Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Masters come to Baldy for Skoch Cup racing

Combined winners are Alexandrescu, Campbell

Skoch Cup women’s combined runner-up Beth Sarazine of Utah carries speed down Greyhawk’s lower super giant slalom course Friday en route to her 57.43-second finish, good for second place among the gals. Courtesy photo by Heather Black

Utah's Dana Alexandrescu and Ketchum's John Campbell emerged as the three-event combined winners of the 2011 Skoch Cup Intermountain Division Alpine Masters race series held Jan. 14-16 on Baldy.

Ketchum's Formula Sports again sponsored the Skoch Cup with the help of the Sun Valley Ski Club, Sun Valley Race Department, volunteers and sponsors. It was a successful weekend for the 60 competitors.

The race organizers were a little worried on Friday morning when super giant slalom course setter Pat Savaria commented "can you see the next gate?" while setting the course.

Fortunately, by race time the heavy fog magically lifted and allowed excellent visibility and snow conditions for all the racers facing the intimidating Greyhawk SG course. There were two starting points—a lower start and an upper start.

John Droege took first place in the men's over-85 division and looked good doing it, while Virginia Reed also braved the Greyhawk SG and took first place in Women's over-80 with a competitive 1:25.77 time.

Alexandrescu (54.01) from Park City, Utah easily took first place overall in the women's division followed in second place by Beth Sarazine who is also from Utah. Ex-US Ski team member and now Sun Valley local Nancy Auseklis settled for third in super giant slalom.

In the men's overall division for those over 60 years old, pilot and Harley Davidson rider Keith Thompson took third place honors, local real estate agent Bob Sarchett took second place, and Jim Ragan (56.73), a transplant from Montana, took first place with the fastest time for that lower-starting group.

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Younger men started at the top of the Greyhawk lift for their SG heat. Jim Grossman (1:01.65), a Sun Valley Ski Instructor, bested the field by over a second. Second place went to Victor Roy (aka "Victor the Inflictor" because he has left a lot of people half his age wondering how he keeps skiing so fast), and third place went to local fast skier John Campbell.

Saturday's giant slalom put all the racers on the same Hemingway/Greyhawk 35-gate course. GS winner Alexandrescu (1:49.20), last year's Intermountain Masters overall winner, was followed in second place by Sarazine. Nancy Auseklis continued her outstanding skiing and rounded out the field in third place.

Tim Hill (1:42.64) won the men's GS despite an impressive second-run chase by John Campbell who had to settle for second place. Victor Roy sat comfortably in third place after the times were added up.

In Sunday's slalom, native Romanian Alexandrescu (1:23.84) held off hard-charging Sarazine by a little over a second. Intermountain Division Masters chairman Amy Lanzel put together two determined runs and clipped local Nancy Auseklis for third place.

The men provided some excitement with two interesting runs by Northern Division's Toby Chapman. In the end however, Tim Hill (1:14.84) crushed the second run by about three seconds over the nearest competitor and took home the top honors, followed by Toby Chapman in second, and John Campbell in third.

The Skoch Cup awarded over $1,000 in cash prizes to the lowest combined times for the top three women and top five men. Top women: 1—Dana Alexandrescu. 2—Beth Sarazine. 3—Nancy Auseklis. Top men: 1—John Campbell. 2—Victor Roy. 3—Ken Dreyer. 4—Dana MacKenzie. 5—Mark Masur.

Check Friday's Express for Skoch Cup results by race.

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