Poulter, Anstine have strong finishes in final Colorado Ski Cup races
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Wednesday morning’s women’s slalom course was hard.
Twenty-three of the 100 competitors didn’t finish the first run, and 24 more didn’t finish the second run. Five Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club women faltered on the first run, leaving just four to represent the hometown team at Steamboat Resort.
The slope was essentially iced over from the previously cold night, so there was no forgiveness in errors.
“What we saw were, I would say, supreme conditions for racing,” said Tyler Shepherd, SSWSC Alpine Competitive Program director. “These were the kind of conditions, quite honestly, that they would see if they made it all the way to the World Cup. As an organizer, we couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Ultimately, that’s what we try to prepare them for.”
Tatum Grosdidier was the top local finisher, taking fourth, her best finish of the four Colorado Ski Cup races. As a U16 athlete, she is among the youngest athletes permitted to compete at the FIS level but proved to be one of the best throughout the week.
“I’d say, top 15 would be really insane for me at nationals,” Grosdidier said. “I’m pretty excited for it.”
Sequoia Anstine had the next-best finish among Steamboat skiers, earning 25th. Her first run was the 49th fastest, but her second run helped her climb the ranks, with help from a number of wipeouts, of course.
“Sequoia, she’s the vet(eran) on our team,” Shepherd said. “She just did a phenomenal job of being fundamentally sound and really trying to push her threshold to get as far up that leaderboard as she can.”
Anstine hung tight and finished both races Wednesday. In the afternoon race, she took 30th, leading all locals. Grosdidier didn’t finish her first run, axing the possibility of placing in the top 10 in all four races.
Katya Thurston earned 37th in the morning and 52nd in the afternoon. Maren Elvidge finished 39th and 56th, while Nicole Nolting took 43rd and 57th.
The largest field and most competitive races of the year are setting up competitors for nationals next week in Aspen where Grosdidier, despite being just 16, is hoping to make some noise.
On Thursday, the boys raced in similar conditions to the girls Wednesday.
Cooper Puckett continued his excellent run, taking 14th and 12th in the races. Brother and Denver skier Cole Puckett earned 11th in the second race after finishing 26th in the first.
World Pro Ski Tour skier and SSWSC assistant coach Garret Driller took a go at the course and finished 11th and sixth.
Jay Poulter had a great week as well, cracking the top 25 in all four races. He finished 25th and 23rd Thursday.
Poulter and Jordan Simon, who earned 49th and 31st, spent time in Europe this winter, really immersing themselves in the Alpine ski world.
“Jay is one of the big guns on our team. He came to us from the East Coast,” said Shepherd. “He’s just a really solid skier. He’s really, from what I’ve seen on the hill, he’s starting to find his comfort zone and push his limits.”
Wednesday, March 31
• Race 1 top 3: Resi Stiegler, JHSC, 1:31.79. 2. Emma Resnick, USST, 1:32.86. 3. Reece Bell, DU, 1:33.13.
• Area finishers: 4. Tatum Grosdidier 1:34.58. 25. Sequoia Anstine 1:41.52. 37. Katya Thurston 1:46.02. 39. Maren Elvidge 1:47.29. 43. Nicole Nolting 1:50.68.
• Race 2 top 3: 1. Stefan Fleckenstein, CU, 1:35.54. 2. Resi Stiegler, JHSC, 1:35.56. 3. Allie Resnick, USST, 1:35.74.
• Area finishers: 30. Anstine 1:42.05. 52. Thurston 1:49.27. 53. Ryli Adrian 1:50.29. 56. Elvidge 1:53.07. 57. Nolting 1:53.53.
Thursday, April 1
• Race 1 top 3: 1. Liam Wallace, CAN, 1:25.6. 2. Isaiah Nelson, USST, 1:26.79. 3. Louis Muhlen-Schulte 1:27.26.
• Area finishers: 11. Garret Driller 1:28.15. 14. Cooper Puckett 1:28.34. 17. Dominic Rainville 1:28.6. 21. Trey Seymour, DU, 1:28.87. 25. Jay Poulter 1:29.32. 26. Cole Puckett, DU, 1:29.37. 33. Maxx Parys 1:30.56. 38. Cam Smith 1:31.66. 42. Bode Flanigan 1:32.08. 44. Louis Weiner 1:32.25. 48. Chase Seymour, CU, 1:33.09. 49. Jordan Simon 1:33.49. 54. Charlie Welch 1:36.33. 57. Luke Olson 1:38.53. 61. Noah Riemenschneider 1:41.37.
• Race 2 top 3: 1. Wallace 1:26.84. 2. Simon Fournier, DU, 1:27.07. 3. Nelson 1:27.09.
• Area finishers: 6. Driller 1:27.53. 11. Cole Puckett, DU, 1:28.74. 12. Cooper Puckett 1:28.9. 13. T. Seymour 1:29.06. 23. Poulter 1:29.66. 30. Parys 1:32.67. 31. Simon 1:32.7. 43. C. Seymour, CU, 1:34.45. 44. Owen Croce 1:35.02. 50. Colin Kagan 1:38.07. 51. Laiken Roth 1:38.13. 54. Flanigan 1:39.39. 55. Welch 1:39.78. 57. Olson 1:41.29.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Steamboat Springs skier Noel Keeffe was nominated to the US Cross County Development Team for the third year in a row.