By Caitlin Croft

On Jan. 6 and 7, the first of the Empire Cups were held at Holiday Valley and HoliMont, respectively. They were two slalom races, which are comprised of two runs. To qualify for Empire State Games there are 7 races that are counted. The athletes three best finishes are calculated for the standings.

On the first day of racing at Holiday Valley, Buffalo Ski Club’s U21/19 James Rauch walked away with the gold medal. Teammate Christian Meyer finished 6th, Brice Shively (KB) 9th, Daniel Edick (BSC) 11th, Jack Schleyer (KB) 30th and Cole Murray (KB) 31st.

For the U16 men, Alex Aubrecht of Buffalo Ski Club took 5th, Aristotle Ninos (KB) 11th, Wilson Siudzinski (KB) 24th and Montgomery Nicholl (BSC) 25th.

On the ladies side, U21/19 Margaret Munschauer from Buffalo Ski Club finished in 1st place. Page Hazen of Kissing Bridge finished 11th and Katie Schlemmer (KB) placed 14th.

U16 Grace Graney of Kissing Bridge took 6th with teammate Sydney Minier in 9th. Abigail Fischer (KB) finished 11th, Katriana Kivari (KB) 14th, Madisyn Delozier (BSC) 15th, Julia Patterson (BSC) 16th, Kiera Kavcic (BSC) 21st and Jenna Block (KB) 22nd.

The next day of racing was over at HoliMont, where athletes returned to the Wild Turkey Run. James Rauch of Buffalo Ski Club found himself once again on the podium with a bronze medal. Jack Schleyer (KB) finished 24th, Brice Shively (KB) 27th and Cole Murray (KB) 35th.

U16 Alex Aubrecht (BSC) once again cracked the top 10, finishing 8th. Teammate Joshua Jusiak was close behind in 9th, Montgomery Nicholl (BSC) 20th and Parker Murray (KB) 27th.

For the ladies, U16 Madisyn Delozier (BSC) improved from the Saturday race finishing 7th. Abigail Fischer (KB) took 9th, Olivia Shortt (KB) 10th, Julia Patterson (BSC) 11th, Sydney Minier (KB) 15th and Grace Rauch (BSC) 19th. U19 Page Hazen (KB) placed 7th.

The older athletes are off for the weekend before they head to Greek Peak for two Giant Slaloms. This coming weekend U14 athletes will be competing at Buffalo Ski Club and Holiday Valley.