Diel heads to second Junior Olympics

• Mancuso Rolls along — Often lost in the Lindsey Vonn hype is one of the greatest World Cup female competitors the US has ever had. Julia Mancuso is one of a kind. She’s won more Junior National, World Junior and US National Championship medals than any other female. And she continues to be the most consistent, all event, female racer we have. This week she took 13th in the Downhill and 4th in the super Combined at Meribel, France. She is presently ranked 6th in the World overall.
• Qualified — Cory Diel, of the Independence Racing Team, qualified for the Junior Olympics for the second consecutive year. He is now home training hard for Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom competition against the top 140 Athletes in the West. He earned this honor competing in an eight  race series against top Pacific Northwest athletes.   
This year’s Junior Olympics will be hosted by Alyeska. Alaska, one of the Edge’s favorite venues. Although the weather is flukey and one can get stymied by volcano eruptions, little compares with standing atop the speed venue looking over Cook’s Inlet and the Bering Sea.
• Don Brooks Memorial — The Schweitzer Masters hosted this annual classic, and attendance was strong with more than 50 Northwest racers in attendance. As is often the case, the competition was blessed with fresh powder, but the SARS staff muscled through and pulled off a great event.  
Top local finishers were: M6 Men: Dennis Wilhelmsen with Golds in Slalom and GS and Silvers in both Super G’s, Mike Dodds with Silver in GS and Slalom, and 5th and 4th in the Super Gs,. M8 Men: George Frazier with 1st in Slalom, 2nd in GS and Gold in both Super Gs, Jim Doudna with Silver in Slalom and GS and 3rd and 5th in the two Super Gs, John Nord with 6th in Slalom, 4th in GS and 7th and 6th in Super G. F6 Women Julie Dodds Silver in Slalom. Ann Ozuna won all of the M9 Women’s events.
• Starlight Race Series FInale — The Funzees got ‘em! It pays to worship the rules, as was demonstrated this week at the Starlight (rhymes with Bragging Rights) Finale. The “Fallen Egos” (Sean Mirus, Tom Letourneau  — who dresses funny all the time anyway, Kelly Farmin, Chelsea Nova and Courtney Nova) edged out “Hanks Sleepers” by just hundredths of a point. The Sleepers were up by .046 of a point before the “Funzee factor” for wearing pajamas to race was applied. The Snow Sport School was a very close third.  
The margin of victory is pretty remarkable when one considers that 17 factors applied in a formula over four weeks yielded the scores. Back to something I can understand… The fastest Alpine skiers over the four weeks were: Alex Wohllaib, Sean Mirus and Terry McLeod for the men and Kelly Farmin, Deb Fragoso and Riann Riedel for the women. The fastest telemark skiers were Brian Lojek and Dig Clark, and the fastest snowboarders were Kyle Eichelberger and Ali Grande.
• Wild West Classic — This popular event, hosted by the Jackson Hole Ski Club, drew a full men’s field with athletes from nine countries, four universities, the US Ski Team and other top Western competitors. Scott Snow was the only local competitor and had a disappointing first two days where miscues yielded Giant Slalom finishes of 15th and 14th. However, he was second in the final Slalom race, scoring his best ever FIS score in the event. He’ll be moving on to the Western region Championships in Washington next week.
• Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Championships — Bridger Bowl hosted the Regional Championships for NCAA Division I schools this weekend. Michael Radford, skiing for Montana State University, finished in 13th for Giant Slalom and 9th for Slalom. He will now head to the NCAA Finals, hosted this year by Middlebury, Vermont.
• Potpourri — Watch next week for Youth Ski League results from Lookout Pass. Any comments, recommendations or contributions to this column may be sent to Shep Snow by e-mail at shep@thesnowschool.com. Negative feedback should be sent to someone else.

The Inside Edge runs every Thursday during ski season in the Daily Bee.

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