Racing on the home course proved to be not much of an advantage for Team Breckenridge Thursday, as Loveland Ski Club skier Kyle Negomir laid down a convincing run to steal first place on the home team’s turf in the Smartwool Ski Cup U16 super G — one of two super G qualifiers for the Junior Championships scheduled for Steamboat Springs in March.
Fortunately for Negomir, the race, originally scheduled for Aspen, Jan. 12, was rescheduled and moved to Breckenridge after weather forced the Aspen event to be canceled. He had crashed on a training run in Aspen and would not have been medically cleared for the original race.
“I knocked my head a little bit but nothing bad,” Negomir said of the crash. “They didn’t let me ski that weekend.” He said he has since recovered and was cleared to compete before the Breckenridge race.
Negomir took top honors, running the course in 53.91 seconds — almost a full second faster than his closest competition.
“I just kind of went all or nothing today. I didn’t leave a whole lot on the hill,” he said, crediting his fifth-place starting position and a new pair of skis for his results. “The course was still pretty clean so I could put together a good run. I went for it. It all worked out in the end.”
Commenting on Negomir’s performance, Loveland Ski Club director and head coach John Hale said, “the exciting thing about his victory is how much he won by. The margin of victory speaks to how well he’s skiing. He’s a really good skier. He’s also a hell of a competitor. Those two things two things usually come together for him pretty well on race day.”
A pair of Aspen Valley Ski Club members completed the podium, with Dexter Edelman finishing second in 54.71, followed by Tristan Lane in 54.95. U18 skier Anthony Wada — also of Loveland — fell just short of the top three, finishing fourth in 54.97.
Team Summit’s R.J. McLennan, Loveland’s Skyler Yanish and Team Breckenridge’s Luke Bailey were the next highest local finishers, finishing 11th, 14th and 16th.
Ski and Snowboard Club Vail had the strongest team showing with four finishers in the top 10.
Sunny skies and solid conditions made for a fast course Thursday.
“It was awesome,” Team Breckenridge head coach Chelsea Lynch said. “We had perfect speed weather. Usually it snows on speed events.”
As one of the few USSA-sanctioned super G courses, Breckenridge was determined by race organizers to be the best location for the rescheduled event.
“All the athletes and coaches were excited to be here,” Lynch said, describing her team’s home course as fairly challenging. “This hill, with all the terrain, it never really lets up.”
Racers competed on Cimarron slope on Breckenridge’s Peak 10.
“It was fun,” Negomir said. “It was really turny.”
Youth racing continues through the weekend with the already scheduled annual U14 Bolle super G series hosted by Team Breck. Lynch expects around 200 competitors from across the state to participate.
“It’s one of the only events that athletes from the entire region are at,” she said.