Kelley Fitzpatrick eluded a wild crash early in today’s Women’s Skier-X final, as The College of Idaho junior claimed the first women’s individual title by a Lady Yote in 16 years, winning the 2011 USCSA National Championship at Dollar Mountain in Sun Valley.
The native of Keizer, Ore., who grew up skiing at Sun Valley, won her quarterfinal heat, edging out Rocky Mountain’s Isa Floden at the line, then dominating her semifinal run – winning by two seconds.
Floden joined Fitzpatrick in the final, along with Rocky’s Shannon Hartman and Nevada’s Erika Hurst. Two turns into the winding course, Floden, Hartman, and Hurst had a nasty spill – with the Lady Yote the only one left standing.
“It was really intense,” said Fitzpatrick, the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference Women’s Skier of the Year. “I was in the back of the pack and took the inside line going into a curve, while the other three ladies took the outside – when they all crashed into the net, I got really excited. The final rollers, with all of the Coyote fans there, made it so much fun.”
Fitzpatrick becomes the 17th individual national champion in program history and the first C of I women’s skier to win a title since Martha Pendl won the Nordic combined in 1995.
Joining her in the race was fellow Coyote, Stephanie Dunn, who placed second in her first-round and quarterfinal heats. After placing fourth in the semis, Dunn took third in the consolation final, placing seventh overall.
“It is amazing to win on my own hill,” said Fitzpatrick. “To have my family here to share this and being just three hours away from school, it is amazing.