The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) J3 racer says on her better runs, she usually can’t recall the action.
And one of her better runs it certainly was, as Desrochers skied away with the fastest time in the field by nearly two-tenths of a second at 47.22 seconds in the 2012 J3 Rocky/Central Junior Championships at Golden Peak.
“I usually don’t remember the really good races because you’re so in the moment, you just try to go with it,” Desrochers said after the race.
“We knew it was a good one,” said SSCV coach J.J. Jensen. “We knew when she came off that jump on (the section of the course called Afterthought) she was on a textbook line. She absolutely nailed it.”
Behind Desrochers was her fellow SSCV competitor and rival Abigail Murer, with a time of 47.40. The closest club to SSCV was Winter Park with its young speedster Rae Lemon, who crossed the finish line with a time of 48.02
“Six-tenths ahead of the nearest club, eight for the winner, is very significant for us,” SSCV coach Bruch Hamlin said after the race. “It’s a testimony to the depth of this club.”
For the SSCV women, at home and in familiar surroundings, the advantage was theirs to capitalize upon. And as is often the case with this group of girls, they feed off each other’s competitiveness.
“They like to compete not only with the other clubs, but with each other,” said Jensen. “There’s a lot of friendly rivalries in the clubhouse, in a good way, which is great. We’ve got a fast squad and we never know who’s going to come out and win it on that day. Today it was Rachael, but her and Abby were fighting it out for sure … all the girls in the top ten skied very well.”
Jensen is also an inspector for the downhill course. He said it was running very fast Tuesday, adding to the perfect bluebird conditions.
“It’s running a lot faster than in training,” he said Tuesday during the women’s race. “They’re flying so much farther off the jumps.”
And as the day went on, sun glazing on the course made it even faster. The men began at noon with SSCV’s Sands Simonton skiing his way to the podium in 46.47.
“It was my smoothest run by far,” said Simonton, a Vail native born at Vail Valley Medical Center, after the race. “I knew my main competition had already gone in front of me, so I was expecting a top five result. It felt really great to be in third.”
He was beat out by two members of Aspen Ski Club, Sky Kelsey and Tristan Lane, who crossed the finish line in 45.98 and 46.26, respectively.
“Of course we were hoping for more, but it was a good effort on the whole,” said SSCV men’s coach Rob Worrell. “I was very impressed with Sandy’s run.”
Worrell said his team’s home-field advantage had his hopes up for more podium finishes going into the day, but gave credit where credit is due.
“The other teams figured the course out well and had some great performances on it,” he said.
Worrell said he’s looking forward to the rest of the week, especially the slalom and giant slalom events.
“We get better as we get more technical,” he said.
An awards ceremony followed the racing, where the top 10 finishers from both the men and women were recognized and presented with awards. For SSCV, Megan McGrew finished sixth and Sasha Horn took 10th. Other SSCV female competitors included Skylar Chaney in 12th, Anna Martin in 14th, Camilla Trapness in 21st, Haily Norvell in 24th, Whitney Merriman in 29th, Katelin Henum in 36th, Zoe Spanos in 38th and Ruby Black in 53rd.
Including Simonton’s thrid-place finish, the SSCV men also claimed four more top-ten spots with Logan Martin, Ryan Schmidt and Luke Vickerman finishing 5th, 6th and 7th, respectively. Other SSCV male competitors included Paul Cuthbertson in 14th, Colbey Derwin in 19th, River Radamus in 26th, Ryan Kilgore in 28th, Riley Collins in 39th, Colin Suszynski in 43rd, an Keenan Zopf in 49th.