Grosdidier wins overall regional title, 6 Steamboat skiers qualify for nationals
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Tatum Grosdidier couldn’t be skiing any better right now. Winning three of her four events at the U16 Rocky/Central Regional Championships in Winter Park, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine skier won the women’s overall title.
Over the week of March 2 to 8, Grosdidier won the women’s downhill, giant slalom and slalom while taking fifth in the super combined. Her efforts not only earned her the title as best overall Alpine skier but also a trip to the U16 nationals in Sugarloaf, Maine, on April 1 to 5.
“She races and trains as hard as she can every run,” said head coach Ben Brown. “She is not afraid to go fast and to risk it all, but she’s also learned a lot about tactics and how to be more of a consistent racer from her experiences this year. I think she learned a lot about herself and about competing at a high level with pressure on.”
Grosdidier said the giant slalom race was probably her best of the weekend.
“I just skied in my body,” she said. “I didn’t really think about results or anything. I just skied.”
Grosdidier was one of six SSWSC skiers to punch a ticket to Sugarloaf. Caroline Gilchrist, Katya Thurston, Charlie Welch, Colin Kagan and Nick Demarco will all make the trip to represent Steamboat and Colorado at the national level.
Thurston’s best finish came in the women’s downhill race as she took fourth. Aided by a sixth-place finish in slalom, Thurston finished 12th in the overall standings. Gilchrist took 15th overall thanks to a fifth-place finish in downhill and sixth in the super-G race.
Demarco picked up the only victory among the Steamboat men as he won the super-G race with Kagan taking fifth behind him. In the men’s downhill, Kagan collected third. Brown said if it wasn’t for a mistake in his downhill race, Demarco likely would have made the podium in that race as well.
Unsurprisingly, Demarco said his best race was the one he won, the super-G.
“That race, I took a bunch of risks and cut off the line a bunch in transition,” he said. “It ended up being really fast, which was awesome.”
Welch finished every race in the top 10, including a sixth-place finish in downhill, super combined and slalom, as well as eighth in super-G. His finishes made him the fifth-best male skier overall. Brown said it was by far the best skiing of Welch’s career, which only recently focused on Alpine racing.
Up until last year, he also played hockey and did ski jumping. Just in the last year, he has honed his winter skills to one sport, and it’s done wonders for him.
Brown said at the U14 level, Welch squeaked into regionals, and now, in his second year at U16, he’s headed to nationals.
“He’s a kid that works extremely hard and focuses on all the things, all the little details,” Brown said. “He’s improving every day, which is pretty cool to watch.”
Rounding out the team’s successes, Ian Haupt won the “Bibo” award. The award is granted to the skier that moves up the most places. In men’s slalom, Haupt went from 88th to 44th.
“He made a lot of mistakes this week,” Brown said. “He learned a lot from those mistakes, and it was nice to see him put it together on the last day.”
Women: 1. Tatum Grosdidier. 4. Katya Thurston. 5. Caroline Gilchrist. 10. Rylee McLouth.
Men: 3. Colin Kagan. 6. Charlie Welch. 8. Jonah Fleischer. 9. Nick Demarco. 11. Jeremy Nolting. 12. Roman Elvidge.
Women: 6. Gilchrist.
Men: 1. Demarco. 5. Kagan. 8. Welch. 13. Elvidge. 15. Fleischer.
Women: 5. Grosdidier.
Men: 6. Welch. 9. Demarco. 13. Elvidge. 14. Nolting.
Women: 1. Grosdidier.
Men: 4. Kagan. 5. Demarco. 7. Welch.
Women: 1. Grosdidier. 6. Thurston.
Men: 6. Welch. 8. Demarco. 11. Nolting. 15. Kagan. 44. Ian Haupt.
Women: 1. Grosdidier. 12. Thurston. 15. Gilchrist.
Men: 4. Demarco. 5. Welch. 6. Kagan. 13. Nolting.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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