A select group of elite level alpine FIS racers (year of birth 2004 and older) had a busy week of racing last week at the rescheduled 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships at Copper Mountain. Races started Monday, November 16, and ended Sunday, November 22. A number of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes, both current and alumni, earned outstanding results, taking a total of five podium spots for a total of twenty-two top ten finishes throughout the week. This event replaced the 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships, which were originally scheduled to take place in March 2020 but were cancelled due to COVID-19.
Finally back in the starting gate, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes and alumni pushed themselves to their limits in competition. Scott Houser, SSCV Women’s FIS coach was impressed with results from all athletes, especially first year FIS racers who had the unique opportunity to compete in this series as their first of many FIS races. Typically, the first races of the season would occur earlier in the year in the southern hemisphere. Houser stated, “We were extremely fortunate that US Ski & Snowboard and Copper Mountain were able to provide this championship racing opportunity along with some additional FIS races for the many athletes looking forward to their first races of the season.” He hopes that the success of these races both in terms of results and in terms of alignment with COVID-19 related safety protocols will lead to a rewarding on-snow racing season.
The following SSCV current athletes qualified for one or more races in this elite championship series: Parker Biele, Tianna Bruce, William Flaherty, Henry Heaydon, Fletcher Holm, Taylor Hoyt, Kaitlin Keane, Matt Macaluso, Kjersti Moritz, Liv Moritz, Zoie Palmer, Allie Resnick, Emma Resnick and Zane Worrell. A number of SSCV alumni qualified as well: Axel Bailey, Reece Bell, Carissa Cassidy, Cooper Cornelius, Jacob Dilling, Alice McKennis Duran, Bridger Gile, Wyatt Hall, Ava Sunshine Jemison, Kellen Kinsella, Alex Leever, Avery Leonard, Kyle Negomir, River Radamus, Nicola Rountree-Williams, Nellie Rose Talbot, Kalle Wagner, and Tegan Wold. Among these SSCV athletes and alumni, Emma and Allie Resnick along with Cornelius, Dilling, Duran, GIle, Negomir, Radamus and Rountree-Williams are also US Alpine Ski Team members. Heaydon is an Australian National Alpine Ski Team member.
The 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships kicked off with the women’s giant slalom on Monday where SSCV athletes and alumni shined among the competitive field. Allie Resnick earned bronze. Nicola Rountree-WIlliams, Nellie Rose Talbot, and Emma Resnick earned spots in the top ten in 5th, 8th and 9th place, respectively.
On Tuesday the men competed in giant slalom, with River Radamus flying into first place, earning him the gold spot. Bridger Gile, just off the podium, came in 4th, followed by Jacob Dilling in 7th and Alex Leever in 9th.
On Thursday’ downhill race, Alice McKennis Duran stood on the podium with a 3rd place finish and Kyle Negomir landed in the top 10 in 9th place.
In the Super-G event that took place on Friday, Alice McKennis Duran stood on the podium again, this time taking gold. Emma Resnick and Kjerski Moritz finished in the top ten in 7th and 10th, respectively. On the men’s side River Radamus was the top finisher for SSCV in 7th place.
The slalom event rounded out the championship series on Saturday and Sunday. Emma Resnick and Ava Sunshine Jemison tied for 5th place, followed by Allie Resnick in 8th and Reece Bell in 9th. Alex Leever took home bronze in Sunday’s slalom followed by Jacob Dilling in 4th. Kalle Wagner took a 9th place finish with Matt Macalso rounding out the top ten.
After the week was all said and done, SSCV’s Dan Stripp complimented the athletes on their results despite the lack of on-snow training, stating “I was really impressed on how well Allie and Emma did so quickly this season, without very much training. Their results were outstanding and I am very happy where we are right now.”
Coaches and athletes are optimistic that the season will bring plenty of competition based on the great sense of responsibility taken on by everyone involved in this past week’s races despite the hurdles that COVID-19 provides us all.
For full results from the 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships at Copper Mountain click HERE.