Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Slalom racers enjoy a last chance at Snowbird

Collins, Busby lead SVSEF racers

Sun Valley’s Samantha Busby celebrates her third-place overall finish out of 39 two-run racers at Snowbird on Monday. Busby posted overall placings of 6th, 8th and 3rd overall in the Last Chance Slaloms event. She made the podium on the final day and won the J3 class. Courtesy photo by Heather Black.

Harlan Collins and Samantha Busby of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation climbed the podium Monday on the final day of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Last Chance Slaloms in Utah.

Cracking the top eight for three straight days, Busby continued a season full of consistent first-page results with a third-place finish and the victory in the J3 (ages 13-14) class. Busby clocked the second-fastest time in the second run.

On Wilbere Ridge Race Hill at Snowbird, the 18-year-old Collins finished second overall of 85 two-run finishers in the A-J3 Open Series event. Collins was only .69 seconds behind back-to-back slalom race winner Cody Marshall, 29, of the Park City (Utah) Ski Team.

The Last Chance Slaloms proved to be another chance, and an important one, for Marshall, a late-blooming New Englander from Pittsfield, Vt. who grew up racing in the Killington area with fellow U.S. Ski team siblings Chelsea Marshall and Jesse Marshall.

Three years ago Marshall was an up-and-coming ski racer who first made the national team at the relatively late age of 24. He captured the slalom bronze at U.S. Nationals in Alaska in 2009. Then, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and was critically injured after falling about 20 feet from an escalator railing at Park City July 15, 2009. Marshall spent seven weeks in a hospital.

It's been a long road back for Marshall.

He DNFd Saturday's first of three Last Chance slaloms at Wilbere Ridge. Sunday, Marshall fooled everyone on April Fool's Day with a spectacular 3.08-second victory over Rowmark (Utah) racer Bryan Cookson. Marshall's blazing first run Monday set the stage for his slimmer win over Collins.

Busby and Collins posted the best results of 26 SVSEF Last Chance competitors in the field of 123 male and 68 female racers, but others from Sun Valley made the top 10 in age classes.

They were Haley Cutler, Madison Milgard, Alexandra Black, Sofia DeWolfe, Trenor Gould, Emmett Say, Cole Caulkins, Tanner Josey, Yuri McClure, Will Snyder and Austin Savaria.

Here are class results by day, starting with Saturday's slalom and finishing Monday:

J1 men (ages 17-18): Harlan Collins 1-SL (overall 2nd).

J2 boys (15-16): Tanner Josey 8-11-18 (overall 18-26-36); Logan Shipley 13-25-24 (overall 33-57-59); William Harder 15-DNF-25 (overall 35-60); Taylor Adler DNF-19-DNF (overall 38th); and Cole Caulkins DNF-10-DNF (overall 25th).

J2 girls: Sofia DeWolfe 10-11-4 (overall 33-36-16).

J3 boys (13-14): Emmett Say 14-9-18 (overall 44-43-58); Trenor Gould 17-7-10 (overall 47-40-46); Will Snyder 19-DNF-4 (overall 49-38); Yuri McClure 21-10-20 (overall 52-45-62); Wyatt Smith 25-30-32 (overall 58-70-76); John Blackburn 27-24-33 (overall 60-63-77); Kristian DeWolfe DNF-15-21 (overall 52-63); Austin Savaria DNF-DNF-7 (overall 42nd); Michael Levy DNF-18-36 (overall 55-80); Griffin Curtis DSQ-20-23 (overall 59-65); Jay Fitzgerald DNF-DNF-DNF; and Taylor Cooper DNF-DNF.

J3 girls: Samantha Busby 3-4-1 (overall 6-8-3); Haley Cutler 4-5 (overall 7-9); Alexandra Black 14-11-9 (overall 23-20-13); Madison Milgard 16-8-6 (overall 25-16-10); Margot Griffith 18-14-23 (overall 27-24-31); Royce Rheinschild 23-15-17 (overall 32-27-25); and Isabella Welsh 27-34-27 (overall 41-49-35).

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