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Local skiers dominate at racing event

Steamboat Springs racers hold serve on Howelsen Hill on Sunday

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier Natalie Pearl flies down the face of Howelsen Hill on Sunday during a SmartWool slalom race. Pearl won the girls division.
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— Natalie Pearl and Katie Hostetler said they were excited with their results in Sunday’s slalom race, an event that capped off a weekend of racing on the SmartWool circuit in Steamboat Springs.

Pearl, with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, won Sunday’s women’s race and her teammate, Hostetler, was right behind in second.

The results didn’t come as a surprise.



“I’m really one of the oldest and most experienced racers here, so I expected to do well,” Pearl said.

She lived up to that expectation, laying down a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 29.62 seconds on the face of Howelsen Hill.



Hostetler was just a hair slower, finishing at 1:29.93.

Pearl laid down the fastest time of the first run, then backed that up with the second-fastest time on the second run.

“They were fun courses,” she said. “On the second course, it got a little difficult, but it was still fun. I could have actually skied it a little better.”

Hostetler laid down the No. 3 times on both of her runs. That added up to a second-place finish, though.

“I made a couple of mistakes, but I felt fast and good out there,” she said afterward.

Steamboat’s Annie Ochs was third in the event with a time of 1:31.27.

There were plenty of other top finishes for young local skiers on the event’s final day.

Scott Ptach won the men’s race. Alex Barounos also logged a top-10 finish, coming in seventh.

Suzanne Lyon was sixth, Kersten Scherer seventh, Ali Pougiales eighth and Serina Kidd 10th to round out Steamboat’s top-10 finishers on the women’s side.

“It was a great weekend,” Winter Sports Club Alpine Director Deb Armstrong said. “It was fun because a lot of our younger racers got to compete with some of the older kids and did very well. Then the results speak for themselves about how well the older kids are skiing right now.”


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