Sloppy slalom fails to stop Steamboat skiers

It took a little bit longer than she wanted, but Friday, Amanda DeVos achieved her weeklong goal by stepping onto the podium at this year's J4 Junior Olympic Festival.

"I just missed the podium at the qualifier, so I set my goal to get a top-three here this week," DeVos said. "The super-G was pretty rough, so I was excited that I was able to come back and get one in the slalom."

Winter Park's Tori Lockwood was able to overcome the challenging conditions on the face of Howelsen to win the first of two slalom races with a time of 45.90 seconds. Brittany Barber of the Great Lakes Ski Academy finished second at 46.12, and DeVos took third with a time of 46.85.

DeVos' finish was the top for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in the race. Other top Steamboat finishes included Erika Walters, who placed 14th despite starting the race in the No. 65 seed. Lorin Paley also made a huge jump by placing 19th after starting the race in the No. 57 slot.

"It was a tough course, but we don't like to make any excuses," coach Scott Wither said. "Everybody has to face the same conditions -- it's just a part of ski racing."

By the afternoon, the unseasonably warm weather made the course even more challenging. Wither said the athletes who stayed in the line fared well, but those who ventured outside typically paid the price.

Summit County's Angie Elliot won the race in a time of 52.86. Lockwood finished second in 53.22, and Steamboat's Ashley Stamp took third with a time of 53.76.

Cassady Roberts, who won Thursday's super-G, placed sixth, and DeVos placed ninth.

After capturing the third-place finish in the slalom, DeVos said she has nothing to lose in today's giant slalom race.

"I'm going to be aggressive in the giant slalom," DeVos said. "I got my podium, so now I can go for it."

The women's giant slalom race will begin at 8:30 a.m. today at the Steamboat Ski Area's Sitz/SeeMe racecourse.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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