Young skiers race for state at Powderhorn Resort
Buddy Werner Ski Championships take place at resort
The smile on Tia Sewell’s face was from ear to ear, her arms raised
victoriously when she received her first-place medal.
The 8-year-old Powderhorn Racing Club skier had just won the afternoon race on the lower run of Wonderbump on her home ski course, making her a state champion.
Sewell won the second of the two giant slalom runs Sunday to earn the state title at the Buddy Werner Ski Championships.
The state finals drew 133 racers from throughout western Colorado.
After finishing fourth in the morning run for the J6 girls, Sewell knew she had to focus if she were going to earn a top-three finish in the afternoon race and stand on the award podium.
“I had to push my skis, but it worked,” she said.
Warmer temperatures last week softened the snow before a layer of snow blanketed the ski area during the weekend, making Sunday’s course icy underneath.
Sewell just went about carving her turns a little harder in the afternoon and it worked.
She wasn’t the only Powderhorn racer to place in the top five in Sunday’s state championships. Teammate Maddy Kasten-Pill was fourth in the afternoon race.
Tanner Perkins took third in the afternoon J6 boys race.
Sewell’s sister Kristina was fourth in the morning race in the J5 girls division and teammate Alyssa Marashin was fifth.
Competing in the J5 boys class, Liam Kincaid took third in the morning run. That was especially good for him, as he was unable to compete in last year’s state finals.
“Last year I qualified but I couldn’t go,” he said. Family obligations forced him to miss the race.
“It was better this year because it was a home race,” the 9-year-old said of getting to race at Powderhorn.
Kincaid, who took fourth in the afternoon race with teammate Ben Swain placing fifth, won three Buddy Werner races at Powderhorn this season to qualify for the state finals.
“I’ve gotten better at (skiing) on ice,” Kincaid said of handling the snow conditions.
Franny Dipaola and Rachel Gallagher of Powderhorn placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the J4 girls afternoon race. They were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the morning run.
With their success, many of Sunday placers undoubtedly echo Kincaid’s sentiment.
“If there were lights up, I think I’d ski all night,” he said.