Sunlight skiers fare well at regional championships
For Sunlight Ski Team racers Quincy Dollahan, 12, and Cooper Cornelius, 11, the five-day long experience of the March 15-19 J4 Rocky/Central Regional Championships was unique and invaluable to both.
Steamboat Springs, home to the most winter Olympians in the United States, put on an event complete with opening ceremonies, the lighting of an Olympic torch and fireworks. It also featured former Olympians, who interacted with the 160 young ski racers in a number of activities.
All J4s (11- and 12-year-olds) from both the Rocky Mountain and Central Divisions had to make it through competitive qualifying races earlier this season in order to compete.
Dollahan and Cornelius were attending their first regional championships, and both had won their first super-Gs earlier this season on the same hill as the event’s first scheduled discipline.
Their coach, John Bresnitz, believed that both had their best chance for a victory in the speed event since only one other in the field of 80 boys and two others in 80 girls had previously won super-Gs on that piste.
Where Dollahan struggled to finish the first two training days, Cornelius skied well and was prepared to race his best. Poor snow conditions postponed the super-G until the following day.
On March 18, both the speed event and the giant slalom race took place. Cornelius and Dollahan had good runs going until both fell halfway down the first race. Dollahan lost a ski on the steeps and was out of the GS while Cornelius skied to a respectable seventh place.
It came down to the final race – March 19 – that Dollahan broke out of her funk and raced the best slalom yet of her young career. After finishing her first race in the mid-20s, Dollahan skied her least favorite discipline like a specialist and placed eighth. She was the fifth-fastest girl from the Rocky Mountain Division.
Cornelius had two solid finishes, with an 11th and 12th in the slalom races, and was right at the top of the field of first-year J4 boys.
Sunlight Mountain Resort and Colorado Urgent Care have been big supporters of the Sunlight Ski Team this season. The resort allowed racers use of its gold pass and Colorado Urgent Care paid entry fees for the athletes.
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