Norton takes overall crown in Far West Tech Finals at Squaw Valley
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Against second-year U-14 and older skiers, Payton Norton again rose to the top. The Zephyr Cove skier took first on the overall podium at the Far West Tech Finals held April 9-12 at Squaw Valley, as part of a sweep for the Diamond Peak Ski Team.
Led by Norton, Diamond Peak delivered more than 20 top-three finishes across all age groups in the four-day event that featured slalom and giant slalom. Norton topped the overall podium, joined by teammates Winston Pretti and Matt Smallhouse.
Norton won his age class Sunday, April 10, and went one-two with Pretti. South Shore skier Gunnar Barnwell laid down a pair of solid runs to finish ninth, while South Lake Tahoe’s MJ Allen took fifth in the U-14 age class.
“Just because you don’t see some of our kids’ names at the top of the result sheet, don’t count them out for next year,” Diamond Peak coach Raquel Norton said.
A limited field raced on Monday and Tuesday, April 11-12, and DPST skiers again dominated the competition. South Shore skier Madison Idso claimed 10th on the grueling GS course down Olympic Lady.
On Tuesday, April 12, South Lake Tahoe’s Austin Allen placed third in GS as part of a Diamond Peak U-19 sweep. Barnwell finished 13th overall and secured a top-10 spot in the U-16 age class.
A week earlier, Norton hit the hill for U-16 Nationals held March 30 through April 3 at Snowbird Ski Area in Utah. At the invitation-only event, North took fifth in slalom, eighth in GS and 10th in Super G.
Far West skiers wrap up their 2015-16 campaigns with Speed Finals at Mammoth Mountain, which started Tuesday, April 19. The five-day season-ending event features four races.