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Summit’s amateur racing is back in business

Richard Chittick
Skiing for Keystone, Eva Ruckova rounds a gate on Upper Dutchman Wednesday morning.
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KEYSTONE – Keystone Resort unveiled a brand new racing arena on Upper Dutchman Wednesday as Steve Jones and Annie Black won the first business league racing event of the season.

According to Jay Sowers of the Keystone Competition Department, the arena was created as part of the realignment of the mountain with the new A51 terrain park.

Part of the new terrain park is located on the old race course.

“We used to race under the Peru lift,” Sowers said. “So we just kind of swapped areas.”

“I think everybody enjoyed it and the course was fast enough,” Sowers said.

Jones’ combined time after two runs was 42.04 seconds, which edged out Don Johnson by just .91 seconds with a 42.95. Greg Erickson finished third in the men’s event with a time of 44.58.

“It’s always fun to win,” Jones said. “A lot of the guys when I started here used to beat me by two or three seconds, so I’ve come a long way.”

In the women’s competition, Eva Ruckova finished second with a time of 49.34, which was 1.12 seconds behind Black’s time of 48.73.

Black just happened into the competition while in the middle of a ski lesson she was teaching.

“As part of the ski school, it’s important for instructors to know how to race,” she said. Her students were good sports about it and actually enjoyed watching her take her two runs, she said.

Zuzana Belska rounded out the women’s podium with a time of 52.28.

The Keystone/Breckenridge series continues at Breckenridge on Jan. 14.

Copper Business League

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, the Copper business league also held its first race of the season with Sean Ramsden and Lauren Alkire taking the top honors.

“We had a good turnout,” said Jeff White with Copper’s race department. “We had good snow conditions and everything went pretty smoothly.”

Copper also featured a dual giant slalom race, though the end results were determined by the best of two runs rather than a combined time.

Ramsden’s second run time of 26.07 seconds proved to be the pacesetter, with Jim Gelatt close behind at 26.84 on his second run. James McGrath finished third with a second run time of 27.28.

“A couple guys I beat (Wednesday at Keystone) got me back today,” said Jones, who finished Copper’s race in fifth place. Jones plans on racing every event of each series.

Alkire posted her winning time of 30.00 on the first run, which worked out well for the racer as she did not finish her second run.

Heather Quarantillo came in just behind Alkire with a first run time of 30.65, while Tayna Muller finished in the top three, also posting her fastest time in the first run with a 31.25.

Copper Mountain also featured separate divisions for snowboarders and telemark skiers.

Summit High School alpine skiing head coach Tory Hauser telemarked his way to victory ahead of second-place finisher Hardy Merrill, while Meade Parks and Laura Munch won the snowboarding categories. There were no contestants in the women’s telemark division.

According to Erin Silver with the Copper Mountain Race Department, the first race will not count for overall team standings. The Copper series continues Jan. 15.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at rchittick@summitdaily.com.


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