By Caitlin Croft

On New Year’s Eve, HoliMont Ski Area in Ellicottville hosted the first U16 Open Giant Slalom of the season in Western New York. Both Kissing Bridge (KB) and Buffalo Ski Club (BSC) had great results considering the athletes had only a few weeks on snow. Ski racing runs deep in Glenwood and Colden, and many do not realize its immense history. This is something I will dive into deeper in the future, but for now we focus on our most recent event.

James Rauch of Buffalo Ski Club walked away with the bronze medal and his first podium of the season. Teammate Christian Taylor also nabbed a top 10 spot with a solid 7th place and Daniel Edick (BSC) rounded out the top ten with 10th. Kissing Bridge athletes Bryce Shively and Nolan Evans were knocking on the top 10 door, finishing 11th and 12th respectively. Joshua Allegra (KB) placed 17th, Ethan Hallet (BSC) 20th, Aristotle Ninos (KB) 30th, Liam Fischer (KB) 31st and Jack Schleyer (KB) finished 33rd.

For the women, Margaret Munschauer of Buffalo Ski Club finished in 8th place with Page Hazen of Kissing Bridge in 13th. Lauren Meyer (BSC) took 15th, Katie Schlemmer (KB) 16th, Brooke Shively (KB) 17th, Olivia Short (KB) 23rd and Madison Dziulko (BSC) 24th.

In the sport of ski racing, less than a second can separate the winner and tenth place. Sometimes it even comes down to hundredths of a second. Being a former junior racer and competing in college as I did, you learn the lesson that every little thing counts from the moment you leave the start gate to the instant you cross the finish line. Changing your reach at the end of the race even in the slightest will change your time, change your technique and you bet your time will change. This is what keeps the athletes intrigued and in constant search for a perfect run. Check back weekly for all the results from our local athletes and everything ski racing!