Local skiers earn top spots at JOs

— Alpine skiing coach Chris Puckett was filled with a sense of pride as he looked at the podium on the final day of the Junior Olympic Championships in Beaver Creek earlier this week.

"It was great to see Steamboat Springs skiers standing in three of the four top spots," Puckett said. "I think that was a shining moment for our club."

Steamboat Springs skiers dominated the top spots on the final day of the Junior Olympic Championships for skiers 15 to 20 years of age in the Rocky Mountain and Central divisions. There were 175 skiers in the men's and women's field at the event.

Lisa Perricone earned the overall slalom title for the girls and was also the top J-2 racer in the field on Tuesday the last of four days of competition. Teammate Jennifer Shively was the top J-1 skier and was third in the overall results.

"That was probably my best race," Perricone said. "It was nice to finish first against all the other skiers in the field."

On the men's side, Winter Park's Graham Irving captured the top overall finish in the boys slalom to end any thoughts of a Steamboat sweep in the slalom event.

Steamboat's Drew Roberts, however, was the top J-2 racer in the field and placed third in the overall standings.

"It was a great week for our guys," Puckett said. "We had some amazing results in both the men's and women's races."

That final day, however, proved to be the icing on the cake for the members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Things got off to a fast start on March 2, the first day, with Perricone taking first place in the J-2 downhill. She was fifth in the overall standings, which included J-1 skiers as well.

Katie Beardsley of Vail took the top spot with a time of 1 minute, 40.04 seconds.

Vail's Catherine Baskins was second at 1:40.97 and Staci Rixford of Crested Butte was third.

Other top Steamboat finishers included Jenna Cesolini in 13th (sixth among J-2s) and Brittany Bahle in 15th.

Vail's Nathan Asoian was first in the men's downhill with a time of 1:37.14. Crested Butte's Ben Babbitt and Vail's Blair McLaughlin followed him.

Steamboat was led by Tyler Smedsrud in sixth place overall. Marsh Gooding was eighth in the overall results, but second among J-2 skiers. Joel Adams finished third (10th overall) and Dmitry Chase was fourth (11th overall) among J-2 skiers.

Steamboat's young skiers also placed well in the super-G race on March 3.

Perricone was the top J-2 for the second day in a row and was third overall with a time of 1:23.92.

Beardsley was the top skier in the race with a time of 1:22.94 and was followed by Rixford in second at 1:23.57.

Other top Steamboat finishers included Gladys Weidt in seventh, Chelsea Boone in 10th and Jenna Cesoline in 13th. Cesolini was fourth among J-2 skiers.

Vail's Blair McLaughlin took top honors in the men's super-G race, which was also held on March 3.

Steamboat's Drew Roberts was seventh overall and second among J-2 skiers. Adams was ninth and third in the J-2 class.

On March 4, Steamboat's Emily Colin won the girls' giant slalom race and was the top J-2 skier in the race as well.

Amy Beresford, from the Central Division, followed and Alyssa Cartmill of Vail was third.

Steamboat's Boone came in seventh, Perricone came in ninth and was fourth among J-2 skiers, and Shively was 11th.

In the men's race Roberts earned a third-place medal and was second among J-2 skiers.

Vail's Asoian won the race with a time of 2:16.72. He was followed by teammate Blair McLaughlin who took second.

"It was a really fun week," Perricone said. "I was happy to see my teammates do so well and it was really exciting."

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