Athletes Rip U18 National Champs Tech Events
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Mar. 4, 2015)—Top U.S. athletes under the age of 18 headed to Copper Mountain, CO to compete for the title of best American U18 racer in the U18 National Championships. The USSA National Training Group (NTG) raked in results, with Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy showing dominance.
USSA CEO Tiger Shaw congratulated the young athletes on their acceptance into this race with a letter, comparing them to skiers like Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn. “[These] are some of the special athletes that have achieved high levels in our sports,” wrote Shaw. “They were all USSA junior athletes and have backgrounds not unlike you.”
The tech races started on Feb. 27, with a dominating result by NTG athlete Nina O’Brien (Burke Mountain Academy). She took the win in the slalom by 1.86 seconds ahead of NTG teammate Megan McGrew (Ski and Snowboard Club Vail). Another Burke athlete, Madison Lord (Burke Mountain Academy) rounded out the podium for the women. O’Brien was also third in the giant slalom, with D Team athlete Stephanie Lebby (Squaw Valley Ski Team) grabbing the victory and NTG athlete Galena Wardle (Aspen Valley Ski Club) in second.
Both O’Brien and Lebby are heading to the FIS World Junior Championships in Hafjell, Norway.
Another NTG skier, River Radamus (Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) won the men’s slalom by almost half a second. George Steffey (Stratton Mountain School) was second and NTG athlete Luke Winters (Sugar Bowl Academy) was third. Burke grabbed two podium sots in the GS, with Patrick Kenney (Burke Mountain Academy) taking a decisive .73-second win ahead of Andrew Miller (Park City Ski Team). Kenney’s Burke teammate Oliver Thompson (Burke Mountain Academy) was third.
The speed events start on Thursday, with two downhills on Thursday and Friday and a super G on Saturday.