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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Successful U.S. Alpine Champs Wraps at Official Training Site Copper Mountain

By Megan Harrod
November, 28 2020
Keely Cashman
Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team and University of Utah Ski Team athlete Keely Cashman skis giant slalom at the 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships at Official Training Site, Copper Mountain, Colo. (Max Hall - U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The rescheduled 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships successfully wrapped on Sunday, Nov. 22 at Official Training Site Copper Mountain, Colo. This event replaced the 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships, which were scheduled for last March in Panorama, CAN, and Aspen, Colo.

Big thanks goes to Copper Mountain, who worked closely—and tirelessly—with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard High-Performance Director Troy Taylor, Lead Physical Therapist Gillian Bower, Alpine Development Director Chip Knight, and the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team staff to create a safe competition environment for athletes and staff. While the U.S. Alpine Championships took place, Copper Mountain was closed to the public, planning to open on Monday, Nov. 30 for the 2020-21 ski season. Due to COVID-19, U.S. Ski & Snowboard together with Copper Mountain created protocols to ensure consistency with local and state regulation, including no spectators or media on site.

Alpine Director Jesse Hunt credited Copper Mountain for their support and hard work to not only get the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain up and running - coordinating efforts that enabled athletes to ski both speed and tech at the speed venue - but also to successfully hold eight races for both men and women, including the 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships. Copper Mountain Resort Manager Frank Kelble and his staff were tremendous throughout the month, delivering an impeccable training venue that featured World Cup-level training and 16 race starts despite challenges presented by COVID-19. 

“My hat goes off to Copper Mountain for the tremendous support we received in this incredibly challenging preparation period,” commented Jesse. “Uncertainty is the new norm and Copper Mountain embraced the challenge by hosting our elite level training and events under extreme protocols and safety standards. We all adapted, and in the end, we got some of the best training we have had all summer and fall. A huge thanks to Copper for their commitment to our athletes, our organization and the sport.” 

Numerous up-and-comers were able to race alongside World Cup athletes—including members of the men’s German National Team—and Rocky/Central walked away with the Regions Cup. The opportunity for young athletes to ski with seasoned veterans was huge, according to Chip. “I’d like to add that there was tremendous athletic and community value in having our World Cup athletes racing alongside developing athletes from around the country,” he said. “A couple of upper-end highlights include River Radamus dueling with Ryan Cochran-Siegle for the National GS title, Breezy Johnson and Alice McKennis winning the downhill and super-G titles, and Luke Winters winning the slalom title.” 

Younger/developing athletes also had breakthrough results to kick off their season, including Katie Hensien (National giant slalom Champion), Allie Resnick (third, Nationals giant slalom), current collegiate (University of New Hampshire) former U.S. Ski Team athlete Patrick Kenney (third, Nationals giant slalom), Isaiah Nelson (first, FIS giant slalom), current collegiate (Middlebury College) former U.S. Ski Team athlete Erik Arvidsson (fourth, Nationals super-G), AJ Hurt (National Slalom Champion and first in FIS slalomL), and former collegiate and U.S. Ski Team athlete Alex Leever (third, Nationals slalom and first, FIS slalom). “There was a tremendous amount of momentum for the whole country coming out of the series,” Chip added. 

Holding an event like U.S. Alpine Championships during a global pandemic is no easy feat, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s High-Performance Director Troy Taylor said his staff, along with Copper Mountain’s staff worked together to create an exceptional event with great COVID-19 mitigation compliance by all involved. Chip worked as the event’s COVID Coordinator, ensuring everyone had COVID tests and were compliant with daily health checks. More than 200 COVID tests were completed, and the entire staff garnered learnings that can be shared and applied to future events during COVID. Next steps are for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard medical team to host a webinar for event organizers to share these learnings. 

“It was amazing to get the first event in the USA of the winter under our belts,” reflected Troy. “Copper Mountain, as always, was an incredible host and went above and beyond to help us work closely with Summit County health authorities to navigate all the COVID-related rules and create a safe environment for everyone.”

2020 U.S. Alpine Championships Results
November 16
Giant Slalom – Women

First - Katie Hensien (DU)
Second - Keely Cashman (UofU)
Third - Allie Resnick

November 17
Giant Slalom – Men

First - River Radamus
Second - Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Third - Patrick Kenney (UNH)

November 19
Downhill – Men

First - Romed Baumann (GER)
Second - Josef Ferstl (GER)
Third - Jared Goldberg

Downhill – Women

First - Breezy Johnson
Second - AJ Hurt
Third - Alice McKennis Duran

November 20
Super-G – Men


First - Simon Jocher (GER)
Second - Romed Baumann (GER)
Third - Ryan Cochran-Siegle

Super-G – Women

First - Alice McKennis Duran
Second - Keely Cashman
Third - Breezy Johnson

November 21
Slalom – Women

First - AJ Hurt
Second - Keely Cashman (UofU)
Third - Katie Hensien (DU)

November 22
Slalom – Men

First - Luke Winters
Second - Jett Seymour (DU)
Third - Alex Leever