Gregg and Hoffman Claim National Distance Championships
KETCHUM, Idaho (March 26, 2015) – Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) closed out the 2015 season with a National Championship in the 30k event held at the Galena Lodge above Ketchum, Idaho. It was Gregg’s second U.S. 30k title in as many years, both won with convincing margins after fast starts. The course, a short softening loop in warm conditions made for a particularly brutal course, though Gregg skied away without ever appearing distressed. Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) rounded out the women’s podium.
USSA columnist Tom Kelly takes a look at Lindsey Vonn's performance on the World Cup this season in this week's Behind the Globe.
Lindsey Vonn pushed out of the starting gate and into the fog. The blue sky mornings she had enjoyed the last 10 days in Les Trois Vallées were replaced with low-hanging clouds dipping down to the Piste du Roc de Fer. Gate by gate, she angulated perfect arcs, carving her way down the mountain in the soft spring snow.
A minute and 14 seconds later, Vonn crossed the finish line – a broad smile on her face. Today, though, there would be no hands pumped wildly into the air. She wouldn’t be lying on the snow shrieking with joy. There were no press conferences or TV networks clamoring to interview her first. But this was a special day for the woman who two days earlier had tied Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 19 World Cup titles.
SUGARLOAF, ME (March 26, 2015) - Another day, another young, rising star at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Champs. In Thursday’s giant slalom, USSA National Training Group (NTG) skier Nina O’Brien (Edwards, CO – NTG; Burke Mountain Academy) threw down the fastest time of the day to take the win. World Cup skiers Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN – U.S. Ski Team) and Megan McJames (Park City, UT – Park City Ski Ed Foundation) were second and third, respectively.
To the delight of the fans, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) kicked off the day by forerunning the GS. She utilized the day to influence the kids that came to watch her. “My life has changed over the past few years. You grow as a person as you grow in your skiing,” said Vonn. “I’m really just here for the kids—for all the junior racers. It’s not about the competition, but more about the next generation.”
SUGARLOAF, ME (March 25, 2015)—On an uncharacteristically sunny, warm day at Sugarloaf, top athletes in North America competed at the U.S. Alpine Championships for the title of the nation’s best super G skier. Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) triumphed in the women’s field with Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) taking third. On the men’s side, Drew Duffy (Warren, VT – Green Mountain Valley School) took the unbelievable win over Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA).
WATERVILLE VALLEY, NH (March 23, 2015)—The NorAm Finals wrapped on Monday in both Waterville Valley, NH and Burke Mountain, VT. Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN) took an impressive overall win. Because of their first and second place discipline results, Tim Kelley (Starksboro, VT), Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), Megan McJames (Park City, UT) and Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) all snagged spots in next year’s World Cup circuit.
The NorAm tour is the steppingstone for athletes to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup circuit. The top two athletes in slalom and giant slalom on the NorAm earn a start position in the next season’s World Cup, in addition to the regular quota of top national team athletes.
It was a tough last NorAm in Waterville Valley, with athletes forced to hike the course because the lift closed. Ankeny won the final slalom race, which gave him both the overall and slalom titles. Kelley charged his way to the second World Cup slalom spot, ahead of Canadian Trevor Philp.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA (March 22, 2015)- The fourth and final stop of the U.S. Revolution Tour took place in Mammoth Mountain, CA with X Games halfpipe gold medalist Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA) taking the slopestyle win and the overall slopestyle tour title.
Fellow U.S. Team member Nik Baden (Steamboat Springs, CO) landed back-to-back 1080s for the win on the men’s side.
Kim, who is quickly becoming known for her remarkable riding, won the slopestyle with a frontside 540 and a cab 540 combo, besting her best friend and U.S. Grand Prix winner Hailey Langland (San Clemente, CA) and Australian Jessica Rich. Summer Fenton (San Francisco, CA) won ladies halfpipe with a crippler 720, ahead of Jenna Dramise (Truckee, CA) in second and Clara Jenner (Salt Lake City, UT) in third.