Monday February 11, 2013

In Alpine skiing, not everything is assured. One bump could dislodge a ski and end somebody's race.

The way the 2013 high school Alpine ski season has gone, one thing has been assured -- Eamon Connor will contend for a win.

The Taconic ski racer has four victories this year with two wins in the giant slalom discipline and two more in slalom. His two wins last week helped earn him the Eagle Player of the Week honor.

The final slalom of the season is tonight at 5 at the Bousquet Ski Area.

Taconic’s Eamon Connor is having an outstanding season.
Taconic's Eamon Connor is having an outstanding season. (Berkshire Eagle File)

Connor said he is looking forward to tonight's regular-season finale, because slalom is the event he prefers.

"I just feel more in tune with it, a lot more rhythm that comes along with it," he said. "You have to stay quick and agile. I seem to be pretty good at that."

Connor skis the Tri-State racing circuit as a member of the Bousquet race team. Those races alternate between GS and slalom, as does the high school season. After the first three GS races on the high school circuit, the skiers have to make the turn and shift to the slightly slower and more technical slalom.

"It takes about a practice to get used to the feel of the ski again," Connor said. "Just to get back on the snow with the different [ski] lengths and stuff like that. Other than that, it doesn't take too much longer. It's all refreshed as soon as you get back on the snow."

Connor and the rest of the Berkshire County skiers have one more local race before heading off to the state meet at Berkshire East in Charlemont. Connor said Berkshire East is as close as it comes to skiing at Bousquet, as both areas' race hills are similar.

With the success Connor has had, he said things are looking pretty good when it comes to what lies ahead.

"I actually feel pretty confident going into it," he said.

When the racers hit Bousquet tonight, the snow will be different than it has been.

Racers have gotten used to the conditions on the race hill, but those changed dramatically when the winter storm of Friday and Saturday rolled through Berkshire County.

Parts of Pittsfield received more than a foot of fresh snow, and that will definitely make Connor adjust his game plan when it comes to tonight's slalom.

"The snow is definitely going to be a lot different," Connor said. "I had a race [at Bousquet Sunday] actually and it's a lot more squishy, I guess. It's not as compact as hard as I'm used to skiing. It's something you got to get used to."

Connor's preference is for what he had been skiing on a little more than what awaits him now. He said he likes his mountain, as the skiers say, "bulletproof."

"Yes, the harder the better," he said. "Definitely with the ice, you get to lock in your edges on the slope and have a nice, fast run going for you."

To reach Howard Herman:
(413) 496-6253,
or hherman@berkshireeagle.com.
On Twitter: @howardherman.