Two days of slalom competition at Snowy Range Ski Area starts off the 2018 high school downhill skiing season for Laramie High School.

The Laramie Invite is the first of six competitions that concludes with the Wyoming State Alpine Skiing Championships at Snow King Resort in Jackson March 2 and 3, 2018.

Action this weekend will begin at 9 a.m. each day with Jackson, Natrona County, Kelly Walsh, Cody and Pinedale in town for competition.

Laramie will have a small squad in 2018 with 13 individuals out for the team. There are 10 on the girls’ roster and just three boys.

Both teams struggled in 2017, as the Lady Plainsmen placed fifth out six teams at state, while the Plainsmen were sixth.

As for where to build, the Laramie girls return six letter winners, including second-team All-State skier senior Lena Weinstein and third-team All-State skier Brooklyn Pratt. Weinstein came in ninth place in the slalom at state last year, while Pratt took 10th in giant slalom.

Third-year head coach Jasen Mitchell said it comes down to consistency.

“Just starting from freshman and working their way up. Then they can build. Lena Weinstein, our top skier, has dramatically changed from her 9th grade season, and she was on JV her freshman year, and now she’s our top skier and probably placing around the top five this year.”

Weinstein visited with KOWB’s David Settle about her expectations for the upcoming season, being a team leader and more.

Mitchell having her around is definitely a benefit.

“Everything we do, she’s the one that shows the drills to everybody going down the hill. She’s the one with experience. Everybody asks her questions. She knows what to look for on courses before the race, and so, yeah, she’s a great senior leader.”

Junior Nicholas Fadial is in his third year with the team. He’ll be looked upon to lead the way. He also talked with KOWB’s David Settle, but about the boy’s team, his training and more.

Mitchell says beginning at home will be an advantage. He says everybody’s struggling for snow.

“Snowy Range is probably in the best shape right now, as far as snow for the state, so everybody around the state’s excited to come here.”

He says they’ve practicing hard with a lot of dry land work. On top of that, they’ve been busy planning and preparing for the first race that they host.

Mitchell believes Jackson Hole will be the team to beat for both boys and girls this season.

Laramie is simply looking for forward progress throughout the season.

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