Breck’s Harrell shocks field in Telluride comp
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
To say Kaitlyn Harrell’s performance in a Rocky Mountain Division mogul tour competition Sunday in Telluride was unbelievable might be an understatement.
Let’s put it this way: Harrell’s time down Telluride’s Lower Plunge was so fast that it left technical delegate Chris Ellis to check the back-up timing equipment for accuracy.
In the end, the J4 skier from Team Breckenrdige not only dominated her young age class by dropping a full four seconds off her time from the previous day but also won the women’s open class in the event.
“I didn’t think she could ski that fast!” Harrell’s coach John Dowling said in an e-mail. “I thought she could shave maybe two or two-and-a-half seconds, but she proved me wrong and skied faster than the J1s.”
Harrell’s time of 30.78 seconds was the fastest time for any woman in the field by more than two seconds.
“To put the feat into perspective, former Word Cup competitor Caleb Martin placed sixth in Saturday’s men’s comp on the same slope with a time of 31.47,” Dowling said.
Harrell wasn’t the only impressive finisher among the local contingent in Telluride on Sunday, though.
Alisha Scheifley was fourth overall in first in her J2 category, earning a win over rival Kylie Van Hoesen of Winter Park.
“The Plunge’s steep slope favored Scheifley’s technical facility with tough landings,” Dowling said.
Breck’s Dylan Walczyk continued his dominant season on the men’s side with a second-place finish behind Steamboat Springs skier Ryan Dyer.
Dowling’s description of Walczyk’s run: “Walczyk’s tactic of letting Dyer go and skiing strong technical turns seemed to be paying off until a major error derailed his run just before the bottom air. Walczyk’s turn technique distinguishes him among the best on the tour and promises success deep into the season.”
Colin Lang finished third and fourth in the two comps, while J3 skier Bruce Perry Jr. earned a pair of podiums of his own.
Sean Scanlan was fifth in men’s J1 after shaking off a “harrowing backflip crash” in training, Dowling said.
Also, Alex DeBonville was seventh in J3, and Gabe Johnson and Bryce Sawhney also competed.
At the J3 Junior Olympic qualifiers in Winter Park recently, Team Breckenridge had more than 70 percent of its athletes advance to the prestigious competition.
Qualifying athletes: Katie Harris, Kaitlynn Sockett, Patrick Gruber, Nick Bailey, Rick Lawler, Drew Lazar and Michael Stanley.
The Junior Olympics are in Vail from March 4-10.
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