Alpine

Christianson Takes First GS Title

by
USSA
2016-03-26 15:39
 

SUN VALLEY, ID (March 26, 2016) – Kieffer Christianson (Anchorage, AK - U.S. Ski Team) battled a crazy course set to come away with his first giant slalom national title Saturday at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships.

 

After posting DNFs in Thursday’s super G and Friday’s slalom, Christianson, who has struggled with not finishing this season in NorAm and World Cup races, opted for a change in tactics.

 


Kieffer Christianson attacks the GS course at Sun Valley. (USSA)

 

“I pretty much just adopted a whole new approach today,” Christianson said. “It’s still just a course that you have to go and ski. So I put my effort in just freeskiing, and then let the rest take care of itself. I DNFed the past few races, then today I had a lot of fun warming up. I just had a really fun time skiing the course. It was awesome to finally put it together.”

 

Christianson won the first run, and then added to his .83 margin of victory in the second to grab the GS title. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT - U.S. Ski Team) was second, followed by Canadian Erik Read in third.

 

The skiers had to battle a crazy and fun course set - complete with six delays - with grippy snow on the top section and slick conditions at the bottom. But Christianson was positive throughout the day and was excited about the course. "I'm used to seeing the same thing over and over," he said. "So this is really cool."

 

Drew Duffy (Warren, VT - U.S. Ski Team) snagged the junior title, while River Radamus (Edwards, CO - U.S. Ski Team), who won three gold medals last month at the Youth Olympic Games, was second among the juniors after finishing 12th. Earlier in the week, Radamus and Duffy switched places, with Radamus winning the alpine combined junior title and Duffy taking second.

 


Drew Duffy won the juniors title, with River Radamus second and Alex Leever third. (USSA)

 

Up next, the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships wrap up Sunday with the women’s giant slalom.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kieffer Christianson won his first U.S. national GS title Saturday.
  • Drew Duffy won the junior title following his ninth place finish.
  • The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships wrap up Sunday with the women’s giant slalom.

 

QUOTES

 

Kieffer Christianson

I pretty much just adopted a whole new approach today. It’s still just a course that you have to go and ski. So I put my effort in just freeskiing and then let the rest take care of itself. I DNFed the past few races, then today I had a lot of fun warming up. I just had a really fun time skiing the course. It was awesome to finally put it together. 

 

They are doing a great job here. Great energy and really fun, something that you don’t see very often in the U.S – ski racing has a lot of energy in Europe – but in the U.S. it’s more of a pain to have one run closed off to have a race. So it’s really cool to be here.

 


Ryan Cochran-Siegle skis to second place. (USSA)

 

Ryan Cochran-Siegle

I’m happy to be on the podium today. Looking back on the year, I put a lot of focus on GS. Earlier on, I kind of struggled with it, I had some good results, but I felt that they were more lucky than just my skiing. Thin I hit a switch between the World Cups in Kranjska Gora and figured something out. Ever since that first run, I gained a lot of confidence and have been rolling with it since then.

 

This is the toughest venue I have ever raced for nationals. It’s steep the whole way. You have to fight the whole way. This is probably the closest venue I’ve raced to a World Cup venue all year.

 

RESULTS

Men’s giant slalom