Winter Park skiers soar at Surefoot Cup races in Telluride
Sky-Hi Daily News
Winter Park’s skiers once again earned top-10 results during the most recent races of the 2008 Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Tour.
The Surefoot giant slalom races took place in Telluride on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 22-22. The competition continued on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24 with slalom races.
The next stop on the Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Tour will be March 8-9 at the Eldora Ski Area. The skiers will be racing in men’s and women’s giant slalom and slalom events.
The Surefoot competitions at Telluride kicked off last Thursday with Winter Park’s Molly Leonard racing to an overall third-place finish in the women’s giant slalom. She posted a combined time after two runs of 1:40.78.
A second Winter Park ski racer made it into the GS’s top 10 in Thursday’s results. Chelsea Nova placed seventh with 1:41.88.
Thursday’s GS was won by Erika Ghent who sped to victory with a time of 1:38.27. The runner-up was Ann West with 1:38.31.
Also racing for Winter Park in the first GS at Telluride were: 26. Rylee Burrows, 1:48.62; 37. Sarah Williams, 1:57.12; and 41. Samantha Berggren, 2:03.65.
During the second day of GS races on Friday, Feb. 22, Winter Park’s top two skiers were back in the top 10 of the results. Molly Leonard placed fifth with 1:42.48 while teammate Chelsea Nova took seventh with 1:43.62.
As in Thursday’s races, first and second places in Friday’s GS were taken by Erika Ghent (1:39.15) and Ann West (1:40.24). Third place went to Shane McLean with 1:41.80.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Surefoot competition switched to slalom racing. Once again, Winter Park’s dynamic duo were near the top of the results.
Just a fraction of a second out of third place, Chelsea Nova finished fourth with a combined time after two runs of 1:27.77. Right behind her was Molly Leonard who placed fifth in 1:27.85.
Saturday’s slalom was won by Erika Ghent with 1:25.27. Ann West was the runner-up again with 1:27.31. Placing third was Joelle Chevalier with 1:27.57.
Sarah Williams rounded out Winter Park’s results by placing 14th in Saturday’s slalom with 1:31.85.
During Sunday’s final day of competition at Telluride, it came as no surprise that Winter Park’s Leonard and Nova were back in the top 10.
Molly Leonard raced to a fifth place in the final slalom with a time of 1:27.22. Placing 10th was her teammate Chelsea Nova with 1:30.60.
It also came as no surprise that Erika Ghent won again with a time of 1:23.35 in Sunday’s slalom. Jennifer Allen took second with 1:24.12. Ann West finished third with 1:24.89.
Winter Park’s Sarah Williams raced to a 19th place Sunday with a time of 1:32.36.
In the men’s giant slalom on the first day of competition Thursday, Feb. 21, Winter Park’s Spencer Nelson earned a top-10 finish. He earned a ninth place after posting a combined time after two runs of 1:36.71.
Thursday’s GS was won by Will Gregorak with a time of 1:33.31. Taking second was John Kemp with 1:34.98. Nicholaus Kullas took third with 1:35.54.
Also racing for Winter Park in Thursday’s opening competition was Sean Horner who posted a time of 1:41.35 to take 24th place.
In the second day of GS races Friday, another Winter Park skier broke into the top 10. Christopher Acosta took an eighth place with a time of 1:37.63.
The winner of Friday’s GS was determined by fractions of a second. First place was won by Bryan Shpall with a time of 1:36.03. He was followed by Will Gregorak who took second with 1:36.43. Third went to John Kemp with 1:36.78.
Results for the rest of Winter Park’s skiers in the second GS were: 17. Spencer Nelson, 1:39.84 and 32. Sean Horner, 1:44.47.
Switching to slalom races on Saturday, the Surefoot competition saw Winter Park’s men put another of its racers into the top 10. Skiing to a seventh-place finish was Christopher Acosta who posted a combined time after two runs of 1:27.65.
The winner of Saturday’s slalom was Will Gregorak who skied a time of 1:23.93. Fletcher McDonald placed second in 1:25.14. A third-place finish was Sean Cummiskey with 1:26.34.
Winter Park’s Spencer Nelson raced to a 16th place in the slalom Saturday at 1:29.48. His teammate Sean Horner finished 24th in 1:34.08.
In the final day of competition at Telluride on Sunday, Winter Park placed two of its skiers in the top 10 of the results. Christopher Acosta raced done the slalom course to take sixth place with a time of 1:19.79. His teammate Spencer Nelson took 10th place with 1:21.76.
Sunday’s slalom was won by Nicholaus Kullas after he posted a time of 1:17.66. The runner-up was Max Lamb with 1:17.92. Third was taken by Bryan Shpall with 1:18.31.
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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.