Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

FIRST TO THE FINISH – Ainsley Proffit races to a first-place finish in the women’s slalom at the Coaches Cup FIS race at Mount Sima Saturday.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

SMILING SLALOMER – Emilie Tanara of Montreal at Mount Sima last Friday.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

THUMBS-UP – Eva Muller, left, and Finlay Somers of the Club Mont St. Marie in Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que. give the thumbs-up after their second run in the women’s Giant Slalom at Mount Sima last Friday.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

TRIUMPHANT TEAMMATES – UAA’s Ashleigh Alexander of Calgary on the first place podium Saturday at Mount Sima. Alexander finished first in the Giant Slalom last Friday. UAA’s Ainsley Proffit, right, finished second and Ella Bromee, left, came in third.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

GOING FOR IT – Delphine Lafond of Saint-Sauveur, Que. races in the Giant Slalom last Friday.

UAA continues dominance on Day 2 of FIS races at Mount Sima

The Seawolves’ sheer dominance continued Saturday with the women taking the top five spots in the slalom and the men sweeping the top five positions in their race.

By Morris Prokop on November 25, 2022

The Seawolves’ sheer dominance continued Saturday with the women taking the top five spots in the slalom and the men sweeping the top five positions in their race.

UAA’s Hunter Eid, 21, born and raised in Anchorage, captured first in the men’s slalom on Saturday.

“It was really fun,” he said. “With the snow it makes it a little harder; fresh snow coming down adds a little softer snow on top … but the snow held up really good for, I think, everybody but it’s just to the point of, just putting your head down and just getting to it and trying to make the best run you can out of where you’re starting in.

Regarding coming in first, Eid said he “tried to put the best, cleanest run I could together and skiing clean is definitely the winning factor of ski racing, the cleanest run is the fastest run, so it feels pretty good.”

“I think the key to winning today was probably just putting your foot in the groove and being the most dynamic you could be, trying to not have any mistakes, really charging hard at the course … I think the person that attacked the hardest was the winner … there was a lot of fast skiing out there today.”

Eid added “I love it here. This is my second year here. I wouldn’t want to train anywhere else pre-season. It’s a cool place to be.”

UAA’s Ainsley Proffit, 21, from St. Charles, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis), skied to a first-place finish in Saturday’s women’s slalom.

“I am very happy. It was a really fun race. Both courses were very different from each other so it was – (I) felt proud to accomplish both of them. Very different skiing styles were required for both of them. It really tested ya.”

Proffit explained the key to winning the race.

“First course was just go on the fall line, go as fast as you can and hope for the best.

“The second course was all about your tactics. You had to point your skis, out, trust yourself, which – usually in the race, you just want to go fast, but you couldn’t do that on the second run. You had to be smart about where you placed your turn.”

Mount Sima earned a rave review from Proffit.

“I’ve never been here. I’m from Missouri, so I’m very far from home but I love this. Usually, I go to Copper (Mountain, Colorado) in the early season but this slope here is so much better. There’s a lot more terrain, way more demanding and it’s a lot of fun.”

Proffit added “I’m just grateful we’re able to have a race. This is sweet. It’s really, really special.”

UAA head coach Sparky Anderson was pleased with the results.

“It’s a great start for us. We’ve only been on snow here one week and so it’s been good. We’ve had a really good fall strength and conditioning program that looks like it’s paying off and also the conditions here at Mount Sima are spectacular so that’s really been something that’s helped us prepare and get ready for this event.”

Needless to say, Anderson was happy with the team’s success.

“Extremely. Our kids come in ranked higher in the FIS standings than the rest of the field, so we expected to be on top. (I) was really pleased with the quality of the skiing for how much time we’ve had on snow … now the kids know they’ve got some confidence and they just gotta keep working hard.”

“I think they were prepared mentally,” he added. “We worked pretty hard all fall watching video … they came in focused and we had a plan and we executed the plan.”

Next up, the team goes their separate ways to compete in different locales.

“The ladies will go down to Copper Mountain at Nor-Ams and the boys will drive back to Anchorage,” said Anderson. “I go down with the girls to Nor-Ams and then I’ll come back and grab the boys and the boys go to Beaver Creek (Colorado) for Nor-Ams.”

The women’s Nor-Ams take place Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

The men’s Nor-Ams take place Dec. 12-15.

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