Two Sunlight Ski Team racers qualify for junior championships |

Two Sunlight Ski Team racers qualify for junior championships

contributed photo

Two skiers from the Sunlight Winter Sports Club have qualified for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s Rocky/Central J4 Junior Championships.

Cooper Cornelius, 11, and Quincy Dollahan, 12, will attend the March 15-19 event, which will be held at Steamboat Ski Resort. The event, which features super-G, giant slalom and slalom racing, is open to 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls from the Rocky Mountain and Central divisions.

Team sponsor Jeff Wuerker, owner of Colorado’s Urgent Care in Glenwood Springs, has offered to pay the registration fees for both Cornelius and Dollahan. Both racers will be traveling to Steamboat Springs with their families and Sunlight Ski Team head coach John Bresnitz.

Cornelius, Dollahan and fellow J4 Dalton Cherry competed last week in Crested Butte at the Prater Cup in an attempt to qualify for the junior championships.

Skiers had five starts at Crested Butte. Results from each racer’s two best finishes were matched against a field of 84 girls and 102 boys from throughout the Rocky Mountain division.

Cornelius and Dollahan skied to a solid start in the super-G, with finishes of 10th and fifth, respectively. Cherry, having had a quick training run the previous day, experienced some tough luck when he caught an edge at the top of the course.

The next day, the boys raced giant slalom and the girls competed in slalom. All three Sunlight athletes had unfortunate draws for their start orders and faced some rutted conditions in the Saturday-morning event.

Cornelius made some athletic recoveries and finished in the mid-20s. He followed it up with a fourth-place finish in the afternoon, securing his spot in the junior championships.

Cherry’s bad luck continued as he failed to finish in both giant slalom races.

Both Dollahan and Cherry had to perform on the final day of the Prater Cup.

Dollahan charged out of the gate and skidded onto her side near the third gate on the giant slalom course. The second-year J4 vaulted back onto her skis for the remainder of the run and finished 13th, ensuring her a trip to the junior championships.

Dollahan was able to ski for the podium that afternoon and narrowly missed, taking fourth place.

Cherry made it to the finish line on Sunday in both slaloms but missed qualifying.

In other action on the slopes, two of Sunlight’s J3 racers (13- and 14-year-olds) – Quinn Kimminau and Alphonse Fischer – recently competed for the chance to attend the J3 Junior Olympics.

The boys field boasted more than 100 racers.

Fischer and Kimminau raced hard but came up just short of qualifying. Both Sunlight skiers showed glimpses of hope, with Kimminau taking the 12th spot at the split in the super-G before falling near the finish.

Fischer also defeated more than half the field in the technical events.

The Sunlight Ski Team will be traveling to Powderhorn this weekend for the J5 finale. Nearly 200 9- and 10-year-olds will be competing for individual and team awards.

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