Far West J3 racers faced a challenging giant slalom course on hard-pack snow on the Flume run at Diamond Peak this past weekend.
The three-day race was the second of three in the Wild West Series, which is used to determine which of the young racers will qualify for the Junior Olympics. Although the giant slalom qualifier race was originally slated to be held at Squaw Valley, a last-minute change of venue landed it at Diamond Peak.
The Diamond Peak Ski Team J3 racers fared well on the technically challenging GS course, bringing home several top 15 finishes.
For the women, second-year J3 Lauren Keller led the pack, making it to the podium with a third-place finish on Friday and following up with a sixth-place finish on Sunday.
First-year J3 racer Amanda Pretti put down two impressive finishes with an 11th place on Saturday and a 12th on Sunday, while teammate and fellow first-year J3 Erica Kennedy brought in a 15th-place finish on Friday.
The Diamond Peak J3 racers used the weekend to build on their solid performance from the first race weekend in the series, which was a slalom held at Sugar Bowl from Jan. 13-15. In the slalom qualifiers, Keller (2nd, 3rd, 5th), Annika Hansen (5th, 8th, 9th), Pretti (6th, 9th, 13th), Kennedy (12th) and Connor Novak (13th) all made steady progress in their quest for the Junior Olympics.
The third and final weekend of JO qualifying races is a super G series to be held at Mammoth Mountain from Feb. 24-26.
The full race results can be found at www.fwskiing.us/Competition/Results/J3.htm. Action photos from the race are available at zflow.smugmug.com.
— This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at email@example.com.