Cochran-Siegle, Cashman Win Giant Slalom Titles
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.) won his seventh U.S. title, and Keely Cashman (Strawberry, Calif.) won her first, each taking giant slalom victories at the Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort.
Racing under bright sunshine on a hard, fast track, Cashman took a 0.23-second first-run lead over Tricia Mangan (Derby, N.Y), and .80-second lead over the red-hot Nina O’Brien, who was shooting for her fifth-consecutive U.S. Alpine Championships victory after winning the super-G and alpine combined at Sugarloaf, Maine, and the parallel, and slalom events at Waterville earlier in the week.
“I just relaxed and skied my best,” Cashman said of her first-run approach. “I knew that if I put down a solid run, I’d be in the top five, so I just tried to do it, and I made it happen.”
Meanwhile, O’Brien wasn’t done yet. She came out attacking, posting the fastest second-run time to put the pressure on Mangan and Cashman. Mangan was the first to take a shot, but came up short, leaving Cashman to put a stop to O’Brien’s win streak. With the warm sunshine beating down on Waterville’s World Cup course, Cashman carved through the fast, salted layers to post the second-fastest time and edge O’Brien for the victory. O’Brien settled for second, and Mangan rounded out the podium in third.
“It’s always been a huge goal of mine (to win a U.S. title),” Cashman said. “I remember when (the U.S. Alpine Championships) came to Squaw when I was a U14, and I remember watching everyone, and now to be sitting on top of the podium really means a lot. it’s a good stepping stone, and this will really slingshot me into next season, so I’m really happy about it.”
Cashman was also the top junior finisher with Lisa Olsson of Sweden in second, and Claire Thomas (Salt Lake City, Utah) in third.
In the men’s race, Cochran-Siegle, who didn’t start the parallel or slalom events over the weekend at Waterville after winning both the downhill and super-G title last week at Sugarloaf, turned a .16-second first-run deficit to Brian McLaughlin (Topsfield, Mass.) into a .37-second margin of victory after posting the fastest second-run time.
McLaughlin finished second, with 2018 U.S. giant slalom champion Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) rounding out the podium in third. Tim Gavett (Waitsfield, Vt.) was the top junior finisher, as Andrew Miller (Park City, Utah) was second and Bridger Gile (Aspen, Colo.) was third.
Tuesday GS victory was the seventh U.S. Alpine Championship win of his career, dating back to his downhill title in 2012.
In the battle for the Tom Garner Region's Cup, the Eastern Region won with 3,436 points. West was second with 2,063, and Rocky/Central was third with 1,088. This is the 30th year of the Tom Garner Region's Cup and over the past 30 years, the West has won 21 times, Rocky/Central 5, and East 4. The Region's Cup was re-named after Tom Garner, a former Rocky/Central Director, who was committed to athletic excellence and providing athletes with opportunities to succeed and develop as competitors and people. Tom’s son Ian is a member of our U.S. Ski Team men’s coaching staff.