PCST skiers strong in Jackson
January 15, 2016
The Intermountain Division U14 race series for athletes born in 2002 and 2003 started last weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with the Sean Nurse Memorial Race. The Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club hosted the races Jan. 8-10 at Snow King Resort for skiers from Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.
The weekend’s races were the first qualifiers for athletes to earn points to go to championships at the end of the season. The race format was two days of giant slalom (GS) followed by slalom (SL) on the final day. Following three weekends of qualifying races, there will be an elite U14 Regional Championships in Jackson March 9-13 for the top skiers and the traditional Tri-Divisional Championships at Snowbird Resort March 17-20.
On the first day of racing for the girls, Mary Bocock of Snowbird won first place out of a field of over 100 racers. Two Park City Ski Team (PCST) racers, Sammy Wilkinson and Meagan Brones, captured podium spots with second- and fourth-place finishes, respectively. Other top 20 finishes by PCST girls include: A. Jensen (sixth), L. Macuga (12th), M. Hunt (15th) and S. Combs (18th). In a field of 108 competitors of U14 boys, it was Sun Valley’s Buey Grossman who won the race, a full 2.84 seconds faster than second-place finisher Tommy Hoffman. While visibility was in and out, the snow conditions held up well and resulted in top-20 finishes by the following U14 boy skiers from PCST: J. Bigatel (12th), J. Pollard (16th) and G. Travis (18th).
Day two of racing saw similar conditions as the first day, minus the first day nervous jitters of the racers. For the girls, Sammy Wilkinson led the charge for the PCST claiming the top spot on the podium with a combined time of 1:36:53. Ani Jensen skied fast, capturing the second podium spot, followed by Meagan Brones in fourth. Also skiing into points to qualify for champs include: L. Macuga (eighth), S. Combs (12th) and M. Hunt (16th). On the boy’s side, it was a repeat of Friday with Buey Grossman having the fastest time again, followed by Tommy Hoffman in second. The PCST did not have any male athletes on the podium, but the following racers were in the top 20: A. Lawson (14th), J. Schaede (16th), J. Bigatel (17th) and M. Biskup (20th).
Sunday brought slalom and sunny skies. With the boys running first that day, the race got off to a start at 9 a.m. with a quick turnaround for a second run at 11:30 a.m. There was a new racer in the No. 1 spot — Tommy Hoffman of Rowmark. Of the 26 male PCST athletes, the following also captured top 20 spots: M. Biskup (ninth), W. Hathorne (12th), J. Bigatel (13th), J. Pollard (16th), G. Travis (17th) and J. Schaede (19th). It was a good day for Rowmark as Zoe Michael captured the top podium spot for the girls’ SL race. Two PCST female athletes also skied fast to podium spots with Lauren Macuga capturing third and Meagan Brones in fifth. S. Wilkinson, G. Sherman and L. Stemler raced to top-20 finishes as well, in eighth, 14th and 18th, respectively.
Sammy Wilkinson of the Park City Ski Team won the overall title for the series on the girls’ side with Tommy Hoffman claiming the title for the boys. The next qualifier will be held at Snowbasin Resort starting Feb. 5. The format of the three-day race series will be two days of SL and one day of GS racing. The PCST looks forward to three weeks of training in preparation for the upcoming events.