Prater Cup u16 championship ski races this weekend

Five local athletes set to compete

by Than Acuff 

The annual Prater Cup races are this weekend at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) with alpine racing action Friday through Monday, March 10-13.

It’s a time-honored tradition in Crested Butte. The event originated in 1980 in memory of local ski club promoter Dan Prater, a Wichita, Kansas, man who fell in love with Crested Butte in the early ’70s, moved here and devoted much of his free time and financial support to helping the junior ski racers compete on the regional racing circuit.

Since 1980, the Prater Cup has welcomed young alpine ski racers from Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico for four days of training and racing at CBMR.

The Prater Cup has held a number of different roles in the Rocky Mountain Division racing schedule as the J4 Championships and a Junior Olympic event and, for many years, was the most celebrated race in the Rocky Mountain region for fledgling alpine ski racers.

More recently, the Prater Cup has been designated as the Rocky Mountain Division u16 championship race, and the Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team (CBMST) could have as many as five athletes competing this weekend. Kanai Narayana, Kenny Bullock and Kaitlin Zatorski are all set to slide into the starting gate, while Emma Commerford and Ebbet Weinberg are dealing with injuries and may or may not be ready for the weekend. 

“They’ve all been skiing really well and have been looking good this season,” says CBMST head alpine coach Quin Glaess. 

The courses will all be on International and Buckley depending on the event. It all starts with Super-G training on Friday, March 10, and the racing begins on Saturday with the Super-G with skiers starting up on the “Snag Face” on International. Giant slalom races are on Sunday and start lower in the “Waterfall” portion of International. The Prater Cup wraps up on Monday, March 13, with slalom races on Buckley under the West Wall Lift.

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