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Empire State Games The Altamont Enterprise, February 19, 2009
Skiing Galgay brothers and Moore have a tough weekend at Whiteface Mountain
By Jordan J. Michael
LAKE PLACID Whiteface Mountain was not forgiving to the local Alpine skiers at the Empire State Winter Games last weekend.
Travis Moore, of Guilderland, and Michael and Brandon Galgay, of Westerlo, had frustrating runs in both the Slalom and the Giant Slalom competitions on the steep slopes of Whiteface.
“A lot of people took spills in the Slalom on Friday,” said Moore on Saturday. “The snow was pretty good but the course is on a really steep, tough hill. It’s probably one of the hardest tracks in the state.”
“Big ruts are being cut into this course and, once you hit a rut, you’re screwed,” said Michael Galgay on Saturday. “It was a very difficult course to begin with. It seemed like half the racers crashed on Friday from what I saw.”
Moore placed 48th in the Slalom on Friday with a time of 1:54.77. Michael and Brandon Galgay did not finish Friday’s race. Nor did Moore and the Galgay brothers record a finishing time in the Giant Slalom on Saturday.
“I think I might have placed 12th in one of the events last year,” said Moore, who was at the Games for the third time. “You always want to do better but I’m just glad that I’m up here in Lake Placid, skiing in a huge event.”
There are a few differences between Slalom and Giant Slalom. There is further distance between gates on a Giant Slalom course and the participants’ skis are usually longer and wider. “You need shorter skis in Slalom because you need to make quicker turns,” Moore said.
Moore competed in last summer’s Empire State Games in Binghamton for lacrosse and was a member of the Section II championship soccer team from Guilderland last fall.
“I prefer skiing over any other sport because it’s such a rush,” said Moore. “I’ve been on skis since age 2 and I’m glad I got into racing. Hopefully, I can join a racing team in college next year.”
Michael and Brandon Galgay learned to race in an after-school ski program at Windham Mountain eight years ago, when they least expected it. The brothers told The Enterprise that racing was tough at first.
“We started skiing at 3 years old and started racing at 10,” said Michael Galgay. “It was a little weird at first but we liked it immediately. Who doesn’t like going fast?”
The Galgay brothers train at West Mountain during the week and spend some weekends training at Whiteface because the family has a winter home in Lake Placid. Brandon is a year younger than Michael, so it’s his first Games with his brother.
“There’s really no redemption period in ski racing,” said Brandon Galgay. “You spend all this time training for a short race. It’s hit or miss out there. You have no time to think.”
“I just tried to survive the competition last year because I was so young, but I finished both events,” Michael Galgay said. “I guess I took more chances this year and went past my limit.”
The Galgay brothers have been in the same 20 races this season after being in separate age groups a year ago.
“We’re always arguing over who is better and now that we’re in the same races, the truth will come forward,” said Brandon Galgay. “Being competitive is the only way we can stand living with each other.”