Juneau Ski Club sends seven to Jr. Olympics

Squibb, Wahto and Young are off to Idaho

Posted: Monday, February 27, 2006

Despite being without a lot of snow for most of the year, that meteorological anomaly hasn't stopped the Juneau Ski Club from achieving.

The JSC captured three spots on the six-person Alaska Junior Olympic team in the J1 class, had two members picked for the eight-athlete J3 team and will have two of the three representatives in J4.

In skiing, the classes are divided into age groups. The J1-J2 team is for athletes born between 1986-1990, J3 is for athletes born between 1991-92 and J4 is for the youngest skiers.

"We have a really strong group of skiers," JSC coach Eliza Squibb said. "Even with the lack of training, they're all strong. Once they get into race mode, they really start achieving. I think we have a really strong team and it's just getting stronger with our younger kids."

Lucy Squibb, Gabrielle Wahto and Zach Young will represent Alaska in the J1-J2 Western Regional Junior Championships on March 24-27 in Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho.

Brian Vandor, Sophia Wahto, Ezekial "ZJ" Rohloff and Matt Vandor will ski for Alaska in the J3-J4 competition in Western J3 Olympics and Western J4 Festivay in Mt. Hood Meadows, Ore.

The skiers solidified their Junior Olympic status this weekend with strong performances in the Kensington Cup races over the weekend at Eaglecrest Ski Area. Juneau competed with Girdwood's Alyeska Ski Club and Moose Mountain Alpine Skiing from Fairbanks in the competition.

On Sunday, Lucy Squibb finished third overall in the slalom with a combined time of 1 minute, 25.93 seconds. Teammate Gabrielle Wahto took fifth in 1:27.21 while Kayla Harmon and Sophia Wahto finished 10th and 11th respectively in the girls competition.

Juneau skiers Stephanie Logan took 17th and Sara Cohen placed 21st in the slalom.

For the boys, Peter Nave was Juneau's top finisher by earning seventh-place honors with a time of 1:22.77 in the slalom.

Nathan Ord, who will represent Alaska in the upcoming Arctic Winter Games, took eighth and Rohloff finished ninth. Tom Meiners placed 12th, Young 14th, Alexander Erickson 15th and Brian Vandor 25th. Peter Erickson tied for 27th and Tatsu Monkman crossed the finish line in 30th position.

"They all skied strong," Eliza Squibb said. "They've skied that run thousands of times, although this time they haven't because of a lack of snow. But once they get into a groove, the know what to do and normally ski well."

Gabrielle Wahto led the JSC girls on Saturday with a fourth-place finish in the giant slalom with a time of 1:24.39. Sophia Wahto finished seventh and Harmon took 11th. Logan, Cohen and Lucy Squibb finished 18th, 19th and 20th respectively.

Alyeska's Kristen Brander won the event in 1:21.84.

In the boys' giant slalom, Young placed third in 1:22.56 for Juneau.

Ord took seventh and Nave finished 10th. Brian Vandor and Matthew Vandor garnered 14th and 15th place while Erickson took 16th.

Rohloff (19th), Peter Peel (26th), Peter Erickson (30th), Monkman (31st), and Dylan Eason (33rd) rounded out Juneau's finishers.

On Friday, the Juneau boys team claimed five of the top 10 places at the Don Abel Building Supply Slalom race at Eaglecrest.

Nave finished in fourth by completing his two runs in a time of 1:25.58. Ord finished fifth at 1:26.24, and Ezekial Rohloff placed sixth at 1:29.07.

Alexander Erickson finished eighth and Brian Vandor finished ninth.

Lucas Tanaka of Alyeska Ski Club won the event in 1:16.65.

Other Juneau finishers included Matthew Vandor in 22nd place, Eason in 23rd and Meiners in 26th.

On the girls end, Juneau's Lucy Squibb took third place at 1:25.52. Squibb finished 3.89 seconds behind slalom champion Alannah Rice of Alyeska.

Juneau's Sophia Wahto took 14th place while Logan, Nicole Stangeland and Cohen placed 19th, 20th and 21st respectively.

While the Kensington Cup solidified Juneau's places on the Junior Olympic team, qualifying started on Feb. 12-19 at Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood.

The JSC had a number of individual medalists in an array of classes and events.

For the women, Harmon finished third in the super-G and giant slalom in class J1 while Lucy Squibb placed third overall in the downhill, super-G and giant slalom in J2. Teammate Gabrielle Wahto took third in the slalom and the super-G.

In girls J4, Stangeland took third in the super-G and slalom.

For the boys J1 at Alyeska, Young placed third in the first downhill race.

In boys J2, Ord took third in the second downhill while Nave placed third in the super-G.

Brian Vandor took third in both downhill races in class J3.

In boys J4, Rohloff won the slalom and super-G events, Matthew Vandor placed second in the giant slalom and slalom and Alexander Erickson skied to a third-place finish in the giant slalom.

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com

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