Game of the Week: Sailors Alpine skiers looking forward to 1st and only home race
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs High School Alpine ski team trains at Howelsen Hill, so that dramatic look down the slope from the start house perched atop the slalom course isn’t so intimidating for the Sailors.
But for visiting schools, it can be quite the opposite, Sailors coach Jim Winn said.
Steamboat is hoping to use a little home-course magic this Friday morning when the boys and girls squads host their lone home race of the season, an all-important state qualifier with the championships at Keystone just a month away.
The Sailors will welcome Aspen, Colorado Rocky Mountain, Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain, Lake County, Summit and Vail Mountain for the event, which is Steamboat’s third competition of the year and the first of three slaloms. Steamboat has competed in two giant slaloms already this winter.
“We have some advantage because it’s our home hill,” Winn said. “We are used to training on Howelsen. Some kids get to the top of it, stand in the starting gate and say, ‘Wow, this is steep.’”
It’s a challenging race for the high schoolers but an exciting event to hold for the hosting and visiting coaches. It’s the third Colorado High School Activities Association Alpine event with three more still on the docket before state Feb. 19 and 20.
“It’s one that everyone looks forward to,” Winn said. “It’s just a neat place to race. Howelsen is just the perfect slalom hill so it’s always fun. All the coaches are like ‘We can’t wait to go to Steamboat.’”
Friday will mark the final time for nearly the entire Sailors girls’ side to prove themselves at home. Lindsey Adler, Katie Brodie, Mariah Hoots and McKenzie Millard make up four-fifths of the squad, and as seniors, have one more shot to make some noise in front of their friends and family. Paige VanArsdale, a freshman, is the only other girl on the roster.
On the boys side, Micah Gibbons, a Soroco student, Techid Techarukpong and Riley Brodie — Katie’s twin brother — round out Steamboat’s senior class.
Riley Brodie is the boys’ team captain, an upperclassman athlete that has impressed Winn in his four years on course.
“I don’t want to jinx him, but he’s been skiing so strong and he has a great attitude,” Winn said.
Millard is Winn’s girls captain, leading a class that the coach is looking forward to ushering toward state, even if it leaves next year’s squad a bit thin.
First runs begin at 8:40 a.m. Friday with second runs around 11:30 a.m. Race volunteers still are needed, and those interested can contact Winn at 970-401-0242 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers receive a free lunch.
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