PCST girls medal in Jackson
The Western Region Under 14 (U14) Championships for alpine ski racing were held at Jackson Hole Resort in Wyoming March 10-13. The Western Region is comprised of five divisions: Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Far West, Northern and Intermountain. The top 60 female and male athletes from these Western states came together to compete in three disciplines, super G (SG), giant slalom (GS) and slalom (SL). Eighteen girls and 17 boys from the Intermountain Region (Utah, Idaho and Wyoming) qualified for the event.
The Park City Ski Team (PCST) had four female athletes qualify — Samantha Wilkinson, Lauren Macuga, Meagan Brones and Ani Jensen. Five PCST boys also qualified for the Western Region U14 Champs — Jack Schaede, Justin Bigatel, Jack Pollard, Michal Biskup and Gunnar Travis.
After required super G training runs on Thursday, the competition began Friday morning at 10 a.m. with the U14 girls testing their speed skills. Under partly cloudy skies, it was Aliza Neu of Squaw Valley with the fastest time of the day. Lauren Macuga of PCST skied fast, earning a third-place podium.
The rest of the PCST girls also skied well, with S. Wilkinson capturing sixth place, A. Jensen eighth, and M. Brones 25th.
Ryan Kershaw from the Whitefish Ski Club captured the top podium spot for the boys. For the PCST, J. Schaede earned 15th, G. Travis 19th, J. Bigatel 28th, M. Biskup 36th and J. Pollard did not finish.
For the second day of alpine racing, the skiers competed in giant slalom with the combined time of two runs. Tommy Hoffman of Rowmark was the fastest male skier of the day. G. Travis was 12th, J. Schaede 15th, J. Bigatel 20th, J. Pollard 25th and M. Biskup 26th.
For the U14 girls, it was Georgie Sullivan of Sugar Bowl who captured the top spot. Samantha Wilkinson was able to put two fast runs together to earn a third-place podium spot. L. Macuga skied to 11th, A. Jensen 15th and M. Brones 16th.
Sunday was the final day of racing for the U14 Western Region Championships. With limited visibility and snow, the U14 boys tested their technical skills in the slalom discipline. Putting together two wickedly fast runs was Oliver Parazette of Jackson Hole, who captured first place. It was a strong day for the PCST boys with M. Bickup ninth, J. Schaede 10th and G. Travis 13th. J. Bigatel had to hike to a gate in his second run and ended up 33rd. J. Pollard did not finish, along with 30 percent of the male racers.
For the U14 girls, it was Georgie Sullivan of Sugar Bowl on the top of the podium for the second day in a row. Lauren Macuga of PCST also put together two fast runs to earn second. For the PCST, M. Brones skied to a ninth-place finish, S. Wilkinson 16th and A. Jensen 36th.
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