Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s U.S. Ski Team member Abby Ghent skied to an eighth place, first for the junior women, in the U.S. Alpine Nationals at Winter Park.

With World Cup stars Julia Mancuso and SSCV alumna Sarah Schleper taking first and second in Friday’s GS, Ghent rocketed down the course on her second run with the third fastest time to move up to eighth from her start position of 14th.

“I’m happy with my finish today, for sure,” Ghent said. “On my first run, coming onto the last pitch there was an important turn, and I made a mistake just before that, but I had a clean run on the second course, didn’t make many mistakes, and I tried to go fast.”

Ghent commented on how tactics played into her fast time.

“On the second run there were a few hard turns before the last pitch, and one turn you could carry a lot of speed through if you set up before that,” Ghent said.

Ghent’s intermediate times on her second run confirms that her tactics paid off as she got faster towards the bottom.

On racing against Julia Mancuso, Ghent said, “It was cool having her here. Watching her ski down the same course I skied down, I was able to see how fast I could potentially go.”

After her third place finish in the U.S. Alpine Nationals DH at Aspen, in which she came in first for the junior women, Ghent earned the title of National Junior Downhill Champion. With her performance Friday, placing first for the junior women in the GS, Ghent is now also the National Junior Giant Slalom Champion.

“Abby has come a long way from a year ago to be able to stay in the top 10 in the U.S. Nationals,” said coach Dan Stripp. “For her to be third in the second run is a big step, and a confidence builder for her career. It’s exciting that Abby can mix it up with the some of the best racers in the country.”

The U.S. Alpine National Championships continue today, 4/2, with a Super G for the men and women at Winter Park.