Toishi, Galperin collect state titles
WILMINGTON — Sonja Toishi and Joseph Galperin had quite a weekend on their home hill, as the pair wrapped up racing Sunday with victories in the super-G on the final day of the New York Ski Racing Association’s U14 state alpine championships at Whiteface Mountain.
The four-day event included slalom, giant slalom and super-G competitions and brought together the state’s top alpine skiers ages 14 and under. In the end, Toishi and Galperin combined for victories in five of the six races that took place.
Toishi and Galperin are both members of a strong team from the New York Ski Educational Foundation, and left little doubt that they were in top form over the weekend. Galperin’s super-G win gave him a sweep after he also grabbed first-place finishes in Friday’s slalom and Saturday’s giant slalom, while Toishi made it two wins in as many days with triumphs in the girls giant slalom and the super-G.
Both young skiers said the wins were the biggest in their young racing careers.
“My goal was just to finish each race, do the best I could and I somehow I ended up winning each race,” said Galperin, a 13-year-old from Great Neck. “There are a lot of people here from all over New York. I was able to ski clean and have a good line, and I got a lot of support from my teammates, and I listened to my coaches and was able to do what they told me to do.”
Galperin, who has been training with NYSEF and living at the Olympic Training Center this winter, finished Sunday’s super-G on a course that followed Whiteface’s Thruway and Draper’s Drop trails in 55.19 seconds, which was more than two seconds faster than runner-up Matthew Moeckel, a NYSEF skier based at Gore Mountain. Moeckel took second place in 57.80, and Logan Kidd of Holimont rounded out the podium in third place with a 58.04 result.
Galperin said after five races this season, he was finally able to complete all of his competitive runs.
“I’m very happy,” he said. “These are the first races this year that I’ve finished both runs. I’ve only finished one run in each race, and now, everything came together for me. I was able to put it down the hill.”
After falling in both runs of the girls’ slalom Friday, Toishi came through with a giant slalom win Saturday and finished strong with her super-G victory. She was the second skier to tackle the course in the girls race and her finish time of 54.29 seconds held up as nearly 70 more skiers headed down the hill in an effort to chase down the Lake Placid resident.
“I know the hill, I know what to do, and it makes me a lot more comfortable than most people are,” Toishi said, adding that competing in the super-G was basically pressure free after she had already qualified for the Eastern Championships with her GS victory on Saturday.
“In the slalom I fell both runs and had to hike, so that wasn’t good,” Toishi said. “The GS, I was second the first run and first on the second run, and that got me the win. Today my skis were fast. The course today was fast and nice and you could really let it go. I just thought about skiing as fast as I could. Yesterday (Saturday), my goal was just to finish and get points, because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have made it to easterns. Today, I just went for it.”
Toishi led a group of NYSEF girls who had outstanding days in the super-G, as four skiers from the Whiteface-based ski school landed in the top six. Hannah Goetz of the western New York ski area Kissing Bridge took second in the super-G with a 56.20 finish, and NYSEF Whiteface skiers took the next two spots, with Karleigh Hollister placing third in 58.42 and Emma Reynolds finishing fourth in 58.60. Whiteface skier Margaret Cummings placed sixth in 59.17.
Reynolds added her fourth-place showing Sunday to her victory Friday in the slalom race.
In addition to determining New York’s U14 champions, the weekend’s races also served as a qualifier for the U14 Eastern Regional Championships taking place at Whiteface Mountain March 15-18. The top 13 boys and the top 13 girls from the weekend’s competition at Whiteface will represent New York state in the eastern races.