Quantum athletes finish a hair behind World Cup vets
BRECKENRIDGE – Skiers didn’t have much choice other than to turn on their jetpacks Saturday at the FIS super G race at Breckenridge, where the far-reaching field of 180 was spotted with World Cup athletes.
The bullet-proof course took racers down Peak 10’s Cimarron.
Former Olympian Casey Puckett from Aspen won the men’s race in a time of 1 minute, 25.34 seconds. Having retired from the U.S. Ski Team last season, Puckett is now coaching Aspen’s ski team. Trailing him by only one one-hundredth of a second (1:25.35) was Frisco’s Jake Fiala. Fiala grew up racing for Quantum Sports Club (formerly Team Breckenridge) and, as a member of the U.S. Team, is wrapping up the best season of his World Cup racing career.
Quantum racers made up the majority of top 10 finishers, with Jason McNeill in third, Pete Petry fifth, Peter Anderson sixth and Chad Rietz eighth. Eric Scott wasn’t far behind in 12th.
Vail’s Sarah Schleper, who is also a member of the U.S. Ski Team, won the women’s race in 1:32.08, but only beat Quantum’s Chelsea Lynch by a hundredth of a second (1:32.09).
“To finally get a chance to ski against some of these people … it’s tough when you’re a hundredth of a second out,” said Quantum head coach Olin Armstrong. “We all know what a hundredth of a second is; that’s nothing. Of course, (Lynch) is really excited, but then she’s also kicking herself saying, “I know right where I could have made up that hundredth of a second.'”
Quantum’s Lauren Brien finished fifth and Lyndee Jenowiak, who, at 15, was the smallest and lightest competitor, took eighth, but had the fastest split time down the top of the course.
“She was the smallest girl by far,” Armstrong said. “She doesn’t have the weight and gravity working for her like some of the other racers, so she didn’t have an advantage at the bottom of the course where it starts to flatten out a little. The top half of the course is much more technical, so she really had an excellent race.”
Quantum’s Amy Beresford took 10th and Team Summit’s Tucker Burton and Daniella Meier took 11th and 13th. Quantum’s Raquel Reyes rounded out the top 20 in 9th.
“It was a perfect day, absolutely perfect,” Armstrong said. “It was a good field size and a lot of good depth. It’s on the home hill, and it’s great at the end of the year when we can get all these athletes together. A lot of them were in Europe for a good part of the season. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions today.”
Super G racing continues today beginning with the men at 10 a.m. on Peak 10’s Cimarron course at Breckenridge.
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