Summit County teens dominate Topalino Trials |

Summit County teens dominate Topalino Trials

Ryan Slabaugh
Quantum Sports Club's Taylor Lynch turns around a gate at the Topalino Trials at Winter Park at the end of December. Lynch won.

WINTER PARK – Two Summit County ski racers made the most of a chance to qualify for a youth competition in Italy.

Over the holidays in Winter Park, Team Summit’s Blain Martin won the J3 (14 to 15 year old) girls competition and Quantum Sports Club’s Taylor Lynch dominated the boys J3 races, meaning the two will head to Italy in February to represent the United States.

“I just kind of tried to relax and treat it like a normal race,” Lynch said. “I’ve been training really hard. My whole team has.”

The competition worked like this: After four giant slalom runs and five slalom runs, each skier took the two fastest times from each discipline. The fastest overall time earned the Topalino Trials championship.

“(Blain) skied rally well,” said Andrew Ashe, a J3 coach for Team Summit. “It really won’t settle in for them until they get into Europe and the environment. Now, they’re just riding the ride.”

During the first day of competition, heavy snowfall coated the course, forcing coaches and volunteers to shovel off the powder to find a hard racing course. Only 12 boys and 12 girls were invited to compete so even though the racing was short, the preparation was tough.

But, after it was all over, Summit County ended up where it usually does – on the podium.

Quantum’s Julia Wong and Team Summit’s Eric Davis won the trials last season.

“Mainly, I’d say it’s a big boost for Taylor’s confidence,” said Quantum J3 coach Scott Tanner. “He can truly say he’s one of the best guys in the country. There’s only three that qualify from the U.S.”

Quantum athletes will be heading to Europe on Feb. 5, anyway, which will give time for Lynch to train before the races. Once they arrive in Italy, the duo will head to a town near Madonna Di Campiglio where they will race. They’ll also receive U.S. Ski Team gear.

“Most people don’t get the opportunity to represent their country until they’re 18 to 19 years old,” Tanner said. “I think, after this, they might want to do this full time.”

And, on top of that, Lynch’s father, Jerry, will be tagging along for his first trip to Europe.

“I’m definitely going,” he said. “If I had to leave tomorrow, I would. I just think the coaches need to get recognition. They put (Taylor) in the situation to win.”

Team Summit’s Alexis Burton finished sixth in the boys overall, while Drew Beling placed third in the boys overall. The teams will compete in a Smartwool super-G Saturday and Sunday at Keystone, and compete on the downhill Wednesday and Thursday.

Open moguls at Winter Park

Team Summit’s Jenny Haywood and Andy Musser swept an open moguls competition Sunday at Winter Park. Haywood’s score of 22.26 paced the competition, while teammate Sarah Ruckriegle finished seventh, and Jordan Poyfair placed eighth.

On the boys side, Team Summit’s Justin Henceroth placed second and Eric Lehman placed sixth.

2004 Summit Cup

BRECKENRIDGE – During the 2004 Foundation Summit Cup Series Sunday at Breckenridge, Team Summit’s Drew Beling and Mary Rachel Hostetter won J3 giant slalom competitions.

For the girls, Team Summit’s Alexis Vest-Burton and Sunnie Elliot rounded out the podium, while Quantum’s Conrad Schmidt and Team Summit’s Alex Gruber rounded out the boys podium.

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