Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard
The U.S. Alpine Championships commenced on Tuesday with both the men’s and women’s slalom races. The race was held at Sugarloaf Mountain, immediately following the men’s and women’s NorAm Finals slalom that took place on Monday. Many of the athletes competed both days, forgoing a day of rest between races.
Paula Moltzan claimed a demanding win in Tuesday’s National Championship slalom, finishing with a time of 1:35.09. Her USST teammates, Katie Hensien and AJ Hurt, rounded out the podium in second and third – 2.81 and 2.85 seconds off of Moltzan, respectively.
Notably, American Carissa Cassidy moved from outside the seed wearing bib 21 to sixth place. She was the youngest athlete in the top 15.
Canadian skier Cassidy Gray also finished significantly better than her bib, finishing just 0.29 seconds outside of the top 10 from bib 42. She broke into the middle of the flip with the 15th fastest first run and used that momentum to earn an eighth place finish on the second for 11th place overall.
On the men’s side, Jett Seymour won by 0.53 with a time of 1:28.18. Ben Ritchie was behind him in second and George Steffey snagged third place, 0.80 seconds back from Seymour. All three are Americans, but only Ritchie is a member of the USST. Their teammate, Jay Poulter, moved from bib 39 to ninth place.
Luke Winters, who spent the majority of the season with the USST racing in Europe, finished just off of the podium in fourth place. Winters raced in 11 World Cup races this season, 10 of which were slaloms and collected three top 10 World Cup results.
This was Alex Leever’s final race as a professional athlete. Similar to his teammate Winters, Leever spent the better part of the season in Europe competing on the World Cup and Europa Cup circuits. He finished his career wearing bib one.
The men’s GS is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30. The series will wrap up with the Women’s GS on Thursday, March 31.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more.