Puckett picks up where he left off
Aspen local Casey Puckett won the season-opening Jeep King of the Mountain skiercross Saturday at Snowbird, Utah.Puckett, the defending series champion and a four-time Winter Olympian, beat Shaun Palmer and six-time World Cup winner Enak Gavaggio of France, then edged former U.S. Ski Team member Jake Fiala in the final. Fiala, of Frisco, defeated open qualifier Cody Smith of Spokane, Wash., and Vail’s Chris Del Bosco. “I felt a bit slow starting out the day and didn’t quite feel in my groove as early as I would have liked,” Puckett said in a press release. “I was able to warm up throughout the day and finally got things going to bring home the title. This is an incredibly strong field of talent across the board, and it’s a real challenge in every single race, so I’m happy to have this win.”The race will air will air on CBS Sports this Saturday, with an additional one-hour nationally syndicated broadcast scheduled.Upcoming series races are slated for Salzburg, Austria (Jan. 20), Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico (Feb. 10) and Telluride (March 3).The Jeep King of the Mountain Series is now in its 14th year and features 24 of the world’s elite ski and snowboard racers competing for a prize purse of more than $450,000.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.
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