Rotter rising on the national level
When Carson City’s Corrinne Rotter moved up to compete on the International Skiing Federation (FIS) level, she found out in a hurry how difficult it would be to climb up the points ladder by the ranking she received: 990.
But a year later, the 16-year-old Rotter will likely rise significantly up the national points ladder in alpine skiing in the slalom after an impressive effort on Dec. 18 and 19 in an FIS event in Mammoth, Calif.
Rotter’s first huge taste of success came at the Western Regional Junior Olympics as a 14-year-old when she won three medals, including gold in the slalom. She also placed third in the super giant slalom and giant slalom.
When she turned 15 last year, Rotter moved up to the next level of racing, which is FIS events.
“It’s just a complete jump up to another level,” Rotter said. “FIS is very intense level racing.”
“It was a much different level than what I’m doing now,” Rotter also said about Junior Olympics. “There’s a big difference.”
While still attending Reno’s Sage Ridge Academy, Rotter effectively had to start at the bottom with her 990 ranking against the top racers that were a year older. With her ranking, Rotter was always one of the last skiers to race, meaning she would always take a course that had been beaten up considerably.
“You don’t hvae as fresh of a course,” Rotter said. “I had a rough time adjusting to that.”
But Rotter has since moved on to the Winter Sports School in Park City, Utah and has already finished her junior year. The Park City school effective takes its summer break during the winter to allow its skiers to focus solely on the season. Rotter will begin her senior year in April.
A bigger and stronger Rotter also trained all summer, so she was ready for this season. Over the summer she spent time at training camps in Mt. Hood, Ore., and Austria and spent 2 1/2 weeks in Chile.
All of the hard work paid off at Mammoth. On Saturday, Dec. 18, Rotter placed eighth overall in the slalom and fifth on her second run. She finished behind Sage Ridge Ski teammate Katie Lyons, who was thirdin one minute, 36.72 seconds. Katie Hitchcock, a member of the U.S. Ski Team, won in 1:35.92. Rotter finished in 1:38.92.
On Sunday, Rotter duplicated her Saturday effort, taking eighth overall and fifth in her second run. Hitchcock again won in 1:37.17, Lyons was third in 1:39.77 and Rotter finished in 1:41.11.
Rotter had a score of 51.75 on Sunday, which as it stands now would place her third in the nation in her age group. The points standings will be updated after the first of the year.
Hitchcock has a score of 17.49. The scores are used to place athletes on the U.S. Ski Team.
Rotter’s performance was impressive since she started 24th on both days, meaning she dealt with more difficult conditions. Her performance was important because it will give her a higher starting position for future races, meaning she will have better conditions.
“I thought I did really well,” Rotter said. “I did just what I wanted to do. I wanted to get my points down so I’ll have a better start for the next races and that’s what I did.”
Sage Ridge ski team coach Mike Savage, who is still Rotter’s coach, was also impressed and Rotter gave a great deal of credit for her effort to Savage.
Rotter’s goal for this season is to qualify for the national championships for her age level to be held in Sugarloaf, Maine. She’s still undecided about her immediate future after she graduates from high school, but said she may ski in college.
The ultimate goal is to ski in the 2010 Winter Olympics when she’s 21. Reno is hoping to become the host site for the 2014 Olympics, so Rotter’s obvious dream is to ski here if the Olympics are held in the area when she’s 25. “That would be amazing,” Rotter said.
Her brother, Danny, a 2004 Carson High graduate and an accomplished skier and athlete in his own right, said it best a couple of years ago if Rotter skies here in the Olympics. “I think the whole town of Carson City would be there,” he said.
Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor. Contact him at email@example.com or 881-1214.