with Billy Spanos in second, Tucker Strauch in fourth, and Kendrick Kinsella in fifth in race one of the day. In the second race of the day, Kinsella placed third, Fancher placed fourth, and Spanos placed fifth.
The slalom course was set for day two and more great results came from the SSCV crew. Holm won the first slalom race of the day by more than one second. Following Holm was Anna Scott in third, Katie Collins in fourth, Harnick in fifth. Race two had Holm in first, Katie Collins in fourth, and Anna Scott in fifth.
The boys raced strong in the slalom event with a nice podium sweep in race one. Fancher finished first, in both races of the day, followed by Strauch in second and Dylan Stueber in third in race one. In the end, Fancher’s double first place in slalom gave him the necessary points to qualify for one of the three championship spots being dolled out.
Going into the final day of races, the girls felt the pressure and knew it was going to be a close call between a few of the top contenders. The SSCV girls held in there for the giant slalom races on the final day. Naomi Harding skied well and placed fourth overall. Holm stayed consistent and placed fifth in race one of the day but stepped it up in race two placing fourth.
Race one of the boy’s giant slalom had Kinsella in third, and Spanos in fourth. In race two of the day Spanos skied well and placed third. Following Spanos was Kinsella in fourth, and Strauch in fifth.
It was about as close of a race as it comes. The RMD director had to go to the rulebook a number of times to read about tie breaking procedures. After a couple hours of delegation, winners were announced and racers were qualified for next weekend’s big event.