Five Winter Park Competition Center skiers make Junior Olympics
Winter Park racer Ziggy Rohloff was the top qualifier in the Rocky Mountain Division at the Junior Olympic qualification races held at Winter Park Resort on Feb. 17 and 18.
Rohloff, of Hot Sulphur Springs, leads a team of five Winter Park skiers headed to the USSA J3 Junior Olympics at Vail on March 9 to 15. Fraser resident Phillip von Feilitzsch-Hanley, Collin Robbins, Jeffery Rowe, and Taylor Grauer also made the Junior Olympic team, comprised of the top 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old skiers in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and southern Wyoming.
The qualification event started with two one-run slalom races on Feb. 17. Rohloff skied nearly flawlessly, finishing 1.36 seconds ahead of the next closest skiers.
“Rohloff’s slalom run was one of the best race performances I have ever seen on this hill,” said Winter Park Competition Center director Jon Nolting. “He was in a different league, and it came as a shock to his competition. I had adrenaline pumping for a half hour just from watching his run, it was that good.”
Jeffery Rowe finished a solid 20th place, and Collin Robbins was 32nd. James Frazar took 37th place, Phillip von Feilitzsch-Hanley moved up 49 spots to finish 47th, Justin Norins was 53rd, Snap Palmer took 65th, and Sam Shaw finished 81st.
In the second men’s slalom race, Rohloff got shot out of a rut and did not finish, but Winter Park got good showings from Jeffery Rowe in ninth place and Collin Robbins in 12th place.
Phillip von Feilitzsch-Hanley made the biggest move up through the field of the day, battling ruts and tough conditions to finish 13th (third among 13-year-olds). “Phillip did a great job adjusting to the difficult course after a disappointing first race. He had a lot of pressure to perform in the afternoon race to make Junior Olympics, and he handled it well,” said Nolting.
Rounding out the Competition Center results, Justin Norins moved up to 35th, James Frazar was 38th, Snap Palmer finished 49th, and Sam Shaw was 67th.
In the women’s slaloms, Taylor Grauer led Winter Park with finishes of 19th and 27th. Samantha Shaner finished 39th and 26th. Marina Koepke had a top finish of 58th place, Shelbie Ralston had a 59th place, Kyle Robbins finished in 61st, and Chase Robbins had a best finish of 65th place. Local skier Sabina Ligas finished 70th and 76th, and local Allison Freeman was 76th and 78th.
In the giant slalom on Feb. 18, Rohloff again blew away the field, with a winning margin of more than one second in the morning race. He was skiing even better in the second race before his speed caught up to him just before the finish and he was unable to make the last few gates. Jeffery Rowe had another solid day with finishes of 13th and 25th. Phillip von Feilitzsch-Hanley needed one more strong race to qualify, and he did it with the pressure on, taking 25th place in the afternoon race.
Collin Robbins was just ahead in 24th to round out a great weekend of racing. Justin Norins was 37th and 48th, James Frazar had a 59th place finish, Snap Palmer was 64th and 68th, and Sam Shaw was 84th and 85th.
In the women’s races, Taylor Grauer had a top finish of 21st place. Samantha Shaner was consistent with 47th and 49th place finishes. Kyle Robbins was 54th and 70th, Shelbie Ralston took 61st and 62nd, Sabina Ligas was 67th and 74th, Marina Koepke took 72nd and 73rd, Allison Freeman was 74th and 80th, Stella Gordon had a best of 59th place, and Chase Robbins had a best of 69th place.
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Local commercial rafting companies remain unsure if or for how long they’ll be able to guide trips this summer down the traditional 6-mile portion of the Blue River north of Silverthorne.