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Championship season for the Big Sky Ski Team

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Dane Ueland having a solid 2nd GS run in YSL Championships. PHOTO BY MARSHALL TATE / BIGSKYPHOTOS.COM


The Big Sky Ski Team had two very busy weeks. Four U19 Big Sky racers qualified for the Western Regional event in Alpine Meadows, California. With perfect bluebird conditions, the young U19 team came away with incredibly good results. It was 6 days of full-on racing, and after all the ski tuning, video analyzing and school homework, the exhausted racers were ready to come back to Montana after a successful trip.

The same weekend six U16 Big Sky racers qualified for the Western Regional event in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conditions in Sun Valley could not have been better—hard snow and ample sun on a very steep slope. This regional event had a Super G, GS and Slalom and the team did well, besides a few unfortunate crashes.

While the U19 and U16 team were on the road, Big Sky was hosting the Youth Ski League championship.  If you skied on Andesite Mountain that weekend most likely you saw a few racers, as over 240 young racers from Montana and South Dakota competed. The Big Sky Ski Team crushed the weekend and took advantage of racing on their home mountain. The YSL event was open to racers from age groups as young as 6 and up to 16 years old.

The following weekend we had two more important races, the Tri-Divisional race in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was for Northern, Intermountain and the Pacific Northwest Division. We had six Big Sky racers qualify for the event. Jackson is always a fun, steep race, and the team brought home a win and a few podiums.

While the Tri-Divisional competitors were in Jackson, four of Big Sky’s U14 athletes qualified for the U14 Western Regional event in Big Sky. Hangman’s was busy, with the 60 best U14 racers fighting for spots on the podium. We saw some very fast skiing and the U14 team did very well with many top-10 finishes in a competitive field. 

There are two more races left this season.  Next weekend Bridger Bowl will host the OHG race. Always a strong field, Bridger is expecting the MSU ski race team to set the pace for all of the racers. The final race of the season will be the Northwest Cup finals at Steven’s Pass, Washington.

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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