UAA's McKillop earns first college skiing victory

UAA junior Vanessa Berther winces as she clears a gate in the first run of Wednesday's Alaska Best Water FIS Slalom at Alyeska. Third after the first run, she had a dominant second run and won the ladies' race. December 11, 2013
Bob Eastaugh
Curtis McKillop, a UAA freshman from Calgary, inaugurates his collegiate career with victory in Wednesday's FIS slalom. December 11, 2013.
Bob Eastaugh

UAA freshman skier Curtis McKillop began his college racing career with a victory Wednesday in a men’s slalom in the Alaska Best Water December FIS series at Alyeska Ski Resort, where teammate Vanessa Berther bagged a win in a women’s race.  

McKillop trailed Patrick Romano of the Far West division by nearly a second after the first of two runs on firm snow, but won the second run convincingly to secure the victory by .62 seconds. McKillop’s completed the two runs in 1 minute, 23.7 seconds.  

Berther, a junior, put together a strong first run in the women’s race, but still trailed the Far West’s Madeline Johnson by .09 seconds. Berther blew Johnson away on the second course, posting a two-run time of 1:32.17 to win by more than 1.5 seconds. 

Racing continues with slaloms Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Larger fields are expected in the remaining races when the full UAA team participates.   


Alaska Best Water December FIS series

Wednesday’s slalom (two-run combined times)

Men — 1) Curtis McKillop, 1:23.70; 2) Patrick Romano, 1:24.32; 3) Trent Balin, 1:28.36; 4) Sean O’Rourke, 1:34.18; 5) Peter Spangler, 1:38.94; 6) Michael Ferri, 1:39.31; 7) William Ingrim, 1:50.04; 8) Jim Henderson, 1:52.01. 

Women — 1) Vanessa Berther, 1:32.17; 2) Madeline Johnson, 1:33.63; 3) Sarah Powell, 1:35.90; 4) Nicole Ritchie, 1:35.92; 5) Sarah Lundgren, 1:38.29; 6) Leika Scott, 1:43.10; 7) Meghan McCormack, 1:43.71; 8) Heather Desino, 1:48.18; 9) Liz Mutina, 1:48.69; 10) Jennifer Rowland, 1:50.27; 11) Erin Buckland, 1:50.49; 12) Lee Foden, 1:51.94; Manya Montanelli, 1:57.96.