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McNally wins at Whitefish ski races

| February 28, 2024 2:00 AM

The Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation hosted a series of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association races at Whitefish Mountain Resort last weekend on Ed’s Run. The U14-U18 races included a giant slalom on Friday, and slaloms on Saturday and Sunday.

Over 110 athletes from Northern Division teams including FVSEF, Blacktail, Missoula, Discovery, Great Divide, Bridger, Big Sky, Red Lodge, Casper (WY), and the Black Hills (SD) participated in the competitions which served as the final qualifiers for the U14 and U16 Western Region and Tri-Divisional championships in March.

The Flathead team expects several of its athletes to be named to the championship teams which will travel to Alyeska, Alaska (U16s), Grand Targhee, Wyoming (U14s), and Big Sky/Bridger Bowl (U14/U16 Tri-divisionals). 

Flathead U14 racers Leo Bungener (Whitefish) and Colter Bengtson (West Glacier) both found the podium. 

Bungener was third in the giant slalom, second in the first of the two slaloms, and won the final slalom on Sunday.  Bengtson climbed from sixth in the giant slalom and fourth in the first slalom to a third-place finish in Sunday’s slalom. 

On the U16 girls’ side, Greta Lund (Polson) crashed hard in the giant slalom but came back strong for a second and third place finish in the two slaloms.

Under 18 (U18) racer Melody McNally (Columbia Falls) won both races she entered, the giant slalom on Friday and the slalom on Saturday. McNally had already qualified for both the U18 Nationals and the U18/U21 Western Regional Junior Championships (WRJC). She will be traveling to compete at the WRJC next week in Stevens Pass, Wash., with the Northern Division team.