Strong performances from Park City Ski and Snowboard Club’s alpine racers | ParkRecord.com

Strong performances from Park City Ski and Snowboard Club’s alpine racers

Submitted by Heather Pollard
Park City Ski and Snowboard

Ogden Valley Ski Team and Snowbasin Resort hosted the Intermountain Under 16 Super G Qualifier on Feb. 9-11. There were 61 female and 72 male competitors who raced for three days to determine the fastest skiers in the speed discipline of Super G. There were over six teams with athletes at the event including Park City Ski and Snowboard, Rowmark, Ogden Valley, Snowbird, Sundance, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Sunny Ski Team, Teton Valley, Bogus Basin and Peak Racing Ski Academy. Park City Ski and Snowboard (PCSS) had just under 40 athletes competing at the race series.

Athletes rose before dawn to collect their bibs and inspect the course shortly after 7 a.m. With partly cloudy skies and unseasonably warm temperatures, the women's race started at 9:15 a.m. Sophia Tozzi of Jackson Hole Ski Club was blazingly fast with a time of 56.21 to earn first place. It was a strong day for PCSS alpine athletes with Lauren Macuga and Alyssa Gorsch capturing third and fourth places respectively. PCSS had three other athletes in the top 15 including: Anna Grossniklaus (eighth), Lauren Stemler (14th), and Summer Combs (15th). Twelve female skiers failed to finish the course. The male competitors competed on the same course — the Wildcat run — with 388 meters of vertical drop and 30 gates. Jack Schaede of PCSS had the confidence to ski the "bad boy" line and capture the top podium spot with a time of 53.45. PCSS had three other male athletes in the top 15 including U-16 racers: Gunnar Travis (11th), Justin Bigatel (13th), and Zac Harlow (14th). For the men, a total of five skiers did not finish the course.

Saturday morning, the women's race commenced at 9 a.m. sharp. After failing to finish to day before, Mary Bocock of Rowmark returned to her winning ways with a time of 57.58. Other female PCSS athletes who charged the entire course include: Alyssa Gorsch (seventh), Lauren Macuga (10th), and Mia Hunt (14th). Unlike the previous day, only two female athletes did not finish the course. Under mostly sunny skies and winter-like temperatures, U-19 skier Jeremy Mathers of Snowbird won the race. Looking exclusively at U-16 racers, it was Oliver Parazette of Jackson Hole Ski Club who earned the top podium spot. Also skiing fast and fearless were the following PCSS athletes: Jack Schaede (fourth), Gunnar Travis (seventh), and Zac Harlow (eighth).

With temperatures in the twenties for the final day of racing, the men's race started first. Skiing with intensity was Ogden Valley's own Bridger Harrison (U-19) to win the race with a time of 50.73. Tommy Hoffman was the fastest U-16 (second overall) with a time of 51.44, earning him the first-place podium spot. Two standout performances from PCSS athletes include a seventh-place finish for Justin Bigatel and eighth place for Jack Schaede. For the women, it was a repeat for Mary Bocock of Rowmark, winning the race with a time of 53.22. PCSS female athletes also hammered down the hill and managed the jump with athleticism. This earned the following athletes top-15 finishes: Alyssa Gorsch (seventh), Lauren Macuga (10th), and Mia Hunt (14th).

It was a solid three days of racing for Park City Ski and Snowboard alpine athletes, earning a few podium spots and many top-15 finishes. Next on the schedule is a one-day slalom qualifier at Park City Mountain, followed by a three-day GS/SL race series at Sun Valley Resort on Feb. 24-26.

Park City Ski and Snowboard is a new unified club that merged five local youth ski clubs, including the Park City Ski Team. PCSS was created to better serve Park City's aspiring athletes and includes alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic skiing and jumping and snowboarding programs. For more information, please go to parkcityss.org.