Samantha Busby of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation earned a bronze medal in giant slalom Tuesday on the first day of the U-16 Western Region Alpine Ski Championships at Alyeska, Alaska.
Busby (1:47.95) clocked the fourth-best first and second runs to finish 1.71 seconds behind race winner Juliette Parke (1:46.24), who grew up racing at Alyeska Ski Resort and now attends Utah’s Rowmark Ski Academy.
SVSEF’s Haley Cutler was eighth of 66 two-run finishers (84 female starters), with Madison Milgard 36th and Royce Rheinschild 58th.
Taylor Cooper of Sun Valley (1:33.30) cracked the top 10 in slalom Tuesday with an eighth-place finish, less than four seconds behind Far West winner Michael Cooper (1:29.66). Austin Savaria placed 11th.
Other SVSEF finishers in slalom (91 starters, 65 two-run finishers) were Jay Fitzgerald 27th, Emmett Say 30th, Yuri McClure 32nd and Trenor Gould 40th. Not finishing their first runs were Duncan Fuller, Stockton Troyer and Will Snyder, while Tanner Riedel was disqualified on his first run.
Wednesday in giant slalom, Troyer clocked the sixth-fastest opening run and finished 11th in a race that claimed 42 of the 91 male starters. Riedel was 12th, Fitzgerald 21st, Savaria 24th, Fuller 30th and Say 35th. In women’s slalom, Cutler placed 11th of 65 two-run finishers and Milgard was 46th.
The SVSEF had 14 of the 47 Intermountain Division spots (30% of the entire team) in the field of 91 male and 84 female skiers in the
This week’s event is the first time Alyeska has hosted a Junior Olympics event since the 1997 Western Region Junior 2 Olympics for skiers ages 15-16. The men were due to race giant slalom today, Wednesday while the women compete in slalom.
Super giant slalom for men and women is Friday, followed by downhill training this weekend
The top 10 boys and girls in each event will advance to April's U-16 National Assessment Project in Park City, Utah, where top performers have a chance to make the U.S. Ski Association Academy Team.