Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Higgins sweeps podium in Flood, Patterson gates

114 tackle Entry League giant slalom, slalom

Former Denver University alpine ski racer Sean Higgins, 24, of Ketchum set the pace and put up some fine times for the younger racers in last weekend's Laura Flood and Alan Patterson Memorial gate races.

Higgins, a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and Community School alumni, won Friday's Laura Flood men's giant slalom by two seconds then placed third overall in Saturday's Flood slalom and second in Sunday's Patterson GS on Baldy's Hemingway run.

Most recently, last year's U.S. national tenth-place slalom racer Higgins won the overall title of the Skoch Cup Masters races held Jan. 18-20 on Baldy.

Older skiers like Higgins and former Montana State University racer Smaranda Munteanu, 25, of Romania helped the younger racers gain valuable FIS race points during the three-day Intermountain Division technical races that brought 114 racers to Baldy.

The overall Laura Flood winners in the Intermountain Cup Entry League races were Sydney Staples, 15, of Park City, Utah and Brice Bielaski, 17, of Crystal Mountain, Wash. Staples was the 2008 Western Region Junior 3 Olympics combined queen. She won Friday's slalom then placed second in the weekend GS races.

Allan Patterson overall winners were Staples and Andrew Kircher, 16, of Utah's Rowmark Ski Academy. Grandson of Everett Kircher, founder of Big Sky's parent company Boyne Resorts, Kircher was last year's Western Region Junior 3 Olympics men's overall king.

Leading the way for the host Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation last weekend were Bailey Ireland (3rd SL Friday, 6th/6th GS Saturday and Sunday), Nina Hirner (4th/4th GS), Bergen Palmer (7th GS Friday, 5th GS Sunday) and Tanner Farrow (4th SL Saturday).

The 19th annual Laura Flood Memorial was held in memory of the Sun Valley Ski Team racer who died in 1990 at 19. The revival of the Allan Patterson Memorial remembered the Hailey downhill specialist who passed away in 1977 at 20.

Top results and overall placings for 23 SVSEF and Hailey Ski Team racers last weekend:

Friday, Laura Flood women's SL on Cozy: 1—Sydney Staples (Park City) 1:14.58. 3—Bailey Ireland 1:18.26. 10—Karlee Stagg 1:23.65. 14—Natalie Vorsteveld 1:25.52. 21—Reta Flynt 1:36.30. DNF—Sierra Fox. DQ—Nina Hirner (36 starters, 23 two-run finishers).

Friday, Laura Flood men's GS on Hemingway: 1—Sean Higgins 1:16.57. 7—Bergen Palmer 1:19.83. 12—Ryan Foster 1:21.85. 13—Willie Adicoff 1:22.00. 15—Scott Smith 1:22.52. 16—Tanner Farrow 1:22.57. 19—Tanner Dirstine 1:23.06. 23—Gregory Roos 1:23.74. 25—Tyler Davis 1:24.10. 27—Dylan Carroll 1:24.66. 28—Miles Sweek 1:25.30. 32—Harlan Collins 1:26.05. 39—Hunter Weaver 1:28.31. 43—Jordan Smith 1:30.78. 44—Jordan Levin 1:31.25. 54—Gardner Cord 1:36.11. DQ—Tim Kanellitsas (77 starters, 57 finishers).

Saturday, Laura Flood women's GS on Hemingway: 1—Taylor Guetschow (Park City) 1:20.20. 4—Nina Hirner 1:21.48. 6—Bailey Ireland 1:21.90. 20—Natalie Vorsteveld 1:27.38. 21—Karlee Stagg 1:27.82. 29—Reta Flynt 1:35.94. DNF—Sierra Fox (37 starters, 29 finishers).

Saturday, Laura Flood men's SL on Cozy: 1—Ford Hebard (Jackson Hole) 1:08.25. 3—Sean Higgins 1:09.16. 4—Tanner Farrow 1:09.65. 11—Ryan Foster 1:13.61. 13—Scott Smith 1:14.05. 14—Miles Sweek 1:14.72. 15—Dylan Carroll 1:14.86. 16—Tim Kanellitsas 1:15.42. 18—Jordan Smith 1:16.83. 19—Tyler Davis 1:17.70. 23—Tanner Dirstine 1:20.82. 25—Harlan Collins 1:21.12. 29—Jordan Levin 1:28.21. 31—Gardner Cord 1:32.11. DNF—Gregory Roos, Willie Adicoff, Hunter Weaver, Bergen Palmer (75 starters, 34 finishers).

Sunday, Allan Patterson women's GS on Hemingway: 1—Smaranda Munteanu (Romania) 1:22:20. 4—Nina Hirner 1:23.78. 6—Bailey Ireland 1:24.46. 7—Sierra Fox 1:24.52. 29—Natalie Vorsteveld 1:31.97. 30—Karlee Stagg 1:32.95. 33—Reta Flynt 1:40.84 (37 starters, 33 two-run finishers).

Sunday, Allan Patterson men's GS on Hemingway: 1—Andrew Kircher (Rowmark) 1:18.75. 2—Sean Higgins 1:19.08. 5—Bergen Palmer 1:19.78. 9—Tanner Farrow 1:20.30. 12—Scott Smith 1:21.33. 14—Ryan Foster 1:22.00. 18—Willie Adicoff 1:22.77. 20—Gregory Roos 1:22.95. 21—Tanner Dirstine 1:22.97. 26—Tyler Davis 1:24.04. 27—Harlan Collins 1:24.42. 31—Miles Sweek 1:25.02. 34—Tim Kanellitsas 1:25.59. 40—Jordan Smith 1:27.61. 43—Hunter Weaver 1:28.06. 44—Jordan Levin 1:28.61. 55—Gardner Cord 1:34.21 (73 starters, 57 finishers).

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