Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) athletes past and present skied to career-best NorAm results this week in Lake Louise, Canada, which hosted a pair of downhill races for both men and women. The opening NorAm series at Lake Louise customarily follows the World Cup races also held at the Alberta venue and represents the highest level of alpine ski racing in North America. It features a mild track intended to ease racers into the speed season and benefits those with strong gliding skills.
SSCV’s Florian Szwebel, of Avon, now a member of the U.S. Ski Team, cruised to a fifth-place finish in Thursday’s second of two downhills, marking his career-best result at the NorAm level. Szwebel finished just .54 seconds back of the Canadian winner, Tyler Werry. Fellow Canadian Broderick Thompson and Swede Felix Monsen rounded out the podium. Szwebel’s result was an improvement from his 18th-place finish on Wednesday.
“He’s totally made it in speed,” said SSCV Alpine Director Karen Ghent. “For Florian, it’s really just a matter of him proving himself and finding some consistency to establish himself as a formidable member of the U.S. speed team.”
Szwebel was joined on the hill by fellow SSCV alumnus River Radamus, now also a member of the U.S. Ski Team, who finished 20th in back-to-back outings — his best-ever results at the NorAm level. Radamus had been putting more emphasis on the technical disciplines, but with these strong finishes in downhill, there may be an opportunity for him to expand into speed and earn some starts in Europe this winter.
“This result will be really good for his world ranking and strong speed skiing is always really good for GS,” said Ghent. “He’s such a technically strong skier that he should be able to ski fast in all four events.”
On the women’s side, current SSCV athlete Abigail Murer was able to take advantage of the Lake Louise glider track. She skied to the best result of her career — NorAm or otherwise — with a fifth-place finish on Wednesday. She recorded a DNF a day earlier.
“(Murer) really needed to make an improvement in her FIS points, which she did,” said Ghent.
SSCV was also represented on the women’s side by Vail Valley-local Heidi Livran, who recorded a DNF Wednesday and a 15th-place result Thursday after a mistake in that run.
COMPLETE RESULTS HERE