Over 200 of Colorado’s top 11 and 12 year-old ski racers are at Crested Butte for the Prater Cup to take a shot at qualifying for the J4 Championships held at Steamboat in March.
And with only one more chance to earn a spot at the J4 Championships, the Council Cup in early March, all these skiers are gunning for their chance to make the cut.
“It’s all or nothing for these kids as they try to get into the championships,” said coach Robin Chace. “The pressure to qualify is on.”
Friday, 2/24, marked the opening race: a Super G for the boys and girls. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail made its mark taking seven of the top eight spots for the girls and nine of the top 15 places for the boys.
For the girls, SSCV’s Jennie Symons took first and Nellie Rose Talbot raced to second place. Following Symons and Talbot were their teammates Sylka Snyder in fourth, Dylan Fiore, fifth, Paula Cooper, sixth, Haley Frischholz, seventh, and Jessica McMurtry in eighth.
For the SSCV boys, Colby Lange skied a clean line to take the win with Bridger Gile in second.
Brendan Keene, Jacob Dilling, and Jake Dippy took fourth, fifth, and seventh, respectively, with Christopher O’Brien in tenth, Patrick Ottley, 12th, Gus LeBlanc, 13th, and Matthew Macaluso in 14th.
“Today went very well,” said Chace. “We asked the kids to stay low and ride a flat ski, and it paid off. The group really shined today.”
The Prater Cup continues on Saturday, 2/25, with a giant slalom for the boys and slalom for the girls.