College students dominate Eldora giant slalom races
Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado put together two FIS races on Jan. 2-3 that offered racers both a technical course set and a solid points race for those able to take advantage. Wax mattered at the venue thanks to the the two 10-second-long flat sections at the beginning and end of the course.
Flurries of snow fell on the first day of racing with temperatures ranging from 18-28 degrees Fahrenheit. Leading the day for the Lobos women, University of New Mexico (UNM)’s Karoline Soevik Myklebust placed first, followed by Westminster College’s Ann-Kathrin Breuning in second, who was 0.05 seconds from the win. University of Denver (DU)’s Storm Klomhaus finished in third.
UNM’s Vegard Busengdal dominated the men’s race, winning by 0.53 seconds over Mikkel K. Wahl of Westminster. UNM’s Patrick Brachner placed third, 1.65 seconds off the pace.
“Giant slalom has never been my strongest discipline, but I’ve made a lot of technical changes this season to step it up,” Vergard admitted. “The past few training sessions went really well over the holidays, and I knew that if I could ski well technically, I’d be fast. Overall, its a great confidence booster to have my second career giant slalom victory.”
Jan. 3 was a long race day, beginning with five laps of course slipping and ending with a field-wide B-net pull. Needless to say racers didn’t need a warm up run. After slipping the fresh 8-inches of snow off the course, legs were burning.
On day 2, Breuning had an even better day, winning by 0.20 seconds. She came in ahead of Klomhaus and Madison Ostergren of Westminster College, who finished in second and third, respectively.
“These were my first two giant slalom races,” recounted Breuning, “so it was great to have a second place followed by a victory.”
CU Boulder’s Roger Carry earned himself a victory on the second day of racing, coming back strong after an ACL injury last February. Carry said the first run was “not bad, but pretty sketchy coming into the bottom section,” putting him in second place. He was able to overcome the gap to take the win.
The Buffalo was followed by Aspen Valley Ski Club (AVSC) alumnus Nicholas Mitchell in second, just 0.13 seconds off the pace. AVSC athlete Cooper Cornelius rounded out the podium in third, 1.08 seconds away from the win.
Complete results are available here.