PCST skier gaining momentum
Ryan Summerlin January 29, 2013
Park City Ski Team member Darwin Taylor had never won an FIS event prior to this year.
That all changed on Jan. 14 at the Western Region Speed Series at the Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho. Taylor won the first downhill race, finishing his two runs with a total time of one minute, 15.11 seconds (.28 seconds ahead of Forrest Ferguson) to claim his first FIS gold.
Two days later, the 17-year-old once again found his way to the podium, claiming silver in the second downhill race. He finished only .03 seconds behind race winner Thomas Robles.
"I was really happy," he said of his performance at Schweitzer. "It was the first time I’d really ever won anything this big."
He was on his way to an even more outstanding weekend until a disqualification and an injury ended his quest for more medals.
Taylor was on pace to post the fastest time in the first super G race before missing the last gate and crashing. Another super G race ended in another wreck for Taylor, this one injuring his knee.
Now, Taylor is resting his strained MCL, hoping to return to the slopes in about a week.
Despite the anticlimactic ending to the weekend, Taylor was very pleased with his performance, which allowed him to qualify for the under-18 championships in Mammoth, Calif., in March.
"I’m psyched to head there this year," he said, adding that it was the first time he’d qualified for the event.
Taylor said he’s ready to get back on the hill and try to continue his solid season. He hopes the time off to recover from the injury won’t be too much of a setback.
"I’m stoked because I did a lot of work over the summer and it’s nice to have some hard work pay off," he said. "Hopefully the rest of my season follows suit."
He hopes trips to the top of the podium become a habit, especially at the U18 championships.
"I’d like to win an event there," he said. "It would be awesome to qualify for the U.S. Nationals."
For now, he’ll focus on resting his knee and doing what he can to stay in shape.
"I’m just taking some time off from racing and just staying conditioned," he said. "I’ve got to go back to basics and work on my fundamentals."