U.S. Disabled Ski Team soars to podium in Huntsman Cup opener


U.S. Disabled Ski Team soars to podium in Huntsman Cup openerPARK CITY, Utah – Rough weather conditions did not slow down the U.S. Disabled Alpine Team as the Huntsman Cup kicked off at Park City Mountain Resort.

Sit-skiers Stephani Victor (LW-12/1) and Tyler Walker (LW-12/2) came out on top while Sandy Dukat (LW-2) and Brad Washburn (LW-4) took the standing race lead.

Victor finished the women’s sit-ski competition with a two-run time of 2:10.06. ‘A win is always good in the beginning of the season to build your confidence – especially during an Olympic season’ she said. ‘Slalom is one my favorite disciplines and is something I train very hard for. I train at Park City and Deer Valley, so I guess you could say I had the home turf advantage.’

Ricci Kilgore (LW-12/1) came in second at 3:30.10. Emily Winter (LW-12/1) rounded out the top three with a finishing time of 8:00.28.

Carl N. Burnett’s (LW-11) 1:51.17 finishing time followed Walker’s 1:45.54 lead putting Burnett in second in the men’s sit-ski competition. Sweden’s Ronny Persson (LW-10/2) finished third with 1:54.08.

Dukat led the women’s standing competition at 1:55.48. ‘It could have been anybody’s game’ said Dukat. ‘I went in with a good attitude, which helped me pull together a win.’ Allison Jones (LW-2) joined Dukat in the top 3 at 2:03.56 for third place. Second place was taken by Germany’s Reinhild Miller (LW-4) at 1:58.82.

U.S. men swept the standing ski competition led by Washburn at 1:41.95. Clay Fox (LW-4) finished second at 1:43.60 while Monte Meier (LW-2) followed closely behind at 1:44.22 for third.

The Huntsman Cup is held annually at Park City Mountain Resort and was originally scheduled this season to open with a disabled super G competition. However, due to heavy snow conditions, the event opened with a slalom race. ‘Conditions were really difficult’ said Victor. ‘We are thankful to the Park City Mountain Resort race department for doing an outstanding job and for being able to pull it off. No matter the weather conditions, they always make it happen.’

The event will continue Jan. 4 and 5 with the disabled giant slalom.

- Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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