U.S. Jr. Takes Gold in Topolino

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Pinzolo, Italy, Feb. 17, 2001--Lake Placid skier Andrew Weibrecht led the U.S. team to the prestigious Trofeo Topolino international children's race Sat. in Italy taking giant slalom gold. The U.S. sent a team of six athletes to the 40th annual event for young ski racers 11-14 years old.

Weibrecht, a second-year Junior 3 (13-14) racer from the New York Ski Education Foundation program in Lake Placid, won the race by nearly a second. Simon Baumgartner of Italy, and Michael Sablatinig of Austria were second and third. Chris Colpits (Squaw Valley, CA) started 58th and raced to 17th.

Kate Bragg, an Alaska native who skis for the Park City (UT) Ski Team, was the top U.S. women's finisher in 23rd. ChelseaMarshall (Pittsfield, VT), who skis for the Green Mountain Valley School, was close behind in 32nd.

A day earlier, Weibrecht battled from a late starting position to finish ninth in the slalom.

The 40th annual Trofeo Topolino was held in the small resort town of Pinzolo, near Trento in northern Italy. The racesincluded a men's and women's giant slalom and slalom for both the Kinder 1 (USSA Junior 4, ages 11-12) and Kinder 2(USSA Junior 3, ages 13-14) age groups. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association sends Junior 3 competitors. The bestjunior athletes from more than 40 countries take part in Topolino each year. The list of former competitors in theTopolino races reads as a veritable 'who's who' in ski racing history.

The 2001 USA Topolino Team included:
Andrew Weibrecht (New York Ski Education Foundation), Lake Placid, NY
Chris Prem (Buck Hill Ski Club), Minneapolis, MN
Chris Colpitts (Squaw Valley Ski Team), Squaw Valley, CA
Chelsie Marshall (Green Mountain Valley School), Waitsfield, VT
Sierra Dux (Great Lakes Ski Academy), Marquette, MI
Kate Bragg (Park City Ski Team), Park City, UT