Team athletes on fire
It’s been a Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team (CBMST) party on the podium at events throughout the west, as local athletes continue to post incredible results in a variety of competitions.
From alpine racing, to big-mountain skiing and skier and boardercross racing, the CBMST turned in numerous top three results with a handful of first place finishes.
Big mountain CBMST athletes Klara Wholers and Djemila Birnie headed north for the Canadian Open Junior Freeskiing Championships at Red Mountain, held on January 16.
While big-mountain terrain was scant on Crested Butte Mountain Resort leading up to the event, coach Woody Lindenmyer made sure his athletes were ready for the impending competition.
“We focused a lot on drilling early season and getting our technical skiing in shape,” says Lindenmyer. “And skied a lot of laps on Westwall and Horseshoe. They’re both super strong athletes so I wasn’t too worried about it.”
Wholers placed third in her first event of the year and Birnie, despite battling with a hurt knee, took seventh place.
The next event for CBMST big-mountain skiers will be here at home when Crested Butte Mountain Resort hosts the 2010 Subaru U.S. Freeskiing Championships February 17-21.
CBMST J5 racers (ages 9-10 years old) headed to the mouth of Glitter Gulch for the J5 Festival at Sunlight Mountain outside of Glenwood Springs Saturday and Sunday, January 23-24, posting a number of great results.
Meanwhile J2 (ages 15-17 years old) CBMST alpine racers Cole Byron and Mick Osmundson are in the midst of a heavy schedule of races starting with the Millennium Bank FIS Junior Slalom races here in Crested Butte January 16-17.
While Osmundson had trouble putting together four clean runs over the two days of racing, he did put one together to take fifth place.
Byron had a strong showing on the second day of racing moving up from a start position of 69th to finish 24th place and score a solid FIS result.
“It was a good day for him,” says Head Alpine Coach and CBMST Director Drew Cesati. “He needs one more result and he will have checked off one of his goals this season.”
The two skiers then packed their bags and hit the road for a week of speed events, Super G and downhill, at Winter Park.
The event is a qualifier for the J2 Nationals and Osmundson is knocking on the door for a return to the Nationals with a solid start to the week.
Osmundson took third place among J2 racers in the first Super G race on Saturday, January 23 and followed with a fifth-place finish in a second Super G on Sunday.
“He’s starting to stuff the results in he needs to make it back to the championship event,” says Cesati.
Meanwhile, Byron, who is in his first year of J2 racing, is “still finding his speed in the downhill and Super G events” according to Cesati.
The two athletes will stay in Winter Park for downhill training and through the week.
The CBMST lit up both the skiercross and boardercross races at the USASA Rocky Mountain Series event held at Copper Mountain Saturday and Sunday, January 23-24.
Twelve local athletes competed—six skiers and six snowboarders—reaching the podium a total of 19 times over the weekend with six trips to the top spot, first place.
Starting with the skiers. Athletes were met with a tough course at Copper as they were thrown into back-to-back Wu Tang features right out of the starting gate. Wu Tangs are similar to tabletop jumps. These Wu Tangs had six-foot rises to them into a flat section and Lindenmyer had his skiers ready to hit the Wu Tangs just right to carry momentum through the flat section.
“It was a very difficult start,” says Lindenmyer. “They had to pole plant at the top and get over with as much momentum as possible, which is really hard to do.”
Hailey Loeffler continued her no-holds-barred approach to the sport of skiing no matter what the competition, crushing the field to win both days in the 16-18 years old age group. Teammate Hillari Spencer was not far behind her taking second place on both days.
Skylar and Tristan Kraatz, David Bright and Brad Coffey were all new to the sport of skiercross coming into the Copper event, but came out looking like seasoned veterans. Kraatz opened the weekend with a second place finish on Saturday in the 13-15 years old age class and then stomped the course on Sunday to take first place.
Brother Tristan Kraatz skied his way to an eighth place finish on Saturday and then improved to seventh place on Sunday.
Bright took second place on both days and Coffey took third in the 16-18 years old age class.
“Everybody improved every run, didn’t cop an attitude and carried themselves really well,” says Lindenmyer. “I was very pleased with the weekend.”
It was more of the same for the CBMST snowboarder crew in the boardercross. To prepare his athletes for the first boardercross of the season, Assistant Director for CBMST and “all things knuckledragger” Christian Robertson employed a variety of tools.
“We were practicing our starts and ripping around the hill,” says Robertson. “We watched some footage of the World Cup boardercross and watched how the pros prepare for the Olympics.”
The snowboard crew at Copper included the Healey clan of Coleen, Nora and Kevin; and also Thomas Tacca, Josh Gallen and Alexis Roemer.
The Healey’s were on fire as Kevin took third in the 8-9 years old class, Coleen placed second and first among the extremely competitive 12-13 years old age group and Nora rode to consecutive first place finishes among 10-and-11-year-old riders as well as some older athletes.
Tacca posted consecutive third-place finishes in the 10-11 years old boys, Gallen had a sixth and seventh place finish among 14-15 year old riders and Roemer finished in second place on Saturday and third place on Sunday in the women’s open class.
“The Rocky Mountain Series is arguably one of the most competitive series in the country and they just went over and crushed it,” says Robertson.
CBMST slopestyle skier Matt Evans spent the weekend of January 16 in California at the Mountain High Freeflow Tour competition, matching wits with some of the top young talent on the West Coast.
Evans made the most of his solo trip, digging deep into his bag of tricks to finish the weekend in sixth place.
“The competition was very stiff there,” says Lindenmyer. “He pulled out a couple tricks he hadn’t thrown yet in competition.”
Crested Butte Mountain Resort and CBMST will host the third stop of the USASA Southwest Series Saturday and Sunday, January 30-31.
There will be a superpipe event on Saturday and slopestyle on Sunday for both skiers and snowboarders.
A Cholula Hot Sauce Hot Trick award is up for grabs both days, and will be awarded to the skier or snowboarder who throws the best move.
“We’re going to open it up and give it to the best trick all day,” says Robertson.