Skiers from the Intermountain Division are feeling right at home at Alyeska Ski Resort, landing numerous skiers in the top 10 on the first day of racing Thursday in the Western Region Championships for alpine skiers under 16.
The race series, last held in Alaska in 2013, has attracted about 170 skiers from five geographical divisions, including 10 from the Alaska Division.
Led by giant slalom winner Ryder Sarchett of Idaho's Sun Valley Ski Education Federation, the Intermountain Division swept the top five spots in the boys' GS and landed four skiers in the top 10 of the girls' slalom.
On Wednesday, Intermountain skiers Thomas Hoffman and Mary Bocock claimed fat tire bikes for winning the SkillsQuest, an event that tests technical skills.
Both of Thursday's races were blowouts.
In the girls slalom, Georgie Sullivan of California's Sugar Bowl Ski Academy won by nearly three seconds.
She dominated both runs to grab a 2.71-second win over second-place Riley Grosdidier of Washington's Mission Ridge Ski Team. Sullivan skis for the Far West Division and Grosdidier is from the Pacific Northwest Division.
In the boys giant slalom, Sarchett won both of his runs to finish 2.08 seconds ahead of second-place Oliver Parazette, an Intermountain skier who races for the Jackson Hole Ski Club.
A pair of Alyeska Ski Club skiers notched top-10 results in the girls race — Piper Sage placed fifth and Mary Grace Stahla was seventh.
The top Alaskan in the boys race was Sage Hildreth, who placed 23rd.
Besides Sage, Stahla and Hildreth, the Alaska Division team includes Randi Von Wichman, Johanna Griggs, Hannah Kragt, Tanner Sticka, Colin Horrigan, William
Wrigley and Evan Rand.
The championships continues Friday with girls' giant slalom and boys' slalom races.
Thursday's top 10
Girls slalom — 1) Sullivan, Georgie, Far West (FW), 1:31.94; 2) Grosdidier, Riley, Pacific Northern Ski Association (PNSA), 1:34.65; 3) Kiesel, Tea, FW, 1:34.74; 4) Friedman, Lindley, Intermountain (IMD), 1:35.22; 5) Sage, Piper, Alaska (AK), 1:35.63; 6) Severn-Eriksson, Annika, IMD, 1:36.16; 7) Stahla, Mary Grace, AK, 1:36.21; 8) Wong, Maya, FW, 1:37.33; 9) Kaiser, Marit, IMD, 1:37.51; 10) Curtis, Sage, IMD,
Boys giant slalom — 1) Sarchett, Ryder, IMD, 1:44.05; 2) Parazette, Oliver, IMD, 1:46.13; 3) Lindstrom, Ridley, IMD, 1:46.72; 4) Grossman, Buey, IMD, 1:46.78; 5) Bigatel, Justin, IMD,1:46.91; 6) Ries, Sasha, FW, 1:47.69; 7) Louchheim, Carter, IMD, 1:47.89; 8) Schaede, Jack, IMD, 1:48.13; 9) Turner, Teagan, FW, 1:48.33; 10) Hislop, Sam, PNSA, 1:48.46.