By Caitlin Croft

On Jan. 6 and 7, the first of the Empire Cups were held at Holiday Valley and HoliMont, respectively. They were two slalom races, which are comprised of two runs. To qualify for Empire State Games, there are seven races that are counted. The athletes’ three best finishes are calculated for the standings.

On the first day of racing at Holiday Valley, U16 ladies swept the top four spots: Logan Fredrickson 1st, Lauren Thomas 2nd, Sierra Cappelli 3rd and Hayly Fredrickson 4th. Caroline DeRose of Holiday Valley took 6th, Amanda Arteaga (HO) 11th, Kate Masliwec (HO) 12th, Rory Sauereisen (HV) 24th, Kate Carter (HO) 25th and Claire Taylor (HV) 27th.

U21/19 Zoe Knauss of HoliMont took the silver medal. Holiday Valley’s Katie Wojnowski finished in 8th, Taylor Hubert (HV) 10th and Phoebe Dunn (HV) 17th.

Michael Mercer (U21/19) of Holiday Valley walked away with the silver medal on the first day of racing. Nicholas Scott of HoliMont finished 6th, Maxxon Solly (HO) 12th, Joshua Allegra (HV) 14th, Jes Sauereisen (HV) 17th, Nolan Evans (HV) 23rd and Christian Taylor (HV) 26th.

For the U16 men, Holiday Valley’s Mitchell Azcarate took 7th place, with teammate Dalton Potter in 8th. David Rintoul of HoliMont finished 9th, Alexander Wojnowski (HV) 13th, Lachlan Deathe (HO) 18th, William Dunn (HV) 20th and Michael Turnbull (HO) 21st.

On the second day at HoliMont, Ellicottville’s Logan Fredrickson (HV) finished with the gold medal and Hayly Fredrickson (HV) took silver. Their teammate Sierra Cappelli rounded out the podium in third. HoliMont’s Kate Masliwec finsied in 5th, Caroline DeRose (HV) 6th, Rory Sauereisen (HV) 16th, Kate Carter (HO) 20th, Amanda Arteaga (HO) 21st, Megan Peters (HO) 22nd and Claire Taylor (HV) 24th.

For the U21/19 women, Zoe Knauss of HoliMont took the gold. Holiday Valley’s Taylor Hubert placed 9th and Phoebe Dunn (HV) finished 13th.

U21/19 Michael Mercer of Holiday Valley has found himself again back among common company finishing 5th after missing the entire 2017 season. HoliMont’s Nicholas Scott took 8th, Joshua Allegra (HV) 13th, Maxxon Solly (HO) 15th, Jes Sauereisen (HV) 23rd, Christian Taylor (HV) 25th, William Peters (HO) 26th and Connor Galton (HV) 33rd.

Holiday Valley’s U16 Dalton Potter took 6th, Will Knauss (HO) 10th, David Rintoul (HO) 13th and Michael Turnbull (HO) 18th. William Dunn of Holiday Valley finished 24th and Lachlan Deathe (HO) placed 25th.

The older athletes are off for the weekend before they head to Greek Peak for two Giant Slaloms. This coming weekend U14 athletes will be competing at Buffalo Ski Club and Holiday Valley.