NorAm Season Starts Up Again
The last NorAm series was all the way back in December. After, many athletes head to Europe, some return to their university teams, but they all convened again for the second half of the NorAm series. From February 13-20, the men’s circuit traveled to Stowe, Vermont, and the women raced at Whiteface, New York.
Tanguy Nef, a sophomore at Dartmouth won the opening giant slalom of the series. Nef has put together successful collegiate season already, coming in either first or second in every single race that he has finished.
Nef took the win with a combined time of 1:58.71. Morgan Megarry finished in second place, 0.24 seconds back and Charlie Raposo finished in third place, 0.27 seconds back.
Raposo took the win the second day with a combined time of 2:00.88, followed by Hig Roberts, 0.89 seconds back and Jack Gower 1.06 seconds back.
“I love the hill at Stowe, I’ve probably raced there more than anywhere else,” Roberts said.
After the first GS series back, Brian McLaughlin still leads the NorAm GS standings 296 points, followed by River Radamus with 286 points and, now, Tanguy Nef with 210 points.
Mikaela Tommy won the first day’s GS at Whiteface with a time of 2:18.58, 1.01 seconds ahead of Paula Moltzan from the University of Vermont. Marina Villanova finished in third place 2.50 seconds behind.
On the second day, the NorAm GS leaders only strengthened their positions. Tommy won again, with an overall time of 2:27.91. Adriana Jelinkova, from the Netherlands, finished in second place 0.08 seconds back and AJ Hurt finished in third place, 0.50 seconds back.
The same three women make up the top of the women’s GS Standings. Jelinkova leads with 375 points, Tommy sits in seconds with 320 points and Hurt sits in third place as the top American with 300 points.
Although the weather deteriorated at both Whiteface and Stowe, the races continued on Thursday and Friday.
Michael Ankeny won the first men’s slalom with a time of 1:48.17. David Ketterer, from the University of Colorado finished in second, 0.31 seconds behind and Roberts finished in third place, 0.74 seconds back.
Luke Winters won his first NorAm in Friday’s slalom with a time of 1:48.47, followed by Sam Mulligan, 0.30 seconds back and Roberts finished third again, 0.75 seconds back.
Roberts has spent the majority of his season in Europe racing on the world cup this season.
“I have been completely focused on the World Cup this year for slalom and GS and it’s been really good. I haven’t been in a second run yet and obviously my goal was to be at the Olympics right now but I’ve had some really great skiing,” Roberts said.
“I was really impressed by a lot of the skiing this weekend, especially by the young guys. Lots of young Americans and young Canadians really sending and having great skiing,” Roberts said of the NorAms at Stowe.
Nina O’Brien, from the U.S. Ski Team, won her first two slalom NorAms in the final two days at Whiteface. O’Brien won on Thursday with an overall time of 1:56.38. Amelia Smart, from Canada, finished in second place 0.29 seconds back and Moltzan, who has been dominate on the NCAA slalom circuit, finished in third place, 0.62 seconds back.
O’Brien won the final race of the week with a time of 1:55.73, followed by Katie Henson, 1.05 seconds back and Adriana Jelinkova, 1.14 seconds back.
Over the past couple of months O’Brien has spent time in Europe getting her first World Cup starts and competing on the Europa Cup. O’Brien said that starting in the back and having to fight for everything since December certainly helped.
“It definitely helped starting in the back because it was kind of a battle every run. The conditions were tough skiing in the ruts, so definitely just worked on having more of a fighting attitude in all of my race runs,” O’Brien said.
“I felt like while I was in Europe my slalom skiing got a lot better even though the World Cup results didn’t really show it. So it was nice to get on some good hard snow at Whiteface and find a little bit more consistency with the fast skiing,” she added.