Russell, Weatherston well on way to JOs |

Russell, Weatherston well on way to JOs

Tribune Staff Report

Heavenly Ski Foundation’s Oliver Russell and Sean Weatherston rose to the competition in a Junior Olympic qualifier Jan. 13-14 at Snow Summit Ski Area in Southern California.

Their eight combined top-5 finishes likely qualified them for the 2001 Junior Olympic Team. The athletes who qualify for the team will go to either the J1 JOs March 7-12 at Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley or the J2 JOs March 17-24 at Mount Bachelor near Bend, Ore.

Russell led Heavenly’s male contingent, placing fourth and fifth in the slalom and an impressive second and third in giant slalom. Weatherston also was consistently strong, finishing fifth in each slalom race and fourth and fifth in GS.

A second-run crash cost Chris Little a high finish in the second slalom race. Little stood 11th after the first run, but a second-run wreck pushed him back to 27th place.

Heavenly’s James Rastello, a J2 racer, was 30th in slalom and 28th and 33rd in GS.

On the female side, Lily Palmieri of Heavenly led the way by placing eighth and ninth in slalom and ninth and 10th in GS. Teammates Shayna Gianelli and Grace Harding put down consistent race after consistent race. Gianelli was 13th and 16th in slalom and 15th and 19th in GS, while Harding was 16th and 17th in slalom and 12th and 15th in GS.

JO qualifying continues next month for downhill and super-G at Mammoth Mountain

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