‘Little Herminator’ making some noise
Heavenly Ski Foundation racers and other athletes from around the Tahoe Basin competed in the Tahoe League Race Series at Boreal last Sunday. The giant slalom course was set against a steep hill with a few slick spots, making it both mentally and physically challenging. But Austin Norton didn’t seem too concerned. Before this first run he said, “I am going to ski like the Hermanator,” making reference to Austrian Ski Team member Herman Maier, whom he greatly admires.
And he did.
Norton skied a tight line through the steeps and carried his speed well onto the flats, posting the fastest time of the day with 39.73 seconds, winning the first run by more than 2.5 seconds over the rest of the field. He then put together another outstanding second run of 36.65 seconds to win the overall 8-and-under boys division. Norton credits his win to his coaches and having watched the Hahnenkamm FIS World Cup downhill the night before.
Norton’s teammate, Justin Smaine, was also a fierce competitor at Sunday’s race. Smaine had a first-run time of 42.11 seconds, placing third, and then smoked his second run with a time of 37.05 seconds, edging out Mallory Duncan of Alpine Meadows to take second place overall.
Luca Genasci, also of Heavenly, just missed the podium with a fourth-place showing. Fellow teammates Grant Denny were 10th and Dillon McKeen 16th. In the boys 9-10 age category, Adam Laub took ninth on his second run after falling the first run, placing him in 29th position. Other finishes included Keston Denny, fourth among 13- and 14-year-olds, and Seven Gaughn, 10th.
For the girls, it was Casey Cole who took the top Heavenly finish, placing second overall in the 9-10s behind Alpine Meadows racer Abby Gould. Cole skied two consistent clean runs. Not far behind was teammate Christine Pulford with a fifth-place finish, and Madeline Feldman, seventh. In the girls 11-12s, Heavenly had another strong showing with Natalie Rastello placing sixth, Justeen Ferguson 10th and Casey Brumbach 17th.
Overall, the team skied well and hopes to post similar results in the next Tahoe League Race Series Feb. 4 at Alpine Meadows.
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