Team Summit Alpine skiers cruise to 7 podium finishes at SYNC Championships at Keystone and Breckenridge |

Team Summit Alpine skiers cruise to 7 podium finishes at SYNC Championships at Keystone and Breckenridge

Team Summit's Caden Burns, right, and Niko Leunig, center, stand alongside Vail's Calvin Schaffler, left, as they celebrate their places on the U16 giant slalom podium at the SYNC Championships hosted at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Sunday, March 27.
Team Summit/Courtesy photo

Team Summit Alpine skiers concluded the 2021-22 competition season with seven podium finishes at the SYNC Championships this past weekend.

The competition started Saturday, March 26, with the sun beaming down on the Keystone Resort slalom course. Despite the warm temperatures, the conditions did not slow down the Team Summit skiers.

In the women’s U16 competition, Stella Buchheister blazed her way to a first place medal after she finished the slalom course in a combined time of 1 minute, 7.64 seconds. She finished her fastest run in 33.62 seconds.

Team Summit had two other U16 women skiers place in the top 25, too. Ruthie Demino placed 16th overall with a time of 1:17.02, and Elodie Olsen placed 20th overall, which was designated as a ninth-place finish in the U14 age bracket. Olsen had a top run time of 38.81 seconds on her second run of the day to finish with a combined time of 1:19.34.

In the men’s competition, three local athletes squeezed into the top four.

Jevin Palmquist placed first for Team Summit, completing his first run in a time of 31.83 seconds and his second in 32.37 seconds. His combined time was 1:04.2.

Following Palmquist, Niko Leunig had the second best time on his first run and the fifth best time on his second run, registering a combined time of 1:06.95.

Seth Montgomery placed fourth, just a half second out of the bronze medal position.

Grayson Wickstrom, Bergen Harberts and Blaise Turnbull all placed within the top 25 finishing in 13th, 18th and 21st, respectively.

Team Summit's Stella Buchheister, center, poses for a photo after being awarded a gold medal for her performance in the U16 slalom competition at the SYNC Championships hosted at Keystone Resort on Saturday, March 26. Buchheister was one of seven Team Summit athletes to podium at the two-day competition.
Team Summit/Courtesy photo

On Sunday, March 27, the competition moved to Breckenridge Ski Resort as Team Summit athletes competed on the Cimarron run in a giant slalom competition.

In the men’s competition, Leunig captured gold after placing second the day prior. He finished the course almost two seconds ahead of second place with a time of 2:01.11. Leunig had the second fastest time on his first run, but he made up for it on his second in order to beat out Jackson Leever of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail for the title.

Caden Burns captured the bronze medal in the U16 age division as he finished in a time of 2:05.64. Wickstrom improved upon his 13th place finish in the slalom to place 12th overall in the giant slalom, while Trevor Palmquist placed 16th overall and sixth in the U14 age division. Evan Brown rounded out the top 25, crossing the finish line in 2:16.20 to finish in 24th place.

The Team Summit women had two athletes podium in the giant slalom in Luci Brady and Olsen.

Brady, who also skis with Summit High School, placed third overall. Her combined time of 2:18.89 got her a second place finish in the U16 competition. Brady was topped only by Mari Renick and Camille Natter. Olsen finished eighth overall but second in the U14 competition with a combined time of 2:21.38.

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