The team’s largest group ever, with 34 racers, dominated in last weekend’s age-class Giant Slalom event in Crested Butte, taking home its most notable results in recent memory.
“We dominated,” said a pleased TSSC Alpine Director/Head Coach Mike Bowman, following the weekend-long event in which Telluride racers asserted their authority over the leader boards early, and often.
The most notable performance from a Telluride racer came from J4 age-division athlete Hannah Fake, who took every opportunity to smoke the competition throughout the weekend. She won her division in three of four races: Two of those finishes were, in fact, overall wins in the girls’ division, with Fake crossing the finish line faster than any other female competitor (there were at least 75 in each division) – even those racing in the older J3 division. Fake also took a third place.
J3 competitior Mikaela Balkind also climbed to the top of her division’s winner’s podium three times over the weekend. Her other finish wasn’t anything to ignore, either: She also took home a second place.
Other female racers who found their groove in Crested Butte over the weekend included J3s Katherine Bush and Erin Kean; J4 Ebba Green; and J5s Jenny Herrick, Soleil Gaylord, Thea Lucarelli and Lilou Maitre. Each landed in the top ten in their division in each of the weekend’s four contests.
Telluride’s female racers weren’t the only local competitors climbing the charts over the weekend, either. J3 Jack Plantz lead the pack with two second places and a fifth, while fellow J3 Lawson Omer landed in the top ten after every run. For the J4s, Will Plantz followed in the footsteps of his older brother by taking the top honors for Telluride, placing in the top ten in three of four races, as did other J4s Leo Maitre, Max Dwight, and Theo Rolfs.
For the J5 boys, Alby Rolfs was the team’s top finisher, winning one race outright and taking a third, fourth, and sixth as well. Finn Bailis and Marco Canclini also climbed into the top ten in the J5 boys division.
Bowman said the early season fireworks are a welcome reward for a series of seasons’ hard work from Telluride’s blossoming alpine athletes. “They’re having more fun and the chemistry is great on the team this season,” he said. “We’re really becoming a dominant team in the region.”
The J3s will travel to Aspen this weekend for a Junior Olympic qualifier event, while next week the J2s take on a JO qualifier in Winter Park. Telluride will host a college race on Milk Run January 22 and 23, and then will also put on a J2 JO qualifier on February 5 and 6.