PCST girls shine at PCMR
With record warm temperatures, more than 200 under-14 alpine ski racers in the Intermountain Division took to the slopes for a three-day race at Park City Mountain Resort last weekend. It was the second qualifier in the series for the U14 Tri-Regional Championships that will be held in Big Sky, Montana, in mid-March. The Park City Ski Team hosted the event, which included racers from the following ski teams: Summit, Odgen Valley, Snowbird, Brighton, Romark, Sundance, Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Sun Valley, Bogus Basin and McCall. The first two days of racing were slalom, followed by giant slalom on Sunday; the format is the best combined time of two runs.
Under sunny skies, the U14 girls’ race began Friday at 9:30 a.m. with a field of 117 skiers. Heidi Hathorne of the PCST dominated, earning a first-place finish with a combined time of 1 minute, 45.87 seconds. From the Summit Ski Team, Sydney Weaver took third. Other top-15 finishes from the PCST included K. Keblish, L. Macuga and G. Sherman.
The unseasonably warm temperatures caused variable snow conditions throughout the course. Coupled with a tough course set, 30 girls either did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DQ) due to missing a gate.
In the U14 boys’ field of 86 racers, the fastest male skier of the day was Bennett Snyder of Sun Valley. PCST’s Cooper Iacobelli was able to put two strong runs together and earned third, followed by teammate Max Miller in fourth. Similar to the girls, nearly 30 percent of the boys’ field was either a DNF or DQ.
Despite a forecast of rain, day two of slalom at David Wright Race ended up being another spring-like day for the racers. The PCST U14 girls came out strong and ended up with the top three podium spots. Hannah Hitchcock took first with a time of 1:37.6, just over 2.5 seconds faster than the next competitor. Heidi Hathorne had another strong day taking second and Ella Dingman finished third. Sydney Weaver of SST was fourth. Other PCST girls in the top 15 included L. Keating, L. Macuga and G. Sherman. On the boys’ side, Peyton Brones of JHSC captured the coveted first-place podium spot. Top-15 finishes from the PCST included C. Iacobelli and L. Dalton.
On Sunday, the U14 racers tested their giant slalom (GS) skills on a long course with 300 meters of vertical drop. With freezing temperatures overnight, the snow on CB’s started nice and firm. For the U14 girls, Hannah Hitchcock took first again, followed by teammate Louisa Keating in third. SST’s Sydney Weaver landed fourth and PCST’s Brynne Hitchcock was fifth. The PCST U14 girls earned nearly half of the top-15 spots with other strong finishes by A. Carnell, H. Hathorne, S. Wilkinson and G. Dalton. For the U14 boys, Peyton Brones of JHSC took first. Sam Levine of the PCST earned a fourth-place podium spot. Other top-15 finishes by PCST boys included A. Fugate, L. Dalton, A. Hoggan and L. Brennwald.
The overall David Wright Memorial Trophy was awarded to PCST’s Heidi Hathorne and JHSC’s Peyton Brones.
The next Intermountain Division U14 qualifier will be held at Snowbasin, starting March 27. The format will be one run of super G on both Saturday and Sunday with a training run on Friday.
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Cold, blustery weather made paddle boarding a daunting task on Saturday, but a handful of die-hard racers still competed at the Park City SUP Festival.