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Sun Valley's Jack Smith Races to Second on Challenging Super G Course
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Tonight’s Parade of Athletes will be led by a drum corps.
   
Thursday, March 21, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Bald Mountain's steep slopes proved challenging for the nation's best skiers as the 2024 Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships got underway in Sun Valley Wednesday.

Twenty-seven of the male ski racers did not finish the Men's Super G Wednesday morning, with most of them launching too high on one of the rollers as they came off Warm Springs onto Upper Greyhawk. That caused them to miss the turn for the next gate in what is the fastest of the three race disciplines that will be run this week at Sun Valley.

Jay Poulter, a three-year member of the U.S. Ski Team and a two-time U.S. National Junior Champion from Stratton Mountain Academy, finished first in the FIS race, posting a time of 1:16.27.

Sun Valley's own Jack Smith, who joined the U.S. Ski Team five years, ago came in second 0.77 behind Poulter. It is Smith's best result since joining the team.

Ian Haupt, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., finished third. He was 1.06 behind Poulter.

The Women's Super G was moved up from a 12:30 p.m. start to 11:15 a.m. as temperatures headed into the mid-50s.

Tatum Grosdidier, who has been with the U.S. Ski Team for one year, finished first in the Women's Super G. Grosdidier, who learned to ski at 2 at Mission Ridge near her hometown of Wenatchee, Wash., crossed the finish line at the bottom of Greyhawk in 1:09.45.

The women's course was slightly shorter than the men's.

Tricia Mangan, who competed in the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics, finished second--0.61 seconds behind Grosdidier. Keely Cashman, a seven-year member of the U.S. Ski Team who competed at the 2022 Winter Olympics, finished third. She was 0.73 seconds off Grosdidier's pace.

COMING UP:

Racers are slated to race the Super G again today--Thursday, March 21. The Men’s Super G is scheduled for 9 a.m. The Women's Super G is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

But, with temperatures expected to climb into the 50s again, there's a good chance the women’s could be moved up to 11:15 a.m. so the races can be wrapped up before 1 p.m. before conditions get too slushy.

Opening Ceremonies will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ketchum Town Square with a Parade of Athletes led by a drum band, an awards ceremony and a concert featuring the Kris Lager Band, an American blues rock band.

Both the races and the opening ceremony are free to the public.

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