BURNS GRABS DOWNHILL GOLD WYALUSING RACER CAPTURES FIRST EVENT IN STATE’S ANNUAL WINTER SPORTS FESTIVAL

By GEORGE SMITH; Times Leader Outdoors Editor Friday, February 11, 1994     Page: 1B QUICK WORDS: BURNS GRABS DOWNHILL GOLD SCRANTON — Martin Burns glided to an overall victory by a four-second margin Thursday in the downhill, the first alpine ski race of the Keystone State Games Winter Sports Festival. The seventh-annual Keystone State Games Winter Sports Festival got under way Thursday at Montage Mountain. The alpine ski racing events will continue through Sunday at Montage, and will be followed by three days of figure skating competitions set to run Feb. 18 through 20, at the Ice-A-Rama in Wilkes-Barre. Burns, from Wyalusing, sizzled down the mile-long course in 1:12.54 to beat out 41 other racers for the fastest time and win a gold medal in his 30-34 age category. “It was a good day. I went as fast I as could. There are three guys that I race with, and they really pushed me. I wanted to win,” said Burns, 32. Burns said he prepared for the downhill — alpine ski racing’s most dangerous and glamorous event — by racing. “I go to a ski race just about every weekend,” he said. “I usually compete in the ASRA (American Ski Racing Association) events as well as the New York State Masters. I race in anything, just to keep occupied.” Burns said it was his fifth year of competition at the Winter Games. “I medaled every year I finished, but there was a two-year streak where I did not finish,” he said with a smile. “This year, it was a course for a glider. Absolutely. That’s one of the reason’s I did well.”...