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Gunnar for first

Courtesy of Billy Barnwell Gunnar Barnwell charged to first place at Mountain High on Saturday despite poor snow conditions.

Courtesy of Billy Barnwell Gunnar Barnwell charged to first place at Mountain High on Saturday despite poor snow conditions.

Heavy rains had stripped the Mountain High race course to the bare minimum at Saturday’s U12 Far West race.

After driving more than four hundred miles, Gunnar Barnwell got the green light Friday night that the race was still on for Saturday.

The conditions were sparse. The snow was so thin that when course inspection rolled around racers were allowed to slip in, check the line and then had to get back out.

The race was held on the steepest part of the mountain head and the conditions were more like peas soup outside than rain. Kids were falling all over the thick Slurpee-like snow.

After taking a few spills on his practice run, Barnwell was told to float his turns, not pressure them and he started to feel more confident.

His first run looked a bit tentative and cautions, but he put it in the barn safely. It was enough to put Barnwell in first place by three-tenths of a second.

Right on his heels was a kid from Snow Summit. The two boys were leading the field by about 4 seconds so unless one of them crashed it would be a battle to the finish.

Barnwell laid down a perfect second run. It was aggressive on the steeps and set the bar for the kid from Snow Summit.

The Snow Summit skier also turned in a top run, but it wasn’t enough. Barnwell came out on top with a 37:03 on the first run and a 36:07, compared to a 37:33 and a 36:10 from the Snow Summit skier.

The boys will meet again for a rematch at the Squaw Valley Giant Slalom race this weekend.