Friday Apr 22 2011
Fuller scores well on the slopes
Named to US Ski Team National Development System
Jordan Fuller, a sophomore at Folsom High, had a productive week in Oregon while at the FIS Elite Spring Speed Series at Mt. Bachelor, scoring well enough to improve his speed points by 15 percent and guaranteeing him a slot in for next years elite FIS speed events and J2 Nationals Qualifiers. As has been the theme all year, the races at Bachelor were marred by bad weather, the first four days making the Super G dicey at best, and resulting Saturday's race being canceled. Fortunately, the weather cleared Monday afternoon and they finished with two good days Tuesday and Wednesday for the downhill races. The races were opens -- which mean all qualified racers, regardless of age, with good enough points may sign up for this the last FIS speed event of the season. With 86 of the best elite speed skiers in the USA, including several US Ski team members showing up it was sure to be extremely competitive. Fuller struggled in the Super G because they were unable to start at the top rim of the mountain due to bad weather and poor visibility, instead starting the races lower on the mountain where it was not as steep. Fuller excels when it’s steep, icy and very technical. However, when they start low on the mountain, it turns into a drag race where size really dominates the leader board. Fuller, just 15 and skiing against fully grown men and giving up an average of 35 pounds and up to 75-80 pounds, cant make up the difference when the course is flat, soft and straight. He still finished the two rainy days of Super G with finishes in the middle of the pack and that's a victory when you start at the back. Fortunately the weather cleared and it got really cold at night for the Downhill races -- perfect to open the top and the steepest and fastest section of the course. Day 1 of the downhill saw the top-20 men light up the leader board racing down the steepest fastest sections of the course at up to 78 miles per hour. Fuller nailed the top steepest section, executed the first jump flawlessly and hammered the lower section and second jump finishing at 39th overall for men and fast enough to beat all the women except their No. 1 and 2 finishers who were both 19 years old and then only by a couple tenths of a second at that. Considering the top-twenty men averaged 18 years old and maybe 180 pounds, Fuller, at 15 years old and 135 pounds, did quite well. Fuller skied well in the second downhill, but had a small bobble on the bottom of the steepest pitch and that was enough to be a half second slower and that pushed him back to 47th place. Fuller returns home to Lake Tahoe for one day and then heads out to Mammoth for a USSA Speed Series finale to try to improve his points in Super G for next year. Fuller has been named to the US Ski team National Development System for the 2011-2012 season. Fuller then wraps up the season at Mt. Hood over Memorial Day for a few fun Slalom and Giant Slalom races before returning to Folsom for the summer and Folsom High in August.