Park City Ski and Snowboard starts alpine season in Jackson
Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming, hosted the Sean Nurse Memorial Open Intermountain Cup Dec. 20-23. The open series brought together racers of different ages from the Intermountain Division of USSA, with approximately 90 female and 100 male racers. The four-day event provided athletes an opportunity to test their early season skills, with two giant slalom and two slalom races.
This first race kicked off early Thursday morning with the girls on Elk run, testing their giant slalom prowess on a course with 33 gates. Sun Valley’s Dasha Romanov captured first place with a combined two run time of 1:37.37. Two Park City Ski and Snowboard (PCSS) Alpine athletes put down two super fast runs to capture podium spots, Kennedy Heavrin 4th and Mia Hunt 5th. Maddy Kaiserman and Lindsey Aten, both of PCSS skied fast to earn top 10 spots, in 7th and 10th respectively. For the boys, Buey Grossman of Sun Valley put the pedal to the medal to win first with a combined time of 1:35.76. PCSS showed dominance this day with 3 podium finishes: Justin Bigatel 2nd, Gunnar Travis 4th, and Tay Polster 5th. Two other PCSS male athletes earned top 10 finishes with Jake Rogers in 9th and Brendan Friberg in 10th.
Under sunny skies and cool temperatures, the racers took to the slopes for the second day of giant slalom racing on Friday. Mary Bocock of Rowmark showed impressive speed to earn the top spot on the podium. Notable performances by PCSS athletes include Mia Hunt in sixth and Ava Kelly in 10th. For the boys, Ryder Sarchett of Sun Valley showed his skills to earn first place. It was déjà vu for PCSS with Justin Bigatel, Gunnar Travis and Tay Polster earning 2nd, 4th and 5th places just like the day before. Just off the podium was PCSS athlete Jack Pollard in 6th.
On Saturday the 22nd, the racers switched gears to slalom. On Cougar run, the athletes tested their fast twitch skills around 51 gates. Sophia Tozzi of Jackson Hole led the way with a combined two run time of 1:28.71. Mia Hunt earned another medal by skiing to second place. Other strong finishes include: Lindsey Aten in 6th and Annika Drivdahl in 9th. For the boys, Oliver Parazette of Jackson Hole was king for the day, with a combined time of 1:22.28. Justin Bigatel of PCSS demonstrated his skill across disciplines by capturing 2nd place for the third day in a row. PCSS had two athletes in the top 10 including: Benny Brown 8th and Jake Rogers 9th.
On the final day of racing, Sophia Tozzi had a repeat performance, capturing 1st place in slalom again. PCSS racer Lindsey Aten put together two solid runs to capture 9th place. For the boys, Ryder Sarchett of Sun Valley showed his slalom skill, skiing to first place with a combined time of 1:23.99. It was a day of dominance for PCSS with the following: Justin Bigatel 2nd, Benny Brown 4th, Jake Rogers 5th, Jack Pollard 8th, Gunnar Travis 9th, and Brendan Friberg 10th.
Although this was the first race of the season for most athletes, PCSS Alpine athletes showed that they are in prime form. PCSS racers racked up a total of 13 podiums across the series. Justin Bigatel had a particularly spectacular series, capturing 2nd place all 4 days, earning him overall Champion for the boys. John Buchar, PCSS Alpine Director said, “We were all very excited about our team’s efforts at Snow King. We had a good training block leading up to the races so it was great to see our athletes take advantage of the opportunity. We look forward to building on this momentum into the new year.”
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.