By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
While the cold and snowy weather conditions may have wreaked havoc on a lot of sports this winter, one team was happy to see it.
“It’s a lot better than last year,” Tim Kanagy said with a laugh.
Kanagy is the coach for the Winterplace Ski Team, currently in its 26th season.
“The ski team was started in 1986 by myself and two other coaches,” Kanagy added. “It has been going on ever since.”
It’s been going on successfully, he might add.
His team took home the top medals in the 53rd annual W. Va. Governors Cup at Timberline Four Seasons Resort on March 2 and 3. It’s the oldest ski event in the south.
“They did really well,” Kanagy said. “We took everything from first through third. It was a tough race with well over 100 racers. We had a good time.”
Emily Hoops took home the first-place medal in both the slalom and giant slalom in the 10- to 14-year-old girls’ division. Loren King placed third in the 15-18 division.
In the men’s giant slalom division, Dominic Rotellini (3rd), Joe Tyson (5th), Isaak Richmond (9th) and Carson Eckley (15th) all placed. Parker Redden (8th) and Drew Stafford (9th) placed in the 10-14 division. Scott Tyson medaled in the 15-18 division with a third- place finish, while Donald Downard finished eighth in the 19-29 division. Kanagy finished first in the 50-59 division, while Mark Rotellini finished seventh.
Winterplace had several boys finish in the slalom as well, as Domonic Rotellini (2nd), Aiello (3rd), Richmond (7th), Eckley (9) and Kaden Aiello (13) placed in the 9-and-under division, Redden (2nd) and Stafford (6th) in the 10-14 division, Tyson (3rd) in the 15-18 division, Downard (5th) in the 19-29 division and Kanagy (1st) in the 50-59 division all represented their team.
“Kids are starting to do a little bit more with the alpine skiing,” Kanagy said. “We’re seeing growth with the younger kids. We had a group who was racing for 10 to 12 years, and now we’re seeing younger kids. The parents are excited, too, and that’s what it takes.”
Kanagy stated that even though there are other winter sports, alpine skiing is starting to gain popularity with the younger crowd.
“Snowboarding and free skiing are still very big,” he said. “With the X-Games, it seems they get more TV coverage, but as the word spreads about alpine skiing, that’s the big thing. Getting kids interested in alpine is the big thing.”
Even though milder temperatures are on the way, there may still be plenty of time left to hit the slopes.
“Our snow-making capacity is second to none,” Kanagy said. “We can bury the slopes in a couple of days. We have about a 6-foot base at the moment. We’ll be skiing on that for a while.”
— E-mail: jrollins
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