Former U.S. national downhill champion Skip Merrick, 40, of Ketchum can still boogie down the hill, 20 years after winning the prestigious national speed title at Crested Butte, Colo. in 1990.
Merrick captured the Sammis Camas Cup USSA Masters downhill for the sixth time Tuesday, Feb. 23 on the Salmon River run at Soldier Mountain Ski Resort north of Fairfield.
On a crystal clear day for the 13th annual event hosted by Soldier Mountain Racing, Merrick scorched the 22-racer field with a time of 1:40.64. It was 1.39 seconds faster than Sammis Camas Cup runner-up and morning training run leader Carlos Rixon, 27, of Sun Valley.
Women's winner for the fourth time was Joanne Zwingenberg in 1:54.67. The race is held in memory of Brett Sammis, who died at 31 following a Feb. 1997 ski accident on Baldy. His parents, Donald and Fernanda Sammis, attended the Feb. 23 race at Soldier.
In other news, Rixon planned to travel to Europe to the World Cup ski cross tour where he will coach Ketchum's Biche Rudigoz and two other U.S. competitors in the finals.
Next up: The three-day, 20th annual Lane Parrish freestyle/super giant slalom at Sun Valley Resort March 12-14.
It will include three events starting with halfpipe Friday, March 12 followed by bumps Saturday and Super G Sunday. The event is open to all skiers and snowboarders. Signups are at Apple's Bar and Grill, Warm Springs in Ketchum, and at the SVSEF Greyhawk office all week before the event.
For information contact Ken Corrock at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 720-3555.
Here are Sammis Camas Cup results, by gender:
Women: 1—Joanne Zwingenberg 1:54.67. 2—Julie Bell 2:02.49. 3—Natallia Smith 2:21.19. 4—Jenny Walton 2:41.93.
Men: 1—Skip Merrick 1:40.64. 2—Carlos Rixon 1:42.03. 3—Scott Levy 1:43.35. 4—Deeder Petersen 1:44.16. 5—Jeff Mintz 1:44.51. 6—Baird Gourlay 1:45.42. 7—Brad Chilton 1:46.66. 8—Alan Rickers 1:46.73. 9—Jed Smith 1:47.09. 10—Walt Halverson 1:48.05. 11—Jim Parris 1:52.84. 12—Jimmy Hart 1:53.68. 13—Andy Buchanan 1:55.90. 14—Walter Gilbert 1:57.04. 15—Emmett Say 2:13.45. 16—Wyatt Smith 2:16.85. 17—Mikey Levy 2:17.69. DNF—Mike Levy.