PCST skiers crush busy schedule
The Intermountain Division had a full schedule of racing for more than 700 competitors ranging in age from 8-20 years of age last weekend. The host sites included Sun Valley, where an Intermountain Cup event was contested, Snowbasin, with a U14 Qualifier, and a U10/U12 South Series Qualifier at Snowbird.
Snowbird South Series
The PCST’s youngest racers took to the slopes for two South Series slaloms at Snowbird Feb. 6-7, competing against the other ski programs in Utah. The weather was nothing but blue skies as far as the eye could see and the PCST kids shined. The field included athletes from U10, U12 and U14 categories and PCST had a strong showing at every level.
In the U10 category on the girls’ side, PCST won both days, with Annika Hunt topping the field on Saturday and Stella Buchheister on Sunday. Other PCST Devos placing in the top-five over the weekend were Charlie Iacobelli and Camden Goodman. On the boys’ side, Wade Kelly, Dana Andrews and Austin Aten swept the top three spots on Saturday, with Kelly and Andrews also placing top five on Sunday.
In the girls’ U12 category, it was Kennedy Heavrin from Team Summit who led the field, but she was closely followed by eight PCST athletes: Madison Kaiserman, Fiona Sawyer, Caeli Sherman, Wynter Probert, McClaren Tyrell, Ava Kelly, Lyndsey Aten and Greta Goldsmith all placed in the top 10 over the weekend. In the boys’ U12, Dillion Bush from PCST won the race on day one and Bjorn Karlsen from PCST won on day two. Other PCST athletes who filled the top 10 over the weekend were: Harry Hoffman, Cameron Iacobelli, Peyton Cox, Stefan Brennwald, Birken Silitch, Jack Abuhaidar, Espen Hunt, Cole Potter and Floyd Geddes.
Finally, in the U14 category, Ana Kaiserman of the PCST skied her way to a win on day two of the event after placing fifth on day one.
The next South Series race will be contested at Park City Mountain Feb. 27-28 with a giant slalom and a slalom. These races are the last races included in the qualifying series which culminates with the Intermountain Championship in McCall, Idaho, in March, where local Park City skiers will compete against the best racers from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
Snowbasin U14 Qualifier
Intermountain racers in the U14 division (born in 2002 and 2003) took to the slopes at Snowbasin Resort for the second race series of the season. It started on Feb. 5 with giant slalom (GS) followed by two days of slalom (SL). There were over 200 racers competing from ski clubs in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
With overcast skies and temperatures in the low 20s, the race series kicked off with U14 girls on a GS course set on the Wildflower run. Marit Kaiser from Sun Valley captured first place and Lauren Macuga of the Park City Ski Team (PCST) put together two fast runs to take second. Among the 99 girls in the field, other top-20 finishes from PCST included: A. Jensen (sixth), M. Hunt (12th), M. Brones (14th) and A. Grossniklaus (18th). In a field of 108 U14 boys, Jack Schaede led PCST with a seventh place finish. Two other PCST boys also put together two solid runs to earn top-20 finishes: J. Pollard (12th) and G. Travis (13th).
On day two, Tommy Hoffman of Rowmark was the fastest male slalom skier of the day, 1.51 seconds faster than the next finisher. Jack Schaede of PCST skied well to earn a fourth-place spot, while the following PCST boys also finished in the top 20: M. Biskup (11th), G. Travis (12th), W. Hathorne (13th), J. Pollard (18th) and J. Bigatel (19th). In the U14 girls’ race, Annaliese Fleck of Jackson Hole captured the top spot, while PCST’s Anna Grossniklaus put together two fast runs to capture fifth. The PCST girls took nearly half of the top-20 spots with solid performances from S. Wilkinson (sixth), M. Brones (seventh), A. Jensen (14th), A. Gorsch (15th), E. Ryan (16th), M. Hunt (17th), A. Stojsic Espenes (18th) and L. Stemler (19th).
On Super Bowl Sunday, the racers, coaches and spectators only had eyes for the hill. For the second day of slalom racing, it was Lauren Macuga of the Park City Ski Team who skied to the top spot for the girls. Other U14 PCST girls who managed to ski fast through nearly 50 gates on each run include: S. Wilkinson (sixth), M. Brones (10th), A. Grossniklaus (13th), A. Jensen (15th), M. Hunt (16th) and E. Ryan (17th). On the boys’ side, it was a hat trick for Tommy Hoffman. PCST’s Jack Schaede had another great day earning a fifth-place podium spot. The first course set for the boys proved challenging with nearly a third of the field with either a DNF or DQ. Run two was kinder but still managed to get the better of 16 male racers. Skiing into points to qualify for champs included: M. Biskup (seventh), J. Bigatel (11th), L. Sheppard (15th) and T. Polster (19th).
The next and final qualifiers for the U14 racers will be super G races held at the Snowbasin Resort Feb. 26-28. Based on points earned during the season, racers will head to either a Regional Championship in Jackson Hole March 9-13 or the Tri-Divisional Championships at Snowbird Resort March 17-20.
Laura Flood Memorial Intermountain Cup Series
The Intermountain Cup held in Sun Valley, Idaho, Feb. 5-7 was a qualifier for the U16 (born in 2000 and 2001) and older. In all age groups, skiers try to qualify for a Western Region Championship that includes competitors from five divisions — the Pacific Northwest, Far West, Alaska, Northern and Intermountain.
The strongest results from the Park City Ski Team came from the U16 women in slalom when they placed four in the top five on Feb. 6 — Shaye Henderson (first), Brynne Hitchcock (third), Valerie Festavan (fourth) and Bridey Bush (fifth).
On the men’s side, four different athletes skied into the top five over the course of the weekend; Max Miller (second), Alex Fugate (third), Shane Cumming (fourth) and Clark Bigatel (fifth).
The next qualifier for these U16 athletes will be three super G races in Bogus Basin, Idaho, Feb. 26-28. This will be the last qualifier before teams are selected to compete in Western Region U16 Championships in Mammoth Mountain, California, in March.
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Chase Campbell, a Park City High School sophomore, has a busy summer schedule, including the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships on July 22-23.