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Kjetil Hassman goes full tuck skiing super-G on Hangman's at Big Sky Resort. PHOTO BY DAVE PECUNIES

BSSEF racers overcome deep snow, land multiple podiums

By Luke Kirchmayr EBS CONTRIBUTOR

BIG SKY –  From Jan. 29- Feb. 5, the Big Sky ski team—Big Sky Ski Education Foundation—hosted a six-day training camp focusing primarily on super-G and other necessary skills required for various speed events. The event was managed by both the Western Region and BSSEF and the camp saw athletes from all over the West and even some from Alaska. 

After the camp, three super-G races were held Feb. 8-9 on Hangman’s at Big Sky Resort. Saturday Feb. 8 was a tough day for athletes and coaches as they contended with 18 inches of new snow on the course.

The resort’s mountain operations crews came out with multiple snow cats and the BSSEF race crew performed multiple top-to-bottom slip runs to prep the race hill.

Caleb Unger flies by a gate on the super-G course. PHOTO BY DAVE PECUNIES

“There is a saying in the ski racing world that ‘if you need snow, schedule a speed race,” said BSSEF Junior Development Coach Aaron Haffey. “This past week was a perfect example of this phenomenon. While everyone else in Big Sky was celebrating three straight powder days, the racers of Northern Division were doing constant slip laps to try to save the Hangman’s arena from being buried.”

Even with all the work, high winds and excess snowfall created a soft racing surface but BSSEF athletes pulled through and took a number of podiums. The weather cleared on Sunday allowing for excellent race conditions and enough time to host two super-G races. The BSSEF athletes took full advantage of the clear weather and scored numerous podiums and first-place medals. The most notable athlete was U14 racer Brooke Brown who earned second and a third place overall finishes, beating many U16s, U19s and even U21s.

“Our BSSEF athletes had a great week winning the overall team title every day and the end tally,” Haffey said. “Our athletes did a fantastic job representing Big Sky on their home hill and everyone in the team improved with each lap down the course.”

Visit bssef.com for more information.

BSSEF Podium Results:

Feb. 8

U19 Female:

       3. Riley Belle Becker (55.62)

U16 Female:

  1. Winter Johnson (55.08)

U14 Female:

  1. Brooke Brown (55.25)

U19 Male:

Caleb Unger (51.51)

U16 Male:

  1. Luke Kirchmayr (53.51)
  2. Kjetil Hassman (54.17)

U14 Male:

  1. Broderick Kneeland (54.93)

Feb. 9 Race 1:

U19 Female:

  1. Riley Belle Becker (56.76)

U16 Female:

     3.    Winter Johnston (58.55)

U14 Female:

  1. Brooke Brown (56.77)

      3. Chloe Unger (1:0016)

U19 Male: Race 2:

  1. Caleb Unger (54.83)
  2. Ryan Beatty (55.53)

U16 Male:

  1. Luke Kirchmayr (57.92)

      3. Kjetil Hassman (58.19)

U14 Male:

  1. Broderick Kneeland (58.33)

Feb. 9 Race 2:

U16 Female:

  1. Winter Johnson (56.79)

U14 Female:

  1. Brooke Brown (55.88)

U19 Male:

  1.  Ryan Beatty (54.23)

       3. Caleb Unger (54.25)

U16 Male:

  1. Luke Kirchmayr (55.62)

U14 Male:

  1. Broderick Kneeland (56.33)

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