PCST contests final tech qualifier of the season
Pollard finishes on the podium in Jackson Hole
The final qualifier the Intermountain Division (IMD) Under-14 (U14) of alpine ski racing was held at Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Feb. 24-26. Over 200 racers from the IMD Region (Utah, Idaho and Wyoming) competed in the technical disciplines of giant slalom (GS) and slalom (SL) over three days.
On Friday, on Elk Run, the ladies tested who was the fastest GS racer of the day. Out of a field of 95 competitors, Marit Kaiser was able to put together two fast runs to capture first place with a combined time of 1:54:04. Mia Hunt also passed the two-run test with flying colors, capturing second place for the Park City Ski Team (PCST). Lindsey Aten (6th) and Alyssa Gorsch (14th) also finished in the Top 15 for the PCST.
A field of 107 male athletes raced on the same course as the ladies on Friday. With overcast skies and light snow flurries, Ryder Sarchett of Sun Valley was the fastest skier with a combined two-run time of 1:48.44. Skiing with intensity, Jack Pollard of the PCST captured a fourth-place podium spot. PCST male athletes had a strong showing in the GS discipline, placing six boys in the Top 15: Leyton Sheppard (7th), Dylan Thompson (9th), Benny Brown (10th), Tay Polster (12th) and Jakob Rogers (13th).
With temperatures in the low teens, Saturday was a cold day for the athletes testing their slalom skills on Cougar run. It was a two-run test to see which racer could put together the fastest combined time. For a change, the boys commenced first, before the ladies.
Leading the way for the boys was Ryder Sarchett of Sun Valley, 3.91 seconds faster than the next racer. Two PCST athletes earned podium spots, with Gunnar Travis in second and Justin Bigatel in fourth. Also showing their skill in the most technical discipline, the following PCST athletes had Top 15 finishes: Leyton Sheppard (11th), Tay Polster (12th), and Dylan Thompson (13th). As is the case with slalom, nearly 20% of the field did not finish or were disqualified.
Leading the way for the girls on Saturday, it was Mary Bocock of Rowmark with a combined time of 1:16:46. Other strong performances by PCST female athletes include Alyssa Gorsch (7th), Emme Ryan (11th), Sydney Tuttle (14th) and Mia Hunt (15th).
Sunday was another cold day with intermittent snow showers. Ryder Sarchett of Sun Valley earned the top podium spot among men, taking first place all three days of racing. Three PCST male athletes also proved their speed in slalom by earning podium spots: Gunnar Travis 3nd, Justin Bigatel 4th, and Jack Pollard 5th. Also skiing into strong points to qualify for championships was Tay Polster in 12th.
The women contested two runs on Sunday as well. Jessica Blackburn of Sun Valley claimed first place with a combined time of 1:17:38. Alyssa Gorsch of the PCST earned 5th place, with PCST two teammates also ranking in the Top 15, Emme Ryan (10th) and Mia Hunt (12th).
Based upon results from the three qualifiers this season, athletes will head to one of three championship events. Top athletes will head to Alpine Meadows in California, where they will compete in the three disciplines of Super G, GS and SL. Other athletes will contest their skills at the U14 Tri-Divisional Championship at Snowbird Resort from March 23 to 26, while other racers will head to the IMD Finals at Snowbasin on March 18- 19.
To learn more about the Park City Ski Team, please visit parkcityskiteam.org.
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