Rubie Takes Podium Spot at Winter Games NZ
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (September 1, 2015)—After the dual slalom kicked off the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, the Games wrapped with a slalom and a giant slalom at Coronet Peak near Queenstown. Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT) grabbed the sole American podium, taking third in the GS.
Over 80 men and 50 women represented 19 countries on a warm overcast day, but with weather clearing up and plenty of salt put on the snow, the conditions of FIS Australian New Zealand Cup slalom held up. Slovenian Adam Zampa won it for the men and B-Teamer Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN) was the top American in eighth place. Ankeny’s teammate Hig Roberts (Steamboat Springs, CO) took ninth. “I had a great first run, putting myself in fourth against a deep field of Europa and World Cup regulars,” said Roberts. “I unfortunately had some mistakes and bobbles on the second run and moved back a little, but regardless, I’m very pleased with my skiing. The speed is there, so I’m taking a lot of positives out of the first races.”
Michael Ankeny skis to eighth place at the Winter Games NZ slalom. (Getty Images-Dianne Manson)
Rounding it out for the Americans, Tim Kelley (Starksboro, VT) was 21st. National University Team members Alex Leever (Vail, CO) and Brian McLaughlin (Topsfield, MA) were 22nd and 26th, respectively. Colin Hayes (Evergreen, CO) was 27th, Brian Francis (Menlo Park, CA) 28th, Kieffer Christianson (Anchorage, AK) 29th, Ty Sprock (Stateline, NV) 30th, Bobby Moyer (Aspen, CO) 39th, Eric Haferman (Bozeman, MT) 40th, Keilan O’Brien (Buck Hill, MN) 41st and Kaison Lavicka (Vail, CO) 45th. Max Hall (Squaw Valley, CA), AJ Ginnis (Waitsfield, VT), Sam DuPratt (Dixon, CA) and Robby Kelley (Starkboro, VT) did not finish.
The Austrians swept the women’s slalom podium with Katharina Truppe taking the win. Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN) just missed the podium in fourth place. “The race was good, but the weather was pretty questionable,” commented Moltzan. “It was fun to get back in the start gate, but a little too early to really be back in race mode. Overall, I am happy with how I performed and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season!”
Mardi Haskell (Holderness, NH) was the next American in 15th, with Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA) 21st, Nina O’Brien (Edwards, CO) 23rd, Sierra Ryder (Orinda, CA) 25th, Kelsey Chenoweth (Stowe, VT) 26th, Ryann Daley (Sudbury, MA) 28th and Dairinn Bowers (Aspen, CO) 29th. Storm Klomhaus (Boulder, CO), Stephanie Lebby (Big Bear Lake, CA) and Galena Wardle (Aspen, CO) did not finish.
Hig Roberts was sixth in the Winter Games NZ GS. (Getty Images-Mickey Ross)
Zampa won his second gold of the Games, also taking the giant slalom win. But close behind him was Rubie who took the bronze. “I entered the race as more of a tool for training, practicing execution, and as an opportunity to bring a little more intensity to my skiing,” said Rubie. “Conditions were tough and there was a great field of international skiers competing, but I was excited to make some silky turns and end on the podium! I think it shows that my skiing is heading in the right direction.”
Although in second after the first run, Roberts took another top-10 result due to a few bobbles, taking sixth. Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) was right behind him in seventh and Kipling Weisel (San Francisco, CA) was eighth. McLaughlin was 12th, Mark Engel (Truckee, CA) 15th, Moyer 16th, Nick Cohee (Gardnerville, NV) 17th, David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) 25th, Nick Krause (Northboro, MA) 28th, Ginnis 29th, Sprock 33rd, Hayes 39th, Leever 40th and Francis 45th. Darwin Taylor (Park City, UT), Christianson, Dupratt, Hall and Haferman DNFed.
Alice Merryweather competes in the GS.
Finally, battling the slow snow in the women’s GS, Austrian Chiara Mair took the gold medal. Anna Marno (Steamboat Springs, CO) was the top American woman of the day in 13th with Moltzan in 14th, Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA) 16th, Lebby 19th and Klomhaus 20th. Wardle was 24th, Chenoweth 27th, Ryder 31st and Bowers 33rd. Patricia Mangan (Derby, NY), Daley, Nina O’Brien and Merryweather did not finish.