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Local racer golden in GS

Local Joanna Coffey zips around a gate en route to winning Friday's giant slalom at the J3 Junior Olympics at Aspen Highlands. (Courtesy Todd Odegaard/ Mountain Photo)
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ASPEN Finally someone kept Winter Park’s Tracie Kroneberger off the top step of the podium at this year’s J3 Junior Olympics.The new champ was none other than Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s Joanna Coffey, whose searing first run in Friday’s giant slalom at Aspen Highlands’ Thunderbowl was too much for Kroneberger to overcome in the afternoon.Coffey was nearly two seconds faster than Kroneberger in the morning run with a time of 56.26 seconds, and finished with a winning combined two-run time of 2 minutes, 2.67 seconds.

Kroneberger – the fifth-fastest skier after the first run – had the best second run in 1:05.93, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Coffey. Her two-run combined time for the silver was 2:04.03.Coffey’s medal is the first for an AVSC athlete at this year’s Junior Olympics.Lauren Samuels earned her third straight podium, finishing third in 2:04.46. Samuels was second in Tuesday’s downhill and third in Wednesday’s super G.

After failing to finish Wednesday’s super G, AVSC’s Chandler Stapleton rebounded to finish 25th with a two-run time of 2:12.12. Teammate Alexandra Maple was 52nd in 2:25.03.AVSC’s Katherine Ryan failed to finish her second race in a row after she was unable to complete her first run.The Junior Olympics wrap up today with boys and girls slaloms at Highlands.



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