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Flathead Valley racers ski to success at Big Sky

by Whitefish Pilot
| February 22, 2023 1:00 AM

Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation (FVSEF) ski racer Melody McNalley (Columbia Falls) secured two victories at the Lone Peak Speed Series alpine ski races held at Big Sky, Montana over the weekend of Feb. 11-12. The race series included three Super Gs (Super Giant Slaloms, or SG) for U14 and U16 age classes and was a qualifier to Western Region and Tri-Divisional championships to be held in March at Sun Valley, Idaho (U16 Western Regionals), Jackson, Wyoming (U14 Western Regionals) and Grand Targhee, Idaho (U16/U14 Tri-Divisionals).

Other FVSEF podium finishers included U16s Parker Retz (Whitefish) with two third places and Kellie Klepper (Whitefish) with a third place in one of the races. Emotions were high as many of the athletes worked through their fear of “the jump”, a mid-course feature that sent racers airborne for up to 90 feet. FVSEF athletes rose to the challenge and impressed their coaches with their efforts.

The race series was preceded by a Northern Division training camp at Big Sky on Feb. 8-9, as well as a Western Region U16 speed training camp at Soldier Mountain, Idaho on Feb. 6-8. FVSEF athletes were well-represented at both camps.

The next qualifying race series for U16s will be a pair of Giant Slaloms Feb. 25-26 at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Please contact hilary@fvef.org or tim.hinderman@fvsef.org for volunteer opportunities.

Lone Peak Speed Series Race Results:

SG 1

U16 Girls

Melody McNalley 1st

Greta Lund 4th

Valerie Cross 6th

GuineviereTomblin 16th

U16 Boys

Parker Retz 3rd

Brayden Hoover 12th

U14 Girls

Lola Zinser 12th

Kira Paatalo 15th

Avery Retz 19th

Dynalea Tomblin 29th

Lillie Groom 30th

SG 2

U16 Girls

Kellie Klepper 3rd

Melody McNalley 4th

Greta Lund 6th

Valerie Cross 8th

GuineviereTomblin 20th

U16 Boys

Parker Retz 5th

Brayden Hoover 11th

U14 Girls

Lola Zinser 15th

Kira Paatalo 20th

Avery Retz 23rd

Lillie Groom 24th

Dynalea Tomblin 31st

SG 3

U16 Girls

Melody McNalley 1st

Kellie Klepper 4th

Valerie Cross 6th

GuineviereTomblin 16th

U16 Boys

Parker Retz 3rd

Brayden Hoover 11th

U14 Girls

Kira Paatalo 12th

Lola Zinser 15th

Avery Retz 25th

Lillie Groom 30th

Dynalea Tomblin 33rd

U14 Boys

Leo Bungener 4th

Rylan Hoover 8th