Breck FIS races come to a close |

Breck FIS races come to a close

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkPark City's Samuel Sweetser flattens a gate during his first run in the last day of FIS Rocky Mountain Trophy Series slalom racing in Breckenridge on Wednesday. Sweetser finished the race in 32nd place with a total time after two runs of 1:46.71.

BRECKENRIDGE – Four days of FIS slalom racing wrapped up on Wednesday with the most unlikely of scenarios – a tie.World Cup racers Alois Vogl of Germany and Pierre Egger of Austria finished the Rocky Mountain Trophy Series race with identical times of 1 minute, 38.62 seconds.The times were determined by combining the times of two runs down the Sundown trail in Breckenridge’s Sundown Race Arena. “It’s remarkable how incredibly close a race like his can be,” said Breckenridge’s Jeff Westcott, the official race timer. “It’s only a matter of time before we start publishing race times to the thousandth of a second.” The last time Westcott could recall a tie for first in a major international ski race was when Norway’s Lasse Kjus and Austria’s Hermann Maier tied in a super G during the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships in Beaver Creek. Ken Brenner, who was the FIS technical delegate overseeing the race, noted that there’s still room for improvement on making timing more accurate.

One idea that the FIS may consider, Brenner said, is to install an electronic eye at the start to replace existing systems which use a wire gate which is tripped as the skier leaves the start house. “The sport has so much precision to it already, to add accuracy seems inevitable,” he said. Neither Vogl nor Egger seemed concerned at the outcome of the race. The race has no affect on their World Cup standings, so both competed simply to get some training in before their next World Cup race in Beaver Creek on Dec. 5. Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished third at 1:38.84. Kostelic’s sister, Janica, finished second in a women’s slalom race at Breckenridge on Monday. While no Americans made the podium, they did dominate the top 10, with Drew Roberts finishing sixth, Docy Marshall finished seventh, Brad Hogan finishing eighth and Richard Dyksterhouse finishing ninth.A talented bevy of local skiers also had strong performances, as Quantum Sports Club skiers Peter Anderson (1:43.62) and Pete Petry (1:43.27) finished 22nd and 24th, respectively.

Team Summit skier and Summit Academy junior Taggert Spenst (1:48.61) also had a strong day, finishing 37th after starting 80th. Quantum coach Olin Armstrong felt the race provided an excellent chance for the team’s youngest up-and-coming skiers to gain experience.”For some of our younger boys, this was their first FIS race,” he said. “What a phenomenal opportunity – they’re racing against some of the best racers in the world.” Tuesday’s slalom raceIn the first men’s slalom race held on Tuesday, the Slovenian national team dominated the field, sweeping the podium and taking six out of the top seven spots.

As a possible harbinger of Wednesday’s tie, Jure Kosir beat teammate Andrej Sporn by .01 seconds. Kosir’s time after two runs was 1:38.05, while Sporn’s was 1:38.06.Fellow Slovenian Bernard Vajdic was third at 1:38.50. Richard Dyksterhouse (1:40.35) was the top American on Tuesday. Quantum’s Austin Johnson finished 14th with a time of 1:43.10. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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