Great weather, strong competition for PCST racers
Park City Ski Team (PCST) athletes had beautiful weather and strong competition Saturday through Monday, Feb. 2-4, as they participated in slalom and giant slalom races at Sun Valley, Snowbird and Park City Mountain Resort.
The "A" U-21 and U-18 racers were in Sun Valley for the annual Laura Flood Memorial FIS Intermountain Cup giant slalom and slalom races, held in honor of a young Sun Valley racer who died in 1990. On Saturday, PCST’s Daniel Demschar skied to a second-place finish behind Canadian Brian Cookson. Harrison Padan had his best finish of the season to date, taking fourth. Bridger Clifford finished seventh, while Hayes Graham and Ralf Carestia took 12th and 13th places, respectively.
Great Britain’s Jordan Fitzgerald won the ladies’ giant slalom race on Saturday. PCST’s Hannah Hunsaker took fifth, Rachel Jacob finished 12th, and Hava Rohloff placed 15th.
Sunday’s men’s giant slalom saw a near repeat of Saturday’s results, with PCST’s Daniel Demschar and Harrison Padan again in second and seventh places. After failing to finish on Saturday, teammate Kiernan Adams came from behind to finish ninth.
Canada’s Megan Henkelman won the ladies’ giant slalom on Sunday, while PCST racer Hannah Hunsaker repeated Saturdays’ fifth-place finish. Natalya Polukoff edged out her teammate Hava Rohloff by one one-thousandth of a second to finish in 14th place. Rohloff took 15th.
PCST U-16 racers were also in Sun Valley, skiing in the Cheeso Memorial races, in memory of the late ski coach Craig "Cheeso" Kjesbo. First place in the men’s slalom went to Sun Valley racer Taylor Cooper. PCST’s Andrew Miller, who had only days before been cleared to ski following a concussion, was fourth. PCST teammate Peter Hanaman was seventh, Jonas Peek was eighth, Macintyre "Mac" Henderson placed ninth and Connor Flynn finished 13th.
Rowmark racer Juliette Park won the ladies’ Cheeso slalom race on Saturday. Lauren Keller was the top PCST racer in fourth place. Heather Abate finished in seventh, while Nicole Greene placed in the top 15 as well, finishing 13th.
On Sunday, Park City’s David Domonoske won the men’s slalom. Harrison Fugate placed fourth, Rainer Paulus was fifth, Peter Hanaman finished eighth, Ian Osselaer was ninth and Romain Astie took 14th. For the Park City women, Megan Dingman took to the podium in third place. Claire Thomas was in eighth, and Aleksandra Uzieblo finished 13th.
The Park City Ski Team women also had strong finishes at the U14 ladies giant slalom races held at Park City Mountain Resort. While Rowmark’s Sofia Yubero won both GS races of the weekend, Alix Wilkinson placed third in each event. Madison Hoffman placed fifth on Saturday and sixth on Sunday. Gabrielle Nixon was ninth on Saturday and fourteenth on Sunday. In addition, Shaye Henderson, Mia Thomas and Julia Chahine all had fast runs, placing in the top fifteen.
The PCST U14 men had their toughest competition of the season to date as Ski Club Vail (SCV) dominated the men’s giant-slalom races. On Saturday, SCV had eleven of the top fifteen racers, with Bridger Gile taking top honors. Summit Ski Team racer Scott McGrath had an impressive 12th-place finish. Ben Lawson and Shane Cumming were the top PCST men, finishing in the 24th and 25th positions. On Sunday, Vail’s Colby Lange won the giant slalom as his teammates snatched 12 of the top 15 spots. Cumming was able to move up to 21st place, while teammate Alex Eyring placed 22nd.
The Snowbird South Series slalom races proved to be more friendly to Park City racers. Summit Ski Team’s Sydney Weaver won the ladies’ U12 slalom on Saturday while Park City racers Brynne Hitchcock, Caitlin Clouse and Ella Dingman took second, third and fourth positions respectively. Hannah Hitchcock placed sixth, Helena Croise was seventh, Kirsten Keblish was eighth, and Andi Carnell was ninth, giving PCST seven out of the top 10 racers.
Ogden Valley Ski Team racer Bridger Harrison won the men’s U12 slalom on Saturday. Park City’s Thomas Hoffman was second, Max Miller was third, Cooper Iacobelli placed fourth, Alex Fugate was sixth, Luc Dalton finished in 11th place and Ethan Massimino captured the 14th position.
On Sunday, Snowbasin racer Jeremy Mathers won the men’s U12 slalom, while Park City’s Sam Levine placed second. Levine’s teammate, Eli Kimche, who missed Saturday’s race due to a fencing match, finished in third place. Cooper Iacobelli again finished fourth; Max Miller was fifth, and Alex Fugate took the number 10 spot.
Sunday was a banner day for the Park City U12 women, as the team had nine of the top 15 finishers. Brynne Hitchcock bettered her second-place finish of Saturday to win the race. Sami Wilkinson was third, Helena Croise was fifth, and Tillie Mintz, who had come out of her binding on Saturday, stayed in her skis Sunday to take sixth place. Lousia Keating, Kaitlin Clouse, Grace Dalton, Kirsten Keblish and Chloe Taylor also had top-15 finishes.
Park City’s Sebastian Sheppard won the men’s U10 Snowbird slalom races on both days. On Saturday, his teammate Max Denton was fifth. Carter Sears was seventh, Angus Percy finished eighth and Leyton Sheppard was tenth. On Sunday, Colter Frey was fourth, Jack Pollard was sixth, Denton took seventh and Sears finished eighth.
A tiny field of U10 slalom racers battled for Snowbird’s podium. Ogden Valley racer Isabella Foos won both Saturday’s and Sunday’s races. On Saturday Molly Quinlan of PCST was third; her teammate Mia Hunt was fifth. Hunt skied to third place in Sunday’s race, while Quinlan took fourth.
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.