FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Roger Brown leads American sweep of podium at final Hunter NorAm

Roger Brown leads American sweep of podium at final Hunter NorAm{mosimage}By the time the results were posted for the final NorAm slalom at Hunter Mountain, N.Y., on Thursday, a promising start to the series for the American team had officially turned into a rout. U.S. C team member Roger Brown took the victory, leading a U.S. Ski Team sweep of the podium. The sweep came after Jake Zamansky and T.J. Lanning had already launched an auspicious American assault on the Hunter Mountain NorAm field with consecutive 1-2 finishes in giant slaloms on Monday and Tuesday.

Brown, second a day earlier, earned his first career NorAm victory on the strength of a first-run win. Brown’s teammates Jesse Marshall and Zamansky captured the silver and bronze medals, while top junior Tim Kelley earned important points toward qualifying for the World Junior Championships with an exceptional fifth-place finish.

Brown’s mother is World Cup GS winner Marilyn Cochran, but despite his pedigree, Brown has taken a circuitous and tumultuous path to NorAm winner and the U.s. Ski Team. He grew up racing at Ford Sayre Ski Academy in Hanover, N.H. before earning an engineering degree at Dartmouth College. As a sophomore there, he surprised the ski racing world with a slalom victory at the NCAA National Championships.

Only one year later, Brown was in a slump, and he was not even a member of the team that Dartmouth coach Peter Dodge selected to compete at the NCAA championships.

Upon finishing his undergraduate career with the Big Green, Brown decided to commit himself to skiing without the burden of splitting his time between academic and athletic responsibilities. Toward the end of a solid, but mostly mediocre season, Brown surprised the racing community again at the 2005 NorAm finals at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, posting several results that made him eligible for the U.S. national team.

U.S. Ski Team Europa Cup coach Sasha Rearick said that Brown’s NorAm victory only hints at what he’s capable of. ‘Roger handled the pressure [of winning the first-run] very well, and he skied smart and solid this afternoon, but he also has a lot more speed than we saw today… and he’ll be trying to tap into it when we hit [some] tougher races [in the coming weeks].’

On Friday, Rearick and company will fly across the Atlantic for a month-long tour of Europe, where they will compete in Europa Cup and FIS races until Feb. 4. ‘The guys came in here skiing with confidence, and we obviously had great results’ said Rearick, ‘but the key for all of us, especially the older guys like Roger and Jake, will be to carry this momentum to the next level.’

Men’s NorAm Slalom Jan. 5, 2006
Hunter Mountain, N.Y.

1. BROWN Roger P 1981 USA 46.93 51.73 1:38.66
2. MARSHALL Jesse 1980 USA 47.71 51.53 1:39.24
3. ZAMANSKY Jake 1981 USA 48.02 51.63 1:39.65
4. RIXON JR Carl H 1982 USA 48.06 52.45 1:40.51
5. KELLEY Timothy 1986 USA 49.60 51.23 1:40.83
6. FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN 49.56 51.41 1:40.97
7. THORSON Tague 1985 USA 48.32 52.97 1:41.29
8. HEINRICH-WALLACE Mark 1982 USA 49.88 51.94 1:41.82
9. GOODING Marsh 1986 USA 50.28 51.80 1:42.08
10. BRANDENBURG Will 1987 USA 50.04 52.13 1:42.17

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