JSC skiers qualify 19 for Junior Olympics

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Three Juneau Ski Club members won overall titles at the Alyeska Cup at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood last weekend, and 19 local skiers were named to Alaska's Junior Olympic Ski Team.

Corey Denton won the men's open series overall title. Denton claimed victories in the slalom and giant slalom, placed third in the super-giant slalom, and sixth in the downhill. The open series consists of Junior-I (17-18 years old) and J-II (age 15-16) level skiers.

JSC also swept the men's and women's overall crowns in the developmental series. Callan Janowiec won downhill, super-G and GS titles and placed second in the slalom to claim the overall championship. Richard Isett Jr. won the GS, skied second in the slalom, third in the downhill, and 12th in the super-G to win the men's title. The developmental series consists of J-III (age 13-14) and J-IV (age 11-12) level skiers.

Juneau Ski Club coach Jayme Johns said organizers with the Alyeska Ski Club are still accumulating race points to determine overall Alaska champions. Points are earned by finishing and placing in JO qualifying races from the Alaska Marine Lines Series at Eaglecrest in Juneau and the Alyeska Cup.

Strong performances at Alyeska, coupled with finishes at the AML Series, led to the record number of Junior Olympics selections.

Johns said Denton's strength in all the events is what led to his selection.

``Everyone goes all out to win each race,'' Johns said. ``But in my mind the overall is where it's at.''

Other J-I men's qualifiers were Ed Shanley and Jesse Walker; Nikki Andrews was the lone women's J-I selection. The J-I Junior Olympics is March 11-18 at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Ore.

Mammoth Mountain, Calif., is the site of the J-II, J-III and J-IV Junior Olympics at the end of March.

AML Series overall champion Hilary Turner and highly-competitive teammate Heidi Denton made the J-II women's team. Brian Nowlin, Kenneth Taug, Brandon Andrews, and J.C. Grochow qualified for the men's J-II team.

Janowiec led four teammates who qualified for the J-III women's team. Akemi Kunibe, who placed in the top-3 in every Alyeska Cup race, qualified, along with Lisa Wilson and Erika Nowlin. Isett Jr., Brandon Horst, and Mark Harmon were the men's J-III selections.

Johns said Harmon, Horst and Isett Jr. tested Alyeska's Kyle Kung - one of Alaska's best young skiers - at the Cup races last weekend.

Harmon skied second to Kung in the downhill and super-G, while Horst finished fourth in the downhill.

Johns said Harmon, Horst and Isett Jr. have spent extra training time on the hill, and it's paid off.

``Last year it was `Kyle Kung this' and `Kyle Kung that,''' Johns said. ``This year it was `Brandon Horst this' and `Mark Harmon that.'''

Erika Horst and Elise Wahto were selected to the J-IV women's team.

The Junior Olympics brings together the best skiers from several ski associations throughout the western United States. A podium finish (top three) can mean a selection to the Rolex Junior Olympic National Team, which travels and competes in national-caliber races.

Johns said a Juneau skier making the team is very possible.

``We expect some of our kids to do well.''

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