Youngster Spenst wins Copper slalom
COPPER MOUNTAIN Taggart Spenst entered Thursdays Copper Mountain Business League slalom race with an ulterior motive. Besides his obvious desire to compete for his home club, Team Summit, Spenst was looking for bragging rights over one of his coaches Team Summit alpine director Sean Ramsden.Spenst, a 17-year-old Summit County FIS-level racer, not only knocked off Ramsden, but finished ahead of the entire 72-athlete field to claim his first Biz League victory of the season. A four-day break from his busy Team Summit racing schedule allowed Spenst to make his season debut. I wanted to beat him for sure, Spenst said with a laugh, pointing to Ramsden moments after his second run. Team Summit needs to win the (team) overall, so I had to come and help out with that too, Spenst added in a more serious tone. Ramsden, a former NCAA giant slalom national champ and perennial biz league favorite, said his participation in the Copper series has helped him with coaching. It (racing) helps you relate to the kids a little bit more when youre standing next to them at the starting gate, he said. Ramsden was disqualified during his second run on Thursday, however.Loveland Racing Club coach Ben Brown was the runner-up Thursday, finishing just two hundredths of a second behind Spenst.I got beat by a good, young skier, Brown conceded following the race. Josiah Downing followed Brown in third.Racers took individual runs in Thursdays slalom, which was scored as a two-run combined event, unlike recent GS competitions, which were decided by each racers best run.This was a single-pole, FIS-type course set with tight gates, hairpins and flushes, explained Tory Hauser, who took second to Dave Little in the telemark division. Its much, much, much more difficult than what weve skied before.Although the slalom course was tough, Thursdays clear and warm weather proved to be conducive to racing.Today is beautiful, Hauser said. Almost every other Thursday has been a powder day, and its tough to race on powder days.Jamie Baker won the womans slalom with a combined time of 1 minute, 17.85 seconds. Dillons Courtney Whitman was Thursdays female runner-up, with a combined time of 1:31.64; not a bad finish for someone who hasnt run an alpine race in six years.I was surprised how consistent I was on my two runs, Whitman said. I havent skied a slalom run since I was in college.Whitman, who skied for Division 1 St. Michaels College in Vermont, said she came out of retirement last year to race in Keystones nighttime league.Dillons Heather Quarantillo took third in the womens alpine division.LazyLizard/Alexanders/Team Summit currently holds first place in the overall team standings.There are four dates remaining on the Copper Biz League schedule: an FIS GS (March 2), the Wilkenhamm Cup GS (March 9), a dual slalom (March 16) and the series finals (March 23).Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at email@example.com.
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