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Park City, UT, Jan. 5–The 13th annual Chevy Astro Huntsman Cup for disabled skiers opened Tuesday with a giant slalom at Park City Mountain Resort. Among the winners were several veterans including Bobby McMullen (Redding, CA) in the blind category, Chris Waddell (Granby, MA) in mono-ski and Mary Riddell (Dove Creek, CO) and Monte Meier (Hastings, MN) in the standing class.
Under sunny skies and warm conditions, McMullen posted an adjusted time of 1:22.52 to top Andy Parr in second.
“The light was difficult because it was inconsistent,” McMullen said. “Hard snow conditions on the top cost me on my second run, but it’s early in the season and it’s good to race in these conditions.”
Waddell, paralyzed below the waist in a 1988 skiing accident, took the mono-ski victory with an adjusted time of 1:23.06. Erik Esat Bayindirli was in second with a 1:44.77 and Dan Metivier was third.
“I think I was relatively solid,” said Waddell. “However, I’m still searching for something. I’m fairly happy but a little frustrated as well.”
It was a lucrative day for Meier, who picked up the $500 for first place overall. He took the standing class victory with a two-run adjusted time of 1:21.50 over second-place finisher Greg Mannino (Vail, CO), who posted an 1:22.48. Daniel Kosick (Binghamton, NY) was third with an 1:23.28.
Riddell, the winner of three unofficial World Cup titles last season, also pocketed $500 for a first place overall finish. She won the open standing category with an adjusted 1:28.81 two-run time. Rachael Battersby followed with a 1:30.33 and Sarah Billmeier (Yarmouth, ME) was third in 1:35.28.
In the mono-ski division, Allison Pearl took the victory with a 1:37.71. Ashley Hovey was second with a 1:54.42 and Muffy Davis (Sun Valley, ID), coming back after a month-long injury hiatus, was third in 2:01.44. Davis suffered shoulder and thumb injuries in a crash during World Cup races at Breckenridge and competed in a new mono-ski at Park City.
“I felt good,” said Davis. “The hardest thing is that I haven’t been able to do anything physical for a month. The most important thing for me now is to be mentally prepared (before the World Championships).”
Sue Gardiner finished first in the blind class with a 1:39.57 and Theresa Fancher (Omak, WA) was second in 1:44.11.
The Huntsman Cup continues Wednesday with another GS and concludes Thursday with slalom.
Disabled Chevy Astro Huntsman Cup Giant Slalom (2 runs)
Park City, UT, Jan. 4 (all times adjusted)
1. Sue Gardiner, B-2, 1:39.57
2. Theresa Fancher, B-2, Omak, WA, 1:44.11
1. Bobby McMullen, B-2, Redding, CA, 1:22.52
2. Andy Parr, B-3, 1:25.27
1. Allison Pearl, 1:37.71
2. Ashley Hovey, 1:54.42
3. Muffy Davis, Sun Valley, ID, 2:01.44
1. Chris Waddell, Granby, MA, 1:23.06
2. Erik Esat Bayindirli, 1:44.77
3. Dan Metivier, 1:45.24
1. Mary Riddell, L4, Dove Creek, CO, 1:28.81
2. Rachael Battersby, L6, 1:30.33
3. Sarah Billmeier, L2, Yarmouth, ME, 1:35.28
1. Monte Meier, L2, Hastings, MN, 1:21.50
2. Greg Mannino, L2, Vail, CO, 1:22.48
3. Daniel Kosick, L2, Binghamton, NY, 1:23.28