Joe Tompkins, a U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team member from Juneau, took third place among mono-skiers in the giant slalom race Friday at the Hartford Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge, Colo.
Tompkins, who recently was promoted to the nation's A Team, posted a two-run time of 1 minute, 52.89 seconds. He had a first-run time of 56.04 seconds and a second-run time of 56.85. There were nine athletes competing in the men's mono-skier division.
He finished behind U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team compatriots Tyler Walker and Christopher Devlin-Young. Walker had a two-run time of 1:47.12, while Devlin-Young's two-run time was 1:47.97.
Standing skier Ian Jansing, who has disabilities in his legs and arms but still used two skis and two poles, had the top overall time of 1:41.59. Four of the next five skiers were able-bodied athletes, with standing skier George Sansonetis the next finisher among the disabled skiers with a 1:43.71 for fourth place overall. Andy Parr, whose guide was A.K. Walker, was the top blind skier with a time of 1:46.19.
The Hartford Ski Spectacular is a Nor-Am Level 2 race, but many of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team members use it to kick of their seasons. The week-long event also features seminars on living with disabilities, and many injured soldiers were in attendance. A slalom race scheduled for Thursday was canceled due to a heavy snowstorm.
"This was another good start with some excellent racing," U.S. disabled ski program director Sandy Metzger said in a press release. "It's always good to see new faces. Kevin (Jardine, the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team coach) and the rest of the coaches get a chance to see how the preseason training is paying off for the national team and a chance to look at upcoming potential team members. And, of course, Breck does an outstanding job for us every year and this was a good start for the season."
The Disabled World Cup season opens Jan. 10-13 with races in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Many of the disabled skiers are expected to compete in the Huntsman Cup, another Nor-Am Level 2 race series, that takes place Jan. 2-4 in Park City, Utah. The Huntsman Cup features a slalom, giant slalom and super-giant slalom race.