Ripley skiers make nationals, Rowe tops charts

MARQUETTE – Three Mont Ripley Race Team alpine ski racers competed in the United States Ski Association Central Division Championships held at Marquette Mountain last weekend.

In his 29th year of coaching, Bob Vial of Chassell led three local girls to register strong performances against the best alpine racers in the Midwest. Sarah Rowe of Dollar Bay was crowned the U14 ladies overall combined champion by winning two of the three slalom races contested, winning the super G race, finishing first and second in the two giant slalom races and fourth in the kombi event.

Sarah’s dominating performance resulted in her qualifying first overall, in her division, for the R/C Junior Championships at the Winter Park Competition Center in Winter Park, Colo., March 17-22.

Rowe is the first Mont Ripley athlete to win the USSA Central Division overall championship in recent history.

Rowe and Ally Fenton (Hancock) competed in seven different events against a field of 75 racers in the U14 (birth year 2000 and 2001) age class.

Fenton’s best results were second in a slalom race, third in the super-G and ninth in a giant slalom race.

This strong performance resulted in Fenton qualifying ninth overall for the R/C Junior Championships, to be held at the Winter Park Competition Center in Winter Park, Colo., March 17-22.

Jenna Stein (Houghton) competed against 81 other U16 (birth year 1998 and 1999) age class racers and qualified 18th overall. Her best results were 12th place in the slalom, 13th in another slalom race and 16th in the giant slalom.

Stein’s performance earned her the right to compete in the Rocky/Central Junior Championships to be held in Steamboat Springs, Colo., March 9-15.

The United States Ski Association Central Division is comprised of athletes from an 11-state region.

The Mont Ripley Race Team is an alpine ski racing club based at Mont Ripley. For more information, contact Bob Vial at bobvial@skihurricane.com, or visit the Mont Ripley Race Team Facebook page.