Two Juneau skiers made their mark this past week as they competed in World Cup events in Europe.
Joe Tompkins, a member of the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team, competed as a sit-skier in a series of Disabled World Cup races held Thursday through Saturday in Abtenau and Salzburg, Austria, earning enough points to move into 15th place in the overall standings for mono-skiers with 41 points. Tompkins' best race finish was 12th place.
Tompkins is the top American in the mono-skier standings, which are led by Germany's Martin Braxenthaler with 250 points. The second American in the standings is Daniel Metivier, who is in a four-person tie for 26th place with 22 points.
Disabled World Cup ski Web site
Telemark World Cup ski Web site
Matt Beedle, a member of the U.S. Telemark Ski Team, did well enough in a series of Telemark World Cup races held last Sunday through Tuesday in Maribor, Slovenia, and another series Friday through this Sunday in Chamrousse, France, to rank 20th in the Telemark Total Cup standings with 83 points. Beedle had a best race finish of ninth place.
Beedle is the second American in the Telemark standings, which are led by Norway's Kjetil SØvik with 685 points. Norway, where Telemark skiing originated, holds the top four spots in the standings. The top American is Chris Rice in 14th place with 139 points.
In the Disabled World Cup events, Tompkins opened his weekend with a 27th-place finish among the mono-skiers in Thursday's slalom event. Tompkins had a two-run time of 2 minutes, 14.93 seconds, while Austria's Juergen Egle won the race in 1:40.09.
In Friday's giant slalom race, Tompkins moved up to 16th place with a two-run time of 2:33.23. Braxenthaler won the race in 2:17.86. And in Saturday's Super G race, Tompkins took 12th place with a single-run time of 1:12.83. Braxenthaler won this race in 1:07.60.
When Tompkins competed last March in the 2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, the mono-skiers were separated into three different categories based on where in their backs the skiers had their paralysis start. For the Disabled World Cup, the three mono-skier categories raced together.
"Joe is improving every start," U.S. Disabled Ski Team manager/assistant coach Kevin Jardine wrote in an e-mail to U.S. Disabled Ski Team director Sandy Metzger, which Metzger forwarded to the Empire. "His confidence and great attitude have a lot to do with it. We are expecting a podium out of him this week at the World Cup finals. He pushes the rest of the guys and is becoming quite an influence with the other men mono-skiers."
The Disabled World Cup continues with a series of four races at the World Cup Finals starting today through Saturday in Tirol and Wildschoenau, Austria. This week's races were supposed to include slalom, giant slalom, Super G and downhill events, but a lack of snow changed the series to two slalom races and two giant slalom events.
Beedle has been in Europe since early January, having competed in a series of Telemark World Cup races Jan. 9-11 in Ylls, Finland, before this week's batch of races.
In Sunday's sprint classic race in the Chamrousse series, Beedle was in 15th place after the first run, but he missed a gate in the second run and didn't finish the course. SØvik won the race with a two-run time (with penalties) of 2:32.59.
In Saturday's Telemark classic race, Beedle finished 18th with a time of 2:29.97. SØvik won in 2:19.43. The sprint classic race scheduled for Friday wasn't held because of snow conditions.
In the Maribor series, Beedle finished 13th in Wednesday's Telemark giant slalom race with a two-run time of 2:29.15. Norway's Elvind Modalsli won the race in 2:17.28.
Beedle took ninth place in sprint classic in Tuesday's sprint classic race, posting a two-run time of 2:55.93. SØvik won the race in 2:46.72. Beedle's name was not listed in the results for Tuesday's Telemark classic race, which was won by Svik in a single-run time of 2:06.57.
During the Ylls series of races in early January, Beedle took 25th in the giant slalom, 19th in the sprint classic and was a DNF in the Telemark classic race.
In Telemark skiing, the races feature a series of jumps and gates, with some 180-degree turns, and the skiers are required to use the trademark Telemark alternating bent-knee stride while racing or else they are penalized for breaking form.
The Telemark World Cup Finals will take place on March 12-16 at Crystal Mountain, Wash. The Telemark World Championships are March 20-24 at Big Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Mont., where Beedle trains with the rest of the U.S. Telemark Ski Team.