And they left a trail of eights |

And they left a trail of eights

Shauna Farnell

BRECKENRIDGE<One right ski pole plants, the other right ski pole plants. One round left turn, another round left turn …The wind blew gales of snowy BBs off the mountain, as well as a hat or two, but powder 8 finalists still managed to leave behind a trail of eights.In what was possibly the least powdery Powder 8 competition in the event1s 22-year history at Breckenridge, the 13 skier pairs competing Wednesday still managed to leave their mark, and hold their mirror-image turns despite the blustery wind and 3variable conditions.Breck Ski Patrol estimated the winds to be blowing at 35-40 mph on Peak 7 where the event took place, and what might have been windblown powder was condensed to spring slush in the April sun.3They could call it the Ocorn 8s,1 said Kim Williams, one of the four judges huddled into the snowcat at the base of Debbie1s Ally after the preliminary runs, which consisted of some very tight competition.3We had a one-point difference between the fourth and fifth place teams to get into the finals, said judge Joan Marts. 3It was really hard for us. We took a long time to think about the runs. We were pulling our hair out because we couldn1t include that fifth team.With fifth-place Team Rosenthal narrowly missing a finals slot, teams of Danny Cohen and Kerry Stanovsky, Jim Grotemayer and Randy Veneeman, Tom Riggins and Tom Truss, and Team OPup1 and OFrosty1 were contenders in for championship round.The four teams moved to the northern-most slope in Arts Bowl for the final runs, which were conducted in a dual format.Although the wind continued to charge across the ridge, the teams threw down synchronized, fluid runs, cutting perfectly smooth eights into the slope behind them.3You can barely make out the mountain in the blizzard up there, joked Powder 8 announcer 3Chip. 3There is lots of pressure on these guys. They are pretty evenly matched. The slightest little slip up is the difference between winning and losing. You have to keep it together from top to bottom.Although none of the teams exhibited anything that could be considered a 3slip up, the elements certainly were not working in their favor.3Adaptability was brought into the scoring pretty big time, said judge Dean Marts. 3Some people don1t have as good of a pitch to ski. Some people are on a little roller or have a bush they have to maneuver around. You have to take that into consideration.3I think we did good on our scoring, added judge Shamus O1Toole. 3It was all pretty close.Rick 3Pup Ascher and Paul 3Frosty Krause took first place after the last of the eights were made. Grotemayer and Veneeman took second, Riggins and Truss took third and Cohen and Stanovsky finished fourth.Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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