Giant slalom starts Alpine season off |

Giant slalom starts Alpine season off

The members of the Steamboat Springs High School Alpine ski team will travel to Summit County today for their only race before the holiday break.

The giant slalom race at Copper Mountain is scheduled to begin with the women’s first run at 9:30 a.m., which will be the opening event of the season for high school Alpine racers.

“It’s too early to make a prediction,” Sailors coach Chris Arnis said of his team’s chances. “Or maybe I’m just scared I might jinx our potential. It should be a fun season. That’s what it is about — having fun and building memories.”

The Steamboat Springs High School Alpine ski team has 14 members, including nine girls and five boys.

This year’s girls team will be especially strong with a group of talented skiers including Christina Roberts, Robyn Dye, Katie Conrath, Hestia Chase, Kathleen Lyon, Priska Sorenson, Niki Dubord, Brittany Lamb and Christine Callahan. Conrath is a member of both the Alpine and Nordic squads and will take a shot at the coveted Ski Meister award.

“All of these skiers are truly top-15 finishers,” Arnis said. “They are all standouts.”

This year’s boys team also will be loaded with talent.

Arnis thinks skiers such as Jeff Dye, Thomas Allen, Andrew Zopf, Ian Landy and Andrew Goss will lead the team to top finishes and, he hopes, a solid showing at the state meet, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 20 and 21 in Steamboat Springs.

“Vail Mountain School is going to be tough along with powerhouses like Aspen and Summit County,” Arnis said.

The Sailors will compete in six races this winter and the state championships.

Today’s giant slalom on the Bitter Sweet run at Copper Mountain will take the Sailors to the home of last year’s defending state champions, Summit County.

Hauser is expecting big things from his team once again this year, with 15 skiers on his boys team and nine on the girls.

But Hauser said he expects the competition to be tight in the first meet as 13 teams and more than 200 racers battle for top finishes.

“I think all the skiers get excited for the first race of the season,” Hauser said. The Steamboat team also will travel to races in Aspen on Jan. 9, Winter Park on Jan. 16, Loveland on Jan. 23, Eldora on Jan. 31 and Gold Peak on Feb. 6.

The top 45 percent of racers in the slalom and the top 45 percent in the giant slalom will qualify to ski in the state meet.

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