Ski racers compete in Bozeman

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Devin Beale took first in the men’s Giant Slalom at Bridge Bowl last weekend. (Photo courtesy Montana Alpine Race School)

The Montana Alpine Race School traveled to Bridger Bowl near Bozeman last weekend for the last of three Tech Qualifying Series of the USSA Northern Division this season.

MARS traveled with five athletes to Bridger. The course sets for Thursday were turny and technical with some challenging terrain.

Annika Severn-Eriksson of MARS set the tone blistering to the Giant Slalom win for U16 ladies but also second overall, a second behind Sierra Leavitt, a recent NCAA competitor and current coach at Big Sky. Devin Beale led the MARS charge for the men finishing second for both U16 and the overall.

MARS athletes Rayce Neill skied to a very competitive fifth place and Nick Sramek skied two solid runs and claimed fourth in U19, ninth overall. Camas Rinehart who sat fourth overall after one run was a victim of the rough conditions and was bounced from the course.

The Friday Giant Slalom courses were set more direct and faster. That didn’t faze Annika Severn-Eriksson of MARS who repeated her visit to the top step of the podium for U16 ladies, second overall, 0.56 seconds off the pace of coach Sierra Leavitt.

In the men’s Giant Slalom, it was Devin Beale of MARS taking the U16 race with a gutsy charge through a fast paced, high risk bouncy course. The win was Beale’s first since 2015 after a season away from ski racing.

Teammate Nick Sramek had a very strong race finishing second for the U19, fourth overall. Being the last of the Giant Slalom qualifiers the second run was a heated affair with two of the top five skiers from run one Camas Rinehart of MARS and Colter Upton of Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation failing to finish despite valiant efforts from both to win the race.

The two slaloms scheduled for the weekend were canceled due to massive overnight snows.

MARS athlete Cedar Mattole of Columbia Falls also traveled to Alta, Utah, for a Telemark Sprint Classic and sixth overall in a field of elite men.

Individual results:

Feb. 23

U16 Women GS

1. Annika Severn-Eriksson

U16 Men GS

2. Devin Beale

3. Colter Upton

5. Rayce Neill

U19 Men GS

4. Nick Sramek

Feb. 24

U16 Ladies GS

1. Annika Severn-Eriksson

U16 Men GS

1. Devin Beale

4. Ian Calaway

5. Rayce Neill

U19 Men GS

2. Nick Sramek

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