Middle Park ski racers post strong showing at Winter Park Resort | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park ski racers post strong showing at Winter Park Resort

Top team racers look ahead to state championships

Downhill ski racers from Middle Park took on the competition at home last week with a giant slalom race at Winter Park Resort that once again saw freshman Ella Wiser leading the Panther pack.

GIRLS TEAM

Race action got underway Friday at the Winter Park Resort base area as a field of 132 racers, representing six different teams, suited and for their turns. Middle Park's lady Panthers took home a third place team finish for the day largely on the efforts of freshman girls Ella Wiser and Bethanne Droll, who finished third and fourth respectively out of a field of 63 female racers.

Wiser led the way with her podium finish Friday after completing two course runs with a combined time of 2:27.91. Just one place behind her, and a little over two seconds slower, as Bethanne Droll who edged out the competition for a fourth place finish with her 2:30.47 race time.

Further back was freshman Emily Lantermans who finished 50th Friday after completing her two runs with a time of 3:22.44. Also competing for Middle Park on the girl's side of things last week were both Mia Rimmer and Mary Mintken. Both girls completed one of their races Friday but either did not start or did not finish both heats for a formal leaderboard placement.

Rimmer did not finish her first heat but recorded a time of 1:33.12 during her second heat. Mintken finished her first heat with a time of 1:34.81 but did not start her second heat.

BOYS TEAM

Junior Brenden Droll continued his efforts on the snow and once again lead the men from Middle Park during Friday's race action as the boy's squad left with a fourth place team finish. Droll finished sixth in the men's field, out of 69 total competitors, with a time of 2:26.04. Close behind was junior Mason Moorhusen who took home a 15th place finish from Winter Park Resort after wrapping up his two race heats with a 2:34.71 combined time.

Next up for the Panthers was senior Caleb Riccio who finished in 38th place on his 2:46.88 effort in the giant slalom race. Nipping at his heels was freshman Jacob Dorn who finished 43rd. Dorn finished his two heats with a time of 2:53.59. Further back was freshman Cole Wettersten who completed his two hieats in 3:02.31 while securing himself a 51st place standing.

Just two spots back, and a little over two seconds behind, was junior Marcus Anker who took home a 53rd place finish with a final race result of 3:04.69. Freshman Cody Docheff was East Grand's next quickest racer. Docheff finished his two races with a combined time of 3:58.81 and finished the day in 58th place. Rounding out Middle Park's efforts was sophomore Sam Parker who finished 60th on Friday with a combined time of 17:53.54.

STATE QUALIFIERS

As the alpine ski season for high school athletes begins to wind down the Panthers are turning their sights towards the state championships, scheduled for February 22 and 23 at Ski Cooper just outside of Leadville. The top 30 percent of racers make up the competitive field at state.

Several Middle Park athletes have already qualified in either the slalom or giant slalom events with most qualifying Panthers already set to compete in both events. Ella Wiser and Bethanne Droll have both qualified for both the state championships in both the slalom and giant slalom events. Likewise both Brenden Droll and Mason Moorhusen have qualified in both events. Caleb Riccio has also qualified for state in the slalom event.

ON DECK

Middle Park's next race will be held this Thursday and will once again be a home race at Winter Park Resort.

"We get to sleep in another week," Coach Sutcliffe joked.

The event is scheduled as a slalom race, the last of the season for the Panthers. After this week's race Middle Park will have one additional race, a giant slalom race at Ski Cooper, before they head back to Ski Cooper for the state championships later this month.