Visitors 1, 2 in menís downhill
Ben Blakely speeds down Snow King in a cow costume, complete with udder flapping in the wind, at the Town Downhill on Sunday. Blakely took first place in the fat and baggy division with a time of 1 minute, .04 seconds. Photo by Price Chambers/Jackson Hole Daily.View our entire photo gallery >>
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
March 11, 2013
Out-of-towners stole top honors at the downhill race known as the mini-Hahnenkamm for a third year in a row.
The race — usually called just the Town Downhill — was held on Snow King Mountain.
U.S. Ski team member Colby Granstrom, of Lake Stevens, Wash., won the men’s pro division of the 31st annual downhill. He posted the fastest time of the weekend down the hair-raising course in his second run Sunday.
Granstrom finished the first run of the men’s pro Sunday morning in 49.26 seconds. He cut his time by three-quarters of a second on his second run, finishing in 48.59 seconds, to post a combined time of 1:37.85.
He called the course “as technical and gnarly as any downhill I’ve skied yet.”
Miles Fink-Debray, of Idaho, posted the second-fastest individual time of the weekend in Sunday’s second run, a testament to how well the 2013 course held up during the day. Fink-Debray finished the run in 49.13, and with a combined time of 1:38.64.
Jackson’s best finisher, Jackson Hole Ski Club coach Zach Schwartz, took third with a combined time of 1:41.00.
Jackson native Kristen Irvine won the women’s pro division with a combined time of 1:48.44. Ski Club coach Kristin Waddle took second with a time of 1:51.51, and Summer Owens, another Ski Club-developed racer, took third with a time of 2:07.51.
For the second year in a row, the pro division did not race from the S-Chute at the top of Snow King Ski Resort.
Still, top-finisher Granstrom said the course was as challenging as any course he had ever skied.
Granstrom has spent the season recovering from a double knee surgery and only recently reached the point at which he felt capable of racing.
Hearing about the challenging downhill course from second-place finisher Fink-Debray, of Sun Valley, Granstrom decided it would be a good opportunity to get back on his skis.
“Miles Fink-Debray told me about this race and how cool it was,” Gran-strom said. “He told me how gnarly the hill is and that it’s the mini-Hahnenkamm, and I had to come check it out.”
He called the course “short” but noted that “for the time you are on your skis, it’s definitely very technical.”
The Town Downhill receives its nickname, the mini-Hahnenkamm, from a downhill held in Kitzbuhel, Austria. The Austrian Hahnenkamm is legendary for being the most terrifying downhill on the World Cup circuit.
A full report on the 2013 Town Downhill will be included in the sports section of Wednesday’s Jackson Hole News&Guide.