On January 17th and 18th the Taos Winter Sports Team ski racers tackled a very long and difficult Giant Slalom race in Angel Fire. According to TWST Program Director “This was our first race of the season and it turned out to be the longest and most confusing GS our athletes will face though out their junior racing careers. The hill was very difficult for these young athletes with numerous changes in terrain. Our athletes stepped up to the challenge and came away with great results and a solid foundation to start off the racing season. According to alpine race coach Ian Hanbury,” as a team this is a great start and we can build from here”.
Aidan Heflin overcame a crash in the first run to come back and capture two gold medals and a silver in the under 12 category. Coach Hanbury notes that Heflin “carries speed down the hill even when he makes mistakes. Many athletes will make a mistake and kind of hit the brakes, Heflin just keeps it going and recovers very quickly.” Teva Leshem returned from a season ending injury from last year and picked up right where he left off with a silver medal, 2 bronze, and a 4th place in the U14 category. According to Cassily “we are extremely proud of Teva Leshem. He works so hard at everything he does and his fundamental knowledge of this sport serves him really well. For him to start off with these results bodes really well for his progression back from injury. He held nothing back and with a little more training time, he is going to close the gap to that gold medal.”
On the girls side of the event TWST athletes Casey Chandler, Anna Swanson and Kyra Bowden all found themselves in the medal count. In the U12 category Kyra Bowden grabbed 3 silvers and a bronze. Hanbury notes “ Bowden is new to New Mexico ski racing and is showing some great skills. She should be a force all season.” In the U14 category Casey Chandler grabbed a gold, a silver and a bronze. Anna Swanson grabbed 3 silvers and a bronze. “I am very pleased with the effort from both these girls. They both have solid skills and find speed where others lose speed.” says Cassily.
In the women’s U16 and older events Blake Trevisani and Taylor Portman were challenged by powerhouse University of New Mexico collegiate athletes. Trevisani placed 3rd and Portman placed 4th on Saturday. Both had excellent results and have learned tons by being able to race against the college racers. On Sunday the college racers went home to study and Trevisani raced to a silver medal. Cassily says “both Blake and Taylor had great races when they needed to. Being able to compare themselves with the athletes from UNM gives them a solid bench mark to measure the rest of this season.”
In the U8 boys races Isaac Olson placed 4th, 4th, and 5th. In the U10 boys races Pierce Trevisani placed 3rd, 4th, and 4th. In the U12 boys races Ian Olson placed 8th, 8th, and 8th. In the U14 boys race Luke Trevisani placed 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. In the U10 girls races Greta Swanson placed 4th, 5th, and 6th. In the U14 girls races Pippin Katalevsky placed 4th, 5th, and 7th.
The alpine racing team will be at home in Taos on Feb 7th and 8th for two days of slalom racing on the Lower Staufenberg trail.