Stevens Pass Junior Racers have been very busy the last few weekends with races at Mission Ridge and Mount Spokane. We thought we’d take a minute and fill you in on their adventures.
MT SPOKANE U16 QUALIFIER
The Stevens Pass Alpine Club U16 team battled through weather, course conditions, minor injuries, as well as mechanical issues with the van, to complete their weekend at Mt Spokane. This was the first of two U16 Qualifier weekends, with one GS and two SL races being contested.
Saturday’s GS gave the best weather of the weekend, but also a challenging GS set given the limited training all teams have been facing this year. SPAC athletes scoring top 30 qualifying points included Alina Gemza in 25th and Karey Sharp in 29th.
Sunday moved onto SL, that included some new and sticky snow conditions and variable visibility. It was truly a battle of attrition as nearly half the entire field went out with DNFs or DSQs. The SPAC men and women skied hard and gave outstanding effort during this challenging day.
On Monday, the day started with the van breaking down 10 minutes short of the lodge, but some creative loading by Coach Mike in his Yukon got the kids to the venue on time. The course and weather were more cooperative, and the SPAC team showed resilience and persistence, skiing well throughout the day. Ladies Courtney Grimm scored a 21st and Maia Forsythe 30th. For the men, Alex Folta just missed scoring at 31st, and Kris Westman shook off the first two days of frustration to finish 6th and on the podium, and was fastest racer of the first year U16 men.
Overall, the coaches were impressed with the mettle the athletes showed all weekend, and are looking forward to moving on to the next qualifying race. Hats off as well to Coach Brad for not only his coaching, but taking the reins on getting the van down the mountain, and getting things arranged to get the athletes home safely and on time.
Despite some rough course conditions that ultimately resulted in Mission Ridge canceling the second day of racing, the SPAC Juniors once again showed their toughness in this north west classic.
Callie Dahlberg pushed past some great competition to take 3rd for the girls. For the boys, Spencer Barclay, Boomer Viori and Grant Duffy took 5th, 6th and 7th. Tyler Larsen took 1st place in his ability class (17th overall) with a 2nd run that focused on solid fundamental skiing.
Lots of great attitude, effort and determination by all the athletes under very adverse conditions – misting rain and mixed surface conditions from firm slick to mushy soft. Great job to all the U14s who came out and jumped into this older field. For many of you it was a first USSA points race – a great accomplishment and experience no matter where you placed.
Thanks to coaches Mike, Tom and Sara for all your positive energy and great coaching.