During a break from the World Cup slalom circuit, Lila Lapanja returned to North America to race in the NorAm slaloms at Mont Tremblant. She brought some of her speed from Europe and translated it onto the French-Canadian hill to win Saturday’s race by almost two seconds for a combined time of 1:48.72, for a 6-point finish that also put her in the lead of the overall NorAm standings.
“I’m really happy with my win!” Lapanja exclaimed. “The hill requires tactical fitness to be fast. There’s a long flat and two break overs – I think that’s how I gained time. Second run, I skied smart and that’s what it took to win today.”
Canadian Laurence St. Germain of the University of Vermont was the next fastest, coming in a 1:50.71, while University of Denver’s Tuva Norbye repeated her performance from Thursday, ending up in third place as the top junior. Norbye sits in fourth in the overall standings and second in the slalom standings behind Lapanja.
Over at Mont Saint Anne, the men completed two slalom races in one day due to Thursday’s canceled giant slalom race. The schedule change opens up Sunday for a make-up GS. The results sheet could have been mistaken for a 2013 EISA race with skiers like University of Vermont’s Dom Garand, former UVM athlete Tim Kelley and former Middlebury standout Hig Roberts in the field.
Nevertheless, it was an exciting day of NorAm action. In the first race of the day, the U.S. Ski Team’s Tim Kelley dominated, beating Austrian World Cup skier Michael Matt by 0.28 seconds. Coming in third was Matt’s fellow countryman, Dominik Raschner. Switzerland’s Sandro Simonet was the top junior in fourth, just one hundredth off the podium.
In the second race of the day, there was a flip-flop. Matt took the win, beating American brothers, Tim and Robby Kelley, who finished in second and third places, respectively. Marcel Mathis of Austria and Brian McLaughlin of Dartmouth College and the National University Team – who started 52 and 63 in the first run – were able to make huge moves and crack the top 10, finishing in ninth and tenth respectively. Noel Von Gruenigen of Switzerland, eldest son of World Cup legend Michael Von Gruenigen, was the fastest junior just behind them in 11th.
Racing continues tomorrow with another slalom for the women and a giant slalom race for the men.
Complete women’s results are available here.