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Saturday, March 6, 1999 - Sunday, March 7, 1999 -- Canaan Valley
Alpine Festival Governor's Cup Challenge

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [GS Pics] [Slalom Pics 1] [Slalom Pics 2]
Results: [GS by Class] [GS Overall] [Slalom by Class] [Slalom Overall]

Rob Vignerot falls victim to the tough racing conditions
Saturday and Sunday saw the running of the 37th annual Governors Cup ski race as part of the Tucker County Alpine Festival, held for the first time at Timberline Ski Resort.

The oldest Ski race in the south, the Governor's Cup is a 2 day, 2 event competition, combining both giant slalom and slalom course times to decide the top spot.

The Canaan Valley provided ideal slope conditions with snow falling throughout Saturday's giant slalom, though winds kept visibility to a minimum. Enthusiasm among the more than 60 competitors remained high despite the delayed start of the second run due to the decreased visibility. On Saturday afternoon in particular, the lower section of the 22 gate giant slalom course proved tricky, with ice making for some spectacular falls and several DQs, though fortunately no injuries. An early morning snowstorm cleared in time for Sunday's slalom and provided a beautiful blanket of powder on Timberline's Almost Heaven trail, where both day's events were held. Each racer was allowed 2 runs in both the slalom and giant slalom events, with the fastest combined times of both events deciding the Governor's Cup winners.

Mike McClory feels the need for speed
Saturday's giant slalom was filled with edge-of-your-seat excitement as less than 1 second made the difference between first or second place in four separate divisions. In the women's 19-29 group Andrea Dearborn edged out Marti Jefferson by 0.83 seconds to take first place, and for the 30-39 men Tim Worden's combined times were 0.37 seconds behind first place finisher Mike Messenger's. Mark Fiorini took first among men 40-49 by finishing with times 1 second ahead of James Huber's, and in the closest race of the day Ilene Reilly placed first in the women's 40-49 division with times 0.2 seconds faster than Monica Williams'.

All Out
Athey Lutz lets it all hang out at the Governor's Cup
The nail biting continued into Sunday's slalom event where two races were as close. Among men 15-18 Walker Lutz finished with combined times 0.21 seconds faster than Spencer Reed's to take home first. Mike Messenger and Tim Worden battled again for the men's 30-39 title and in the end Mike was able to hold Tim off with combined times 0.77 seconds faster.

Sunday evening the fastest male and female times from both days of racing determined the overall winners. This year Governor's Cup honors went to Lawrence Paul in the men's division, and for the women 19 year old Andrea Dearborn took home her 5th title in as many years. Along with prestige and a sense of accomplishment these two left with a new pair Fischer skis.

Spencer Reed and Jill Huber get ready for the Eastern Finals
The event was a gathering of not only accomplished skiers, but of a pair of local celebrities. Sixteen year-olds Spencer Reed of Canaan Valley and Jill Huber of Buckhannon used the event to hone their skills for the USSA Eastern Finals held in Sugarloaf Maine the week of March 15-21. The only West Virginia natives to qualify, these two will be competing against the top sixty 15-19 year olds in the Eastern US.

Thanks to Timberline for the superb race organization, and to the competitors for the heart-stopping action!