The last of the NorAm tech titles have been handed out in Quebec, Canada. The men finished off their slalom season in Mont St. Marie and the women skied in their last giant slalom races at Mt. Garceau.
University of Colorado freshman David Ketterer cannot stop winning slalom races. The German native just came off a historic NCAA Championship series, winning both the slalom and giant slalom titles. Now, after two wins at Mont St. Marie, he has the NorAm slalom title.
Ketterer won the first race, on Sunday, with an overall time of 1:41.28. Canada’s Trevor Philp and American Mark Engel followed in second and third, 0.26 seconds and 0.68 seconds back, respectively.
The second race went similarly for Ketterer. He sat in second place after the first run, behind Engel by 0.48 seconds. However, Engel was unable to make it down the second run cleanly, paving the way for an easy victory for the top NorAm slalom skier. Ketterer won with a combined time of 1:43.95. U.S. Ski Team athlete A.J. Ginnis took second place, 1.09 seconds behind, and Canadian Erik Read placed third, 1.51 seconds back.
Ketterer, a 23 year old from Germany, took the slalom title with 620 points, winning five slalom races this season and placing third in two others.
“It’s the first cup I’ve ever won,” Ketterer said. “It’s a great feeling to be consistent over the whole season.”
The top North American athlete, who will receive a start in all World Cup slalom races next season, is Canada’s Phil Brown. Brown has spent much of his 2017 season on the World Cup, qualifying for one second run in the slalom at Kitzbuehel, and he finished 23rd.
The U.S. Ski Team’s Nina O’Brien won her first NorAm GS on Sunday, beating out two World Cup athletes in the process. O’Brien edged out her fellow American Megan McJames with an overall time of 1:50.33. McJames found herself 0.31 seconds off the pace at the end of the day. Canadian athlete Mikaela Tommy finished in third place, 0.45 seconds back.
The next day however, Tommy would be atop the podium with an overall time of 1:50.74. Her teammate Candace Crawford finished in second place, 0.75 seconds back and McJames finished third, 1.14 seconds back.
Although Amelia Smart did not show up among the leaders in NorAm Finals results, she was able to walk away with the GS title. Smart amassed much of her 409 GS points with a strong start to the season and stunning consistency. As for the final series, she said it was not how she had hoped to finish the season, she just committed to many mistakes to put together a fast run.
“It feels great!” Smart said of winning the title. “I’m super excited to see what next year brings now that I have the opportunity to race some World Cups.”
In the final GS races of the season Smart’s teammate, and NorAm slalom champion, Ali Nullmeyer gained on her lead, and she finished second in the standings just 31 points back.
“It was definitely a close race at the end,” Smart said. “I’m just excited that we ended up one and two and that we will both have a World Cup spot for next year.”
The final NorAm races of the season take place in Sugarloaf, Maine on March 22 and 23 with super-G and alpine combined.