The Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup tour finished its four-race stop at Cooper Mountain on Thursday with the second giant slalom in as many days for the men and women, and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Greta Byrne and Cannon O’Brien ramped it up with Byrne in fourth and O’Brien in seventh in their run at the gates.
The women’s race had Byrne, starting 14th, ski to a respectable fifth in her first run, but that was not going to cut it for her. On her second run, she turned up the heat and charged the hill with the second fastest time to place fourth overall.
“I wasn’t happy with my first run,” said Byrne. “But on my second run, something clicked in my head to just go fast. This result will give me the confidence for the NorAm races I go to in Canada next week.”
SSCV’s Erica McCormick and Katie Talbot broke into the top twenty moving up through the pack to finish 18th and 20th respectively, with Grace Merriman in 23rd. A good day for these J2 girls.
As for O’Brien, he attacked the hill to a first for the junior men and seventh overall, and with the fourth fastest second run amongst a very competent field.
“I feel great about today,” said O’Brien. “This was a big step for me, and it’s the best result of my FIS career.”
Putting two runs together can be a challenge with so many variables every time you leave the start.
“My first run was solid,” said O’Brien. “On my second run, it all came together and I skied like I know I can.”
Taylor Shiffrin and Sean McCormick worked their way into the top ten placing ninth and tenth, respectively, with Shiffrin taking third for the juniors.
“For Shiffrin and McCormick to ski this well and pop into the top ten is awesome,” O’Brien said. “The SSCV squad is skiing well, and it lifts the spirits of the whole team.”