Sam Morse makes a face when inspecting the super G. (U.S. Ski Team-Mike Bingaman)
ÅRE, Sweden (Mar. 9, 2017) – For the second day in a row, Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, ME; U.S. Ski Team C Team/Carrabassett Valley Academy) led the charge for the U.S., finishing just .08 seconds off the top of the podium at the 2017 FIS Junior World Ski Championships Thursday. On the women’s side, Maureen Lebel (Truckee, CA; Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club) was the top U.S. finisher in ninth.
Though the sun was shining and the conditions were perfect, it was a challenging super G race in Åre and athletes could find the podium from any bib number. Both the men’s and the women’s courses offered a high degree of challenge combined with the terrain on the track.
“Yesterday’s downhill results were truly spectacular,” U.S. Alpine Development Director Chip Knight on Wednesday’s gold medal sweep. “Two top 10s today was a solid performance, but we left a lot out on the hill. Now it’s time to learn from our mistakes and execute better in the alpine combined events ahead.”
The men’s field put up quite the fight with a barnburner race, as less than a half of a second separated the top 10 and eight hundredths was the difference between first and fifth. Morse missed a podium by six hundredths but grabbed another solid finish to add to his Junior Worlds arsenal.
Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, CA; U.S. Ski Team C Team/Squaw Valley Ski Team) finished 20th, River Radamus (Edwards, CO; U.S. Ski Team D Team/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) 28th, Florian Szwebel (Avon, CO; U.S. Ski Team D Team/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) 31st, and Andrew Miller (Park City, UT; National Training Group/Park City Ski Team) 41st. George Steffey (Lyme, NH; U.S. Ski Team D Team/Stratton Mountain School) did not finish.
On the women’s side, the Austrians dominated the field, sweeping the top four with Nadine Fest taking a commanding win by 1.19 seconds. Lebel bounced back from a tough downhill result to lead the team with a ninth place finish and Galena Wardle (Basalt, CO; U.S. Ski Team C Team/Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club) grabbing 11th place. Nina O’Brien (Edwards, CO; U.S. Ski Team D Team; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team) finished 28th.
Keely Cashman (Strawberry, CA; U.S. Ski Team D Team/Squaw Valley Ski Team) did not finish.
Patricia Mangan (Derby, NY; U.S. Ski Team C Team/Holimont Racing Club) and Junior Worlds downhill gold medalist Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA; U.S. Ski Team C Team/Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School) put down fast splits on top but also did not finish.
The Junior World Ski Championships continue Friday in Åre, Sweden with the women’s alpine combined, while the men will have the day off.
Sam Morse (fifth) and Maureen Lebel (ninth) led the way for the U.S. in the 2017 FIS Junior World Ski Championships super G on Thursday.
The Austrian women swept the podium and had four in the top five, led by Nadine Fest in her first ever FIS Junior World Ski Championship bid.
The Junior World Ski Championships continue Friday in Åre, Sweden the women’s alpine combined.
Åre will also host the next FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2019.
Chip Knight, U.S. Alpine Development Director Yesterday’s downhill results were truly spectacular. Two top 10s today was a solid performance, but we left a lot out on the hill. Now it’s time to learn from our mistakes and execute better in the alpine combined events ahead.