Howlin’ at Howelsen: Ski racers roar in the snow | SteamboatToday.com
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Howlin’ at Howelsen: Ski racers roar in the snow

University of Colorado skier Thea Grosvold looks ahead to the finish line Tuesday during the Holiday Classic slalom event at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs. Grosvold survived a tough course to win the event.
Joel Reichenberger

Holiday Classic race results

Women

1 — Thea Grosvold, CU, 1:37.59

2 — Roni Remme, Utah, +0.49

3 — Courtney Altringer, UNM, +1.08

8 — Anna Marno, Steamboat, +3.84

12 — Ellese Lupori, Steamboat, +4.74

14 — Katie Hostetler, CU, +5.27

44 — Madeline Boucher, Steamboat, +21.01

Men

1 — Seppi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, 1:25.27

2 — Sebastian Brigovic, DU, +0.37

3 — Giolio Bosca, Westminster College, +0.92

6 — Max Marno, DU, +1.55

10 — Nick Santaniello, Steamboat, +1.93

28 — Jett Seymour, Steamboat, +6.29

35 — Nate Bowman, Steamboat, +8.47

36 — Patrick Gruber, Steamboat, +8.63

39 — Derek Van Itallie, Steamboat, +9.32

57 — Will McConnell, Steamboat, +13.71

— Twelve weeks remain in Thea Grosvold’s skiing career, and the University of Colorado senior is dedicated to doing everything she can to keep those 12 weeks nerve and pressure free.

Holiday Classic race results

Women

1 — Thea Grosvold, CU, 1:37.59

2 — Roni Remme, Utah, +0.49



3 — Courtney Altringer, UNM, +1.08

8 — Anna Marno, Steamboat, +3.84



12 — Ellese Lupori, Steamboat, +4.74

14 — Katie Hostetler, CU, +5.27

44 — Madeline Boucher, Steamboat, +21.01

Men

1 — Seppi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, 1:25.27

2 — Sebastian Brigovic, DU, +0.37

3 — Giolio Bosca, Westminster College, +0.92

6 — Max Marno, DU, +1.55

10 — Nick Santaniello, Steamboat, +1.93

28 — Jett Seymour, Steamboat, +6.29

35 — Nate Bowman, Steamboat, +8.47

36 — Patrick Gruber, Steamboat, +8.63

39 — Derek Van Itallie, Steamboat, +9.32

57 — Will McConnell, Steamboat, +13.71

“I started racing when I was six, and I’m 25 now,” she said. “This is my last year in college, and I’m not going to race after this. I just decided to leave my nerves at home and just enjoy skiing.”

So, as the native Norwegian stood at the bottom of Howelsen Hill on a snowy Tuesday afternoon, she did her best not to fixate on the implications barreling down the mountain toward her.

She had posted the third-fastest time on the first run of the final day of the Holiday Classic slalom ski racing event in Steamboat Springs and was in a group of five skiers separated by less than a second.

She stepped out of that group on the second run, however, doing the simplest of things — finishing her run, on a day when few top competitors could.

So, she waited for the final skiers.

One straddled a gate and was out.

The other wasn’t fast enough, and with a simple high five with her coach, Grosvold took another step toward the end of her career.

“It might not have been the prettiest skiing,” she said, “but I made it to the finish.”

Grosvold held on to win the final event of this year’s three-day Holiday Classic. With her seventh-place Monday night finish, she emerged as the top scoring woman at the event.

Canadian skier Roni Remme was second Tuesday, and University of New Mexico’s Courtney Altringer claimed third.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s Seppi Stiegler, meanwhile, capped up a magnificent weekend on the men’s side, winning Tuesday after finishing third Monday. University of Denver skier Sebastian Brigovic proved just a bit better in the overall, finishing second Tuesday after winning Monday.

Italian skier Giulio Bosca was third Tuesday.

It wasn’t easy, for them or any racers.

Persistent snow made the course slow and complicated. Racing frequently paused as crews tried to smooth out ruts and scrape off the quickly accumulating snow. Even with those efforts, the snow took its toll on the course.

Three of the top five women after the first run failed to complete their second, as did 20 of the 76 who finished their first runs, 26 percent of the remaining field.

“At this race, we always get a little bit of everything,” said Anna Marno, a Steamboat Springs and U.S. Ski Team skier. “It wasn’t ideal, but everyone did a great job on the course.”

Marno finished eighth, stepping over to race slalom from her usual speed disciplines.

The carnage wasn’t quite as bad on the men’s side, but still added up.

“I struggled,” University of New Mexico racer Nick Veth said. “There was a lot of sticky snow today, and in the transitions when your feet stick, it just feels weird.”

Veth raced in Steamboat Springs for several years and is in his first season as a Lobo. He finished 57th Tuesday.

He, too, hopes to return later this season, but unlike Grosvold, sees plenty of ski racing in his future.

If all goes well for Grosvold, she’ll be back to Steamboat twice. University of Colorado will play host to the Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational, an NCAA Alpine and Nordic ski event, Jan. 23 through 25. Then, Steamboat will welcome the NCAA skiing national championships March 9 through 12.

The top three men and women from each Alpine team will get to compete. Grosvold hopes that will include her, but she insisted she’s not nervous about it.

This is her ski racing finale, and she doesn’t plan on worrying it away.


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