Hunter Eid turned a dicey moment into a happy homecoming Wednesday on the slopes at Alyeska Ski Resort.
Eid, a 20-year-old from Anchorage who trains in Idaho, survived a shaky moment on his first run but recovered to collect gold and silver in a pair of men’s giant slalom races at the FIS Western Region Tech Series.
A third-generation Alaskan — his dad, Marc, skied for UAA, and his grandfather, Karl, created the ski jumping facility at Hilltop Ski Area — Eid trains with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation team in Idaho.
He grew up racing for the Alyeska Ski Club, and he displayed strong, aggressive skiing in his return home for this week’s regional races. He won both runs in the first GS of the day and came from behind to claim second place in the second GS.
Early in the first run of his first race, Eid launched awkwardly off the bump at the bottom of Alyeska’s steep and icy Steilhang pitch, but got back down on the snow in time to make the next gate.
Races started at the top of the Steilhang pitch and finished at the bottom of Race Trail. The Steilhang challenged competitors throughout the day, causing some to crash or slide down the pitch.
In both races, Eid was joined on the podium by a pair of UAA skiers — freshman Moro Bamber and junior Didrik Nilsen.
Bamber placed second and Nilsen was third in the first race. In the second, Bamber posted the fastest times in each run to capture the victory, with Eid placing second and Nilsen third.
In both races, Nilsen ranked second after the first run only to drop into third place in the second run. In the first race, he was .04 out of the silver-medal spot; in the second race, he was .03 back.
Competition continues Thursday with a pair of men’s slalom races.
Giant slalom — 1) Hunter Eid, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, 1:24.58; 2) Moro Bamber, UAA, 1:25.49; 3) Didrik Langmoen Nilsen, UAA, 1:25.53; 4) Buey Grossman, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, 1:26.21; 5) Michael Soetaert, UAA, 1:26.23.
Giant slalom No. 2 — 1) Moro Bamber, UAA, 1:30.27; 2) Hunter Eid, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, 1:31.09; 3) Didrik Langmoen Nilsen, UAA, 1:31.14; 4) Michael Soetaert, UAA; 5) Colin Harper, Whitefish Mountain Race Team, 1:32.00.