Intermountain Masters hosts international race series in Park City | ParkRecord.com

Intermountain Masters hosts international race series in Park City

Parkites find success in the FIS Master races

Submitted by Amy Lanzel
Intermountain Masters

Michael Falk of Park City, winner of the 2017 Intermountain Masters Pendleton Trophy, poses with the award, presented by Shawna Pendleton left.

Master ski racers from around the world gathered for an exhilarating three-day race series last weekend hosted by Park City Mountain Resort. Fielding the largest competitive field in recent history, the event was a combination of a FIS International Cup race, the USSA Masters Western Regionals and local favorite, the Loritz /Pendleton Cup.

Composed of two Super G's, a giant slalom and a slalom, it tested and vetted out the world's best adult ski racers. With the stakes so high, racers both shined and shattered in a spectacular array of runs and crashes.

If ever there is a crown jewel in ski racing, it’s the speed events. The series started with two wicked fast
Super G's with speeds recorded in excess of 60 miles per hour. The overall men's win went to Rocky Mountain's Fuxi Fuchberger, followed by strong local podium winners Mike Falk, Tom Kranthaler and Bob and Bill Skinner, Thunder Jalili, Craig Norton and Chris Probert.

The women's field was dominated by master's national chairperson Lisa Densmore Ballard in a blistering run reminiscent of her U.S. Ski team days. Other podium standee's included a long list of local fast women; Amy Lanzel, Ellen Hendrickson, Sarah Lemire, Donna France and Dasha Kadulova and Chris Paup. Remarkably no series crashes occurred.

Saturday’s slalom proved to be one of the series' toughest races. A plethora of disqualifications kept popping up on scoreboard, as the fast and tricky course reined carnage. Local masters coach Bill Skinner took a horrific crash that miraculously resulted in no injury.

"I got lucky," he said, as he entertained the evening awards crowd with repeated replays of him falling from the day's video.

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The Pendleton slalom award was presented by widow Shawna Pendleton to the fastest man and woman of the day. For the men, winners Michael Falk and Tim Hill shared the title, with Jennifer Kaufman as the ladies top winner from Rocky Mountain division. The hot podium spots were fiercely fought for as Park City's Peter Papineau and Lynn Vaughn just barely missed a spot after being edged out by the thinnest of time margins.

Podium winners included several Park City folks; Duncan Burns, Thunder Jalili, Craig Norton, George Dorris, Tom Kronthaller and Gabe Roth.

When it came to the women’s course, the race was on for the Loritz Cup. Amy Lanzel managed to eliminate herself from contention with a last gate straddle, opening the door for Ellen Hendrickson to get one step closer to sealing the deal for the grand prize. Close times were recorded by all top finishers, but special mention to Dasha Kadulova and Louise McKee in their battle for the second- and third-place podium spots.

Julie Rosenberg, a newcomer to racing, received her first ever podium spot with a second-place finish in women’s Class 6. Beth Sarazine and Sarah Lemire also secured first-place finishes in their class.

Sunday's Super G was the final race to determine who the winner would be of the coveted Loritz Cup. Also to be determined were the winners of the team jackets for the Intermountain class winners.

The Loritz Cup is in memory of lifetime Park City resident Gary Loritz, an avid and early organizer of the Intermountain Masters program. He died an early death due to ALS and his son Gordy presents the trophy in his honor every year. It’s the only Intermountain Master race that uses a handicapped scoring system that puts everyone on equal footing.

This year's proud winners went to Sun Valley's Knut Olberg and Ellen Hendrickson of Park City. Honorable mention goes to Bob Dreyer, who took first place in his age class and Jan Swift, who unfortunately suffered season ending injuries.