Team Summit age-class skiers stellar in Taos
While the races were certainly in the heart of the Southwest, the conditions were a bit abnormal for Taos, N.M.
“With the limited amount of snow this season, the track was more like racing back East, firm and fast,” Team Summit alpine coach Tiania Adams said in an email.
The Team Summit age-class ski racers (ages 9-12) made a trip south to compete in the Southern Series Championships last weekend and came back home with handfuls of hardware.
RJ McClennan led the boys’ J4 field with three wins and a silver to be the most-consistent boy of the weekend. He was followed by Jacob Scheiffler, who placed third in each slalom race and fourth in the giant slalom races.
Matthew Macaluso had his best weekend to date with a bronze and fourth-place finishes in the GS and a couple fourths in slalom.
Sportsmanship winner Declan Stone-Murphy scored three top-10 finishes.
The girls’ squad was led by Ali Betsch, honored the “silver queen” of the weekend, scoring second-place finishes in all four races. Rachel Damle was fourth and eighth in the GS and a pair of third-place finishes in slalom. Megan Andersen had a pair of fifth-place finishes.
The J5 boys were impressive as well. Peyton Brones won both GS races, a slalom and took a bronze in the final slalom. Brones has had a very successful season racking up eight wins to date. Nathan Lentz scored three bronze medals with a silver in the final slalom. Alex Kim skied well and was in the top-10 each race. The J5 girls saw top-10 finishes from Tegan Wold, Maddox Gayer and Nicolette Roberts.
Prep-age racer Joshua Betsch competed in the J6 group and earned top-10 finishes in the giant slalom as well as a bronze medal in the first slalom race.
“Taos hosted a great race, and the terrain on the upper mountain was extremely challenging,” Adams said.
The team spent a day hiking the West Basin testing out the steep shoots. Some of the kids hiked to the top of Kachina Peak and found it to be an epic experience.
With Cory Ketai leading the way, Team Summit members showed the rest of the field the way down the challenging terrain on the Butterfly run at Telluride Ski Resort on Friday.
Ketai was only 0.02 ahead of second-place finisher and teammate Brian Hartman and just tenths in front of third-place teammate Cameron Furrer.
“These guys have been chasing each other all season in the Smartwool series and really had their hard work pay off today” said Team Summit coach Paul Tronnier.
Team Summit placed four in the top-10 of the men’s competition with Henry Maloney skiing to an eighth-place finish.
On the women’s side, Team Summit was again on the podium represented by Ann Parker, who finished third just a day after a second-place showing in GS.
The Smartwool Ski Cup Tom Garner Games Championship conclude today with a dual slalom format.
The Team Summit men will the head to the Surefoot Championships, held in Breckenridge Monday and Tuesday.
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