Last weekend in Crested Butte, several Team Breckenridge Sports Club skiers qualified for the season's most prestigious race for U14 athletes, the Prater Cup, slated for March 12-16 in Winter Park.
March is the championship season for the club alpine athletes, with events happening all over Colorado and beyond.
The 13-14-year-old age group heads to Grand County for the event that's also known as the U14 Junior Championship. Among the ranks going this year are U14 first-year Will Sharp and second-years Luke Bailey, Meghan Socket, Maia Brownson and Mackenzie Hart. Sharp and Bailey were top finishers for Team Breckenridge, each taking 13th out of 138 competitors in the super G and giant slalom, respectively.
Earlier this month, Team Breckenridge U16 and U18 athletes raced in the Winter Park Smartwool Ski Cup qualifier to seek spots in the upcoming championship event. The Smartwool series is an open U.S. Ski and Snowboad Association series. Members attending the March 22-24 Smartwool Ski Cup championship in Steamboat Springs include racers Patrick Gruber, Ellie Brown-Wolf, Tianna Terrell, Dani Moulton, Nick Bailey, Rachel Damel and Katy Harris.
Gruber placed third overall in the first GS and seventh overall in the second GS, qualifying for the U18 National Championships at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., starting Monday. Meanwhile, Harris placed 12th and 15th in the GS event at Winter Park.
The U16 Junior Championship Team, which will begin downhill training at Beaver Creek Sunday for the March 3-9 event, includes Harris, Terrell, Moulton and Brown-Wolf. The U16 event takes the best athletes in the region.
The championship season marks the end of the season, and it also marks the occasion for a movie fundraiser. "Chasing Ice" premiers March 21 at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Tickets are $13 online at www.teambrecksportsclub.com for the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time lapse cameras, the film compresses years into seconds to capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Proceeds support the local Team Breckenridge Sports Club ski team.
After championships, the racing isn't over. Team Breckenridge Sports Club hosts a FIS Spring Series Super G and giant slalom April 1-4 at Breckenridge, on the World Cup's course on Cimarron.