Wiinter Park racers turn in top-10 performances during Surefoot championships
Sky-Hi Daily News
The young ski racers of the Winter Park Competition Center team gave it their best shot during the 2008 Surefoot Colorado Ski Championships over the past couple of weeks.
The championship races were held at Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Winter Park. The events have included giant slalom, slalom and Super G.
The Surefoot championships are the culmination of what has become Colorado’s elite alpine ski race series for young ski racers. The series and the championships attracted skiers representing 10 different nations, as well as athletes from some of the top NCAA schools in the country.
After getting a slow start in the early competitions of the championships, Winter Park’s ski racers fought hard and eventually pick up some top-10 results.
First GS at Vail
The first event of the 2008 Surefoot Colorado Ski Championships were giant slalom races on Thursday and Friday, April 3-4. The first races were in Vail while the second day’s GS events were at Breckenridge.
Will Brandenburg won the men’s giant slalom at Vail on April 3 with a combined time after two runs of 1:57.97.
Winter Park’s fastest skier was Spencer Nelson, who finished 20th in 2:01.65. The local team’s only other finisher in the giant slalom was Nick Stenicka, who placed 61st in 2:12.71.
Slovokia’s Eva Huckova raced to victory in the women’s GS with a combined time after two runs of 2:07.30.
Winter Park’s top skier was Molly Leonard, who placed 21st in 2:11.95. The team’s other finishers were: 27. Chelsea Nova, 2:13.13; 37. Sarah Williams, 2:16.03; 41. Kelia Zigich, 2:16.99; 48. Rylee Burrows, 2:18.33.
Breckenridge hosted 2nd GS
Ericka Ghent of Summit County raced to victory in the second day of giant slalom racing at Breckenridge on April 4. She won first place with a combined time after two runs of 2:04.55.
Winter Park’s Molly Leonard slipped to 32nd place with a time of 2:11.09. The team’s other finishers were: 38. Chelsea Nova, 2:12.12; 60. Kelia Zigich, 2:17.63; 64. Rylee Burrows, 2:17.92; 70. Sarah Williams, 2:18.82; 80. Shayla Foster, 2:21.61; 86. Kylie Kroneberger, 2:24.91.
During the second day of GS racing, Will Brandenburg again earned the victory. On the Breckenridge course, he finished two runs with a combined time of 2:01.23.
Winter Park’s fastest skiers in the men’s GS was Christopher Acosta, who placed 27th in 2:05.03. The team’s other finishers were: 29. Spencer Nelson, 2:05.49; 72. Nick Stenicka, 2:13.20; 74. Sean Horner, 2:13.90; 89. Hans Berggren, 2:21.21.
Slalom on April 5
From Breckenridge, the Surefoot championships moved on to Beaver Creek for the slalom events. Races took place both Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6.
Paul McDonald won first place in the men’s slalom on April 5 with a combined time of 1:12.16 after two runs.
Christopher Acosta was Winter Park’s fastest slalom skier with a time of 1:16.13. The results for the rest of the team are: 30. Spencer Nelson, 1:16.86; 67. Nicholas Zeller, 1:24.18; 68. Sean Horner, 1:24.79.
The winner of the women’s slalom Saturday was Lisa Perricone, who earned the victory with a combined time after two runs of 1:18.80.
Winter Park’s Molly Leonard skied to 21st place with a time of 1:24.96. Her teammates’ finishes were: 28. Chelsea Nova, 1;26.62; 55. Rylee Burrows, 1:33.72; 58. Sarah Williams, 1:34.91; 61. Kelia Zigich, 1:35.29; 66. Shayla Foster, 1:38.82.
Slalom on Sunday
Eva Huckova of Slovokia sped to victory in the second day of slalom racing at Beaver Creek on Sunday, April 6. She took first place with a combined time after two runs of 1:22.08.
Rylee Burrows was Winter Park’s top finisher placing 47th in 1:34.79. The rest of the team’s results are: 49. Sarah Williams, 1:35.30; 53. Kelia Zigich, 1:37.50; 64. Shayla Foster, 1:42.50; 75. Kylie Kroneberger, 1:53.92.
Will Brandenburg was the No. 1 skier once again in the men’s slalom. He won the second Beaver Creek slalom with a combined time after two runs in 1:14.35.
Winter Park’s Christopher Acosta skied the slalom in 1:18.62 to place 24th. The rest of the team’s results are: 47. Spencer Nelson, 1:22.25; 57. Nick Stenicka, 1:26.36; 71. Hans Berggren, 1:35.45.
Super G at Winter Park
Having a few days rest and moving the Surefoot competition to their home slopes at Winter Park Resort certainly helped Winter Park’s skiers, who moved up dramatically in the results of the Super G on Tuesday, April 8. Two races took place that day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
In the morning Super G for men, Nathan Asoian won it with a time of 1:09.47. But Winter Park’s Spencer Nelson was not far behind, placing fourth in 1:09.88.
A second Winter Park skier, Christopher Acosta, broke into the top 10 by taking a 10th place in 1:10.20. The results for the rest of the team are: 35. Sean Horner, 1:12.29; 61. Hans Berggren, 1:18.09.
Spencer Nelson stayed in the top 10 during the afternoon Super G. He placed fifth with a time of 1:10.19. The race was won by Cory McConnell with 1:08.98.
The rest of the Winter Park team’s results are: 11. Christopher Acosta, 1:10.87; 24. Sean Horner, 1:12.18; 51. Hans Berggren, 1:19.47.
In the women’s morning Super G, Winter Park’s Molly Leonard raced to a fifth-place finish with 1:12.87. Ann West earned the win with a time of 1:11.63.
The rest of the Winter Park team’s results are: 13. Sarah Williams, 1:15.46; 15. Rylee Burrows, 1:16.14.
During the afternoon women’s Super G, Molly Leonard maintained her fifth place with a time of 1:14.01. The race was won by Sweden’s Malin Hemmingsson with a time of 1:12.79.
The results for the rest of Winter Park’s team are: 12. Sarah Williams, 1:16.66.
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Winter Park Resort and Trestle Bike Park will open for the summer on Saturday, bringing back mountaintop happy hours at the Sunspot Lodge and Colorado’s longest alpine slide.