Topolino Time Trial Selections
Take Place at Vail.
NASTAR Sets Record, Adds
Event for 2009-10 Season
On January 2 and 3, Vail hosted Time Trial Selections for Trofeo Topolino, the annual junior races of
the best 13 and 14-year-old ski racers in Italy.
On Day 1, Danielle Brownell-Patty of Aspen Valley Ski Club took her three runs down the GS and
came away with the fastest run for the women.
Only 17/100ths of a second behind Brownell-Patty was Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Kendall VanHee.
“My first run was the fastest, but my second run felt better,” VanHee said.
SSCV’s Caroline Byrne placed third while Olivia Swift came in 12th.
For the men on Saturday, Mitchell Underhill from Minnesota’s Buck Hill Ski Team took his third run
down the GS track and turned it into the fastest run of the day. SSCV’s Nick Santaniello had the third
fastest time in Saturday’s time trial, just 45/100ths of a second behind Underhill. Alex Leever took
eighth place for the men.
The event continued on Sunday, Jan. 3, with three runs of slalom. SSCV’s Kendall VanHee posted the
fastest time to take the overall win.
“I wasn’t really nervous because it felt more like training.” VanHee said. “I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and I’m excited to go to Italy in March. Now I have to work hard and reassess my goals for
how well I want to do in Topolino.”
SSCV’s Caroline Byrne put together two solid runs of slalom Sunday to end up third overall for the
weekend while teammate Olivia Swift finished 12th.
For the men, Mitchell Underhill took the top spot in Sunday’s slalom, and, combined with his fast run
from Saturday’s GS, won the overall title and a chance to race in Italy.
“I wanted to stay focused,” said Underhill. “I was nervous on my second run because I fell on my first
run, and I had a few problems, but I recovered and finished well enough to stay ahead. On my third run
I needed to make up time so I went all-out.”
SSCV’s Nick Santaniello finished his weekend with a strong slalom race to place second overall. Alex
Leever, in eighth place after Saturday’s GS, clocked in with a second place in Sunday’s slalom, trailing
the winner by only 4/100ths of a second to take third overall.
VanHee, Underhill, and four other J3 skiers (two girls and two boys) from the U.S. will travel to Italy
on February 26 to train for the week before the Trofeo Topolino. During that week, they will forerun
the Italian Junior Championships, which is on the same hill as the Trofeo Topolino at Panarotta Ski
Area. After a week of training, they will race on March 5 and 6.
According to NASTAR (NAtional STAndard
Race) officials, last year set records for participation with 113,000 racers taking part at 121 re-sorts across the country, accounting for 220,000
racer days and 550,000 race starts. The top re-sorts saw up to 10,000 race starts, and the Mid-west saw a 34 percent increase in participation
alone. Skiers came from all 50 states.
NASTAR has also announced another opportunity to compete and qualify for its Nationals. A
second mid-season Open event will be added to
the 2009-10 schedule, the Mid-West Open.
The Nature Valley NASTAR Opens provide
the opportunity to see who is the fastest in the
region, as well as book a ticket to Nationals. The
events are two-day competitions that are open
to the public. Racers can participate in the new
Mid-West Open, January 9–10, at Crystal Mountain, Mich., or the Eastern Open, February 6–7,
at Windham Mountain, N. Y. Overall winners of
the NASTAR Opens will receive free entry to the
Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships in Winter Park, Colo., March 25–28, 2010.
“With U.S. Ski Team icon Daron Rahlves as the
zero pacesetter, skiers get excited about seeing
how they match up,” said NASTAR Director Bill
Madsen. “And especially in this Olympic year,
adding recent U.S. team successes, the nation’s
focus on ski and snowboard racing is sure to increase. We’re looking forward to great regional
and national events to help the general public be
a part of it, and crown their champions.”
For more information, visit nastar.com.