Ski racing turned from collegiate to the FIS Series, but the outcome didn't change at all.
Katja Lesjak, a junior at the University of Utah and right now the Utes' top skier, won the women's slalom in the Utah Winter Games FIS event on Sunday.It was her second win in three days and her second slalom win of the young season. In December, she won a slalom in an Intermountain race and finished second in another. Last week she won the first giant slalom in the Utah Invitational at Solitude on Friday and finished second on Saturday.
At Park City on Sunday, Toni Standteiner, recently off the U.S. Ski Team and transplanted at the University of Colorado, beat a bunch of ski team racers to win the men's first giant slalom.
Standteiner's two-run time was two minutes, 7.11 seconds. Second was Tim Hanson of the U.S. Team, with 207.71, and third was Paul Casey Puckett, also with the team, in 2:07.97
Sunday, on Snowbird's slalom course on Wilbere Ridge, Lesjak beat a field of 91 racers for the first title to come from six days of scheduled races in the Winter Games.
Lesjak was, unquestionably, the fastest skier on the steep courses. She had the fastest time on both runs for a combined total of 1:35.26 seconds.
Second was Jennifer Barrett, who skis for the University of Colorado, with a time of 1:36.14. Barrett was second to Lesjak on Friday and was first on Saturday. Barrett was on the U.S. Ski Team last year.
Lesjak said after the race that she simply tried to concentrate and make her turns early, "so I could set up early for the next gate."
Looking back at the two courses, she described the first as the most difficult because the gates were closer, "and you had to work hard to get a rhythm going." The second she said had wider turns and gates that were further apart.
The Winter Games, sponsored by KTVX, continued Monday with the men moving to Snowbird for a slalom and the women's going to Park City for a giant slalom.
Racing will then go to ParkWest and Deer Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, and return to Snowbird and Park City on Thursday and Friday.