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ALPINE SKIING: Lack of snow means alpine teams off to a slow start

Lack of early season snow has slowed the progress of local area alpine ski teams. Most teams would have had a number of meets this season, but in most cases the local high school squads are lucky if they have had more than one race on their ledgers so far this season.

“Our season start was definitely delayed,” explained CEC boys and girls coach Ryan Zimney. “We’ve had just one race so far and that was up at Giants Ridge just before the Christmas break.”

The lack of snow to start the season also created issues when the team finally did hit the slopes prior to Christmas.

“The race at Giants Ridge was one of our first days on snow,” commented Zimney. “Because of that it was as much of a practice as a competition for us, although Thomas Heren had a good day for us and took second place.”

After some weekend snow over the New Year’s weekend, the ’Jacks will be rewarded this week with a race scheduled for Giants Ridge.

“We train at Spirit Mountain, but none of the area hills were opened up until several weeks into the official season, so we were in a waiting game for a while, but we are out now to catch up,” Zimney said. “This week we have a race scheduled at Giants Ridge, and it is going to be cold with sub-zero high temperatures expected.”

Despite battling the elements, Zimney is looking for Heren and Mark Matlack to pace the boys team. On the girls side, look for Kyrra Oien and Emma Lenarz to have strong seasons.

“We have a lot of skiers fairly new to racing this year,” said Zimney. “Our focus for the new skiers will be less about race results and more on personal improvement through the season.”