JHHS alpine

Buckeye Milligan tucks in as he approaches the finish line during his first slalom run at Hogadon Basin Ski Area in Casper last month. Milligan finished fourth in giant slalom in Red Lodge, Montana on Saturday.

Three feet of fresh snow might be preferable for skiers hitting the resort.

For high school alpine teams, not so much.

The Jackson Hole High School alpine team traveled to Red Lodge, Montana, late last week, planning to race both Friday and Saturday. Friday’s event was called off entirely, and only one run was completed in Saturday’s giant slalom.

“It was a little bit wild,” head coach Cody Hansen said. “Different than any other weekend I’ve ever been a part of.”

It was the third straight weekend in action for the Broncs, and it was the third week in a row they returned home with promising results. Even if it was cut short.

Sophie Morgan continued her dominant run on the girls side, taking the top spot in Saturday’s lone giant slalom run in 51.67 seconds. Teammate Dylan Kling was second in 54.20, Fussy Girling fifth in 57.81 and Sophie Parker eighth in 59.57.

On the boys side, Jackson’s top skier, Nicholas Janssen, scored another victory as well, with his teammates taking the next three spots. After Janssen in 49.85, Ridge Kling took second in 50.70, Tate Ellingson third in 51.52 and Buckeye Milligan fourth in 53.45. Jackson’s fifth skier, Fin Hutchinson, finished eighth in 55.20.

It was a pleasant surprise for Hansen, largely because he had instructed the team to take it easy considering the conditions.

“I was telling them, ‘Hey all you guys are really good skiers. Just go ski the course,’” Hansen said. “Don’t go out there and over-ski the course and push yourself into mistakes.”

The team will have a slight break before resuming competition in Casper on Feb. 21. From there Jackson will be skiing heavily, with the state championship approaching and a new Western Regional High School Championship to follow.

That new regional race will include teams from Wyoming, California, Washington, Nevada and Minnesota. Each state will be represented by 12 athletes on both the boys and girls side. The competition will take place March 12-14 at Mammoth Mountain in California.

“They’ve been doing one on the East Coast for years,” Hansen said. “This will be the first time a West Coast one happens. I’m looking forward to seeing how our kids do. ... I think it brings our Wyoming teams together, and it will give the kids a good purpose to keep skiing.”

Contact Chance Q. Cook at 732-7065, sports@jhnewsandguide.com.

Sports Editor Chance Cook has lived in rural Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Butte, Montana. He is no stranger to spending time in the woods chasing animals. If you see him out, challenge him to a game of pool. Send tips and questions.

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