Brian McLaughlin has now won the past four giant slalom events he has started, and he has taken two titles along the way. The final technical events took place in Kimberly, Canada, over the past four days. McLaughlin, just a week after winning the NCAA giant slalom championship, won two more races and the NorAm GS title. He now has a guaranteed start in next year’s World Cup events along with Canada’s Trevor Philp.
McLaughlin won the first GS of the week after a fresh snowfall with a time of 2:45.20. Philp finished in second place, 0.10 seconds back and McLaughlin’s Dartmouth teammate, Tanguy Nef, finished in third place, 1.15 seconds back.
In the second race, the same three athletes finished in the same order. McLaughlin won with a combined time of 2:45.99. Philp followed 0.28 seconds back and Nef capped of the podium, 0.56 seconds back.
McLaughlin started the season on the NorAm circuit with a strong showing in Copper and Panorama. After suffering a slight “lull” at the beginning of his NCAA season, McLaughlin only grew stronger, sweeping the Williams Carnival and winning the final two giant slalom events.
“I was skiing really well in the fall and then I had a little lull in January just from getting back into school and then the skiing kept getting better and better as the year went on, and I was feeling really good in the last few carnivals and obviously have been feeling pretty good lately, too,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin still has a couple of quarters at Dartmouth to finish, but he will turn his attention entirely toward racing next season and he hopes to start in as many World Cups as possible.
“This was one of my goals in the beginning of the year, to go for one of the NorAm spots, because I definitely wanted to ski next year no matter what, but having the ability to ski World Cups was what I was really hoping for,” McLaughlin said.
After McLaughlin won the two GS races, 2018 Olympian Mark Engel won the two slalom races and he took the NorAm slalom title. River Radamus finished second in the slalom standings and will get the second World Cup slalom sport next season.
Engel won on Wednesday with a combined time of 1:28.09. Philp finished second for the third day in a row, 0.52 seconds back and David Ketterer finished in third, 0.94 seconds back.
On Thursday, Engel won with a time of 1:30.78, followed by Nef, 0.04 seconds back and Ketterer finished in third place, 0.20 seconds back.
Radamus has not found the podium yet this week in Kimberly, but he has now nabbed a World Cup spot for next year and he has compiled a significant lead in the overall standings.
“I don’t think anybody would have predicted at he beginning of the season that I’d be walking away with a slalom World Cup spot, you know, but I am really proud of the work I put in this season and really humbled to see it pay off like this,” Radamus said.
Radamus, who just turned 20, started the season with bib numbers ranging in the 50s and 60s, yet soon enough he found himself in the seed of all events.