Diamond Peak U16 racers score at open race
The first slalom races of the 2013-14 race season for Far West U16 athletes took place Dec. 21 and 22 at Heavenly. The format pitted older, college-age skiers against the U16 racers.
The Sierra Nevada College men swept the top five spots on Saturday. Winner Cannon O’Brien of Sierra Nevada College (SNC) won (1:06.83) over SNC teammate Viking Roald (1:07.87). They were followed by teammates Andri Arnason (1:09.10), Viking Eriksson (1:09.27) and Jaka Jazbec (1:09.76) rounding out the top five.
Diamond Peak’s Slade Glavish made the top 10 with a ninth-place finish. Teammate Daniel d-Olimpio placed 45th overall (and 18th as a first-year U16). D’Olimpio was the only other male Diamond Peak Ski Team (DPST) finisher as his teammates did not finish.
“We knew our athletes would have some pre-race jitters coming into this race,” said DPST coach Raquel Norton. “This is their first year racing as a U16 athlete, as the majority of our team were U14’s last year … and to have an open race (where older FIS and college-level racers are allowed to race) as their first race of the year was very daunting to them.”
The DPST girls, however, gave solid finishes within their age groups. Erica Kennedy was DPST’s top female finisher on Saturday with an overall solid 19th-place finish. Teammates Laurel Taylor placed 29th, Sophia Holm 30th, Madison Idso 32nd and Rachel Meyer 47th. Within the U16 age class, the girls placed 11th, 12th, 13th and 21st for first-year U16 athletes.
The DPST males came back Sunday to score some badly needed points they missed out on Saturday.
Winston Pretti, a former DPST racer who now skis for Burke Academy, finished 14th overall and was the top finisher for first-year U16’s.
DPST’s Glavish again was the top DPST finisher with a 15th overall.
Hughston Norton, who was home for the holidays and is now skiing for the University of Alaska, won the race with a 1:06.89. Norton was followed by SNC teammates O’Brien (1:08.19) in second and Arnason (1:09.93) in third. DPST’s D’Olimpio placed 47th with teammate Trent Funke was 54th.
Aly Kennedy bounced back after Saturday’s disqualification to be DPST’s top female finisher, placing 14th overall in Sunday’s slalom. Teammates Idso placed 25th, Taylor 26th, Emily Donahue 31st and Holm 34th.
The U16’s will next compete Jan. 11-13.
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