Racers go head-to-head at Squaw
Far West athletes from the Tahoe Basin met at Squaw Valley last weekend to compete in the third race of the season, the Parallel Slalom.
The race combines slalom and giant slalom distances, and pits two racers side-by-side down the speedy course.
“It’s very important for the athletes to focus on their technique and tactics without being distracted by their competitor,” said Kirkwood coach Mark Payne.
GS gates, or panel gates, were set every 15 meters, with a similar course set adjacent. Although each course had its own timing system, racers attempted to beat the athlete they were paired with at the start. There were spectacular crashes and close finishes.
“This was essentially a sprint. The course was only 30 seconds long which meant kids needed to be tight on the panel and keep their skis in the fall line…it also meant taking risks,” said DPSF coach Mark Norton.
Some of those risks paid off while others cost racers time or even caused them to miss gates (ultimately leading to a disqualification). South shore athletes again representing Kirkwood, Heavenly and Diamond Peak competed in the parallel event.
On Saturday, Diamond Peak’s Casey Delaney won with a combined time of 1:06.75, with teammates Payton Norton in third (1:08.08) and Winston Pretti in fourth (1:08.14). Dashiell Prince-Judd of Sugar Bowl was second (1:07.38).
But on Sunday, the table turned with Prince-Judd taking the win (1:04.05) and Diamond Peak’s Delaney just behind in second (1:04.79). Norton again took third (1:04.81). Corey Huber (22, 23), Nick Fischer (23, 35), Connor Huber (37, 41) rounded out the Diamond Peak times.
Kirkwood’s Haley Louis had another fantastic race weekend, taking second both days for the U14 Girls. Her teammates Tuly Horton was (24, 25), Hailey Weisel (41, 37), Anna Weisel (42 both days) and Makenna White placed 61st Saturday (DNS on Sunday).
The Kirkwood boys also saw top 15 results with Daniel Drapeau placing 14th and then 13th on Sunday, followed by Jamie Holmstrom (13, 25), and Ben Weisel (24, DNF).
Heavenly saw Cypress Sell, its only U14 girl competitor, place 54th both days with boy teammates Sean Dunkelman leading the Heavenly pack with a 33rd on Saturday and 45th on Sunday. Dylan Gooding (58, 28) and Logan Langemeier (62, 61) completed the Heavenly times.
“There is a lot of depth in this 12-13 year-old age class (U14), and although not all our kids are happy with their results, they really are skiing well, ” said DPSF coach Raquel Norton.
The athletes are looking forward to their next race at Alpine Meadows, March 2 and 3, when the U14 athletes race Super G.