Share |

Sunday, January 23, 2000 -- Timberline Resort, WV
USSA Junior Giant Slalom
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

Tyler Pfeiffer
Tyler Pfeiffer gets the snow flying at Timberline
The late week deep freeze in Canaan Valley let up just a little for the USSA Giant Slalom competition at Timberline Resort on Sunday, January 23rd. Temperatures in the twenties felt warm compared to the previous days' single digit readings, even with cloudy skies and occasional snow flurries. Everyone was ready at 9:30am to begin their first of two runs through the gates on the aptly named White Lightning slope.

After racers blasted through their first runs, everyone agreed that the course was well laid out and holding up well. This meant that the second run would consist of the same gates with just a few adjustments to better secure a few of them. However, the course did become a little icy and generally slowed the times slightly.

Zachary Johnson
An early crash can't stop Zachary "One Pole" Johnson
One person who never seemed to slow down was Spencer Reed. Reed recorded times of 37.93 and 38.08 seconds, the two fastest runs of the day, on his way to capturing the overall best combined time of 1:16.01. His winning time was a full second better than Mark Krafft's second place combined time of 1:17.07.

Taking home his first ever overall win, Reed had little to say regarding his winning formula. But, fellow racer Ben Hinkle was willing to sum up the day for him by simply stating, "He was on it!"

Even more impressive was the performance of female racer Meghan Fairbrother. Fairbrother attacked the gates on her two runs to record consistent times of 42.51 and 42.52. These were the two fastest times of the day, among the ladies, and her combined total of 1:25.03 was more than four seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. When asked about her dominating runs, Fairbrother modestly replied, "I was feeling good."

Spencer Reed
Spencer Reed demonstrates his winning form
Jillian Huber must have been feeling pretty well herself as she recorded the second fastest time for the second run. This was enough to move her up to second overall in the women's field as her two solid runs of 44.19 and 44.89 seconds gave her a combined total of 1:29.08.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the days racing as many took home awards for top finishes in their respective divisions. One of those was was J3 (age 13 & 14) men's winner Taylor Embury who was willing to share with us a few tips on GS racing. After gaining an almost one second lead on his first run, Embury couldn't afford any mistakes on his second. "I knew I had to ride my knees, use my edges, and make nice round turns starting above each gate," was what he revealed as his game plan.

Sounds easy enough, but for some reason we imagine these racers are making it sound a little too easy. One thing we do know for sure is it certainly looks like fun. After watching all those bright-eyed smiles covering the slopes throughout the day, you didn't have to imagine that fact.