The 2020 U.S. Alpine Championships continued Friday with Alice McKennis Duran taking the top spot with her teammate and mentee, Keely Cashman, 0.47 seconds behind. Breezy Johnson rounded out the podium in third.
McKennis Duran capitalized on good conditions and a fast-tempoed course. The high speeds and terrain pushed the field around, creating a more intense super G course at Copper Mountain than the ladies have seen in the past. McKennis Duran stayed aerodynamic and made quick adjustments to her skiing down the course and landed in the top spot.
“I am happy with the way I skied today,” said McKennis Duran. “I have been feeling good in super G. I have been skiing well in training and I think I am really close to taking that next step in super G. I have more confidence to send it out of the gate and ski with no hesitation.”
To be successful in today’s race it was critical for McKennis Duran to trust her inspection, course report, and have confidence in her plan. It was critical to push out of the start gate with 100% trust in her plan and expect for it to work out.
McKennis Duran was paired with fellow teammate Keely Cashman last year in the U.S. Ski Team mentor program. While the mentor-mentee relationships have been especially challenging this year while the ladies try to limit their physical interactions, the two have developed a natural relationship built on similarities and common interests.
“I think she has built a lot of momentum off her NorAm wins last season to bring that into the next stage of the World Cup,” said McKennis Duran reflecting on Cashman’s performance Friday. “It’s honestly exciting, the entire team is skiing really great and we are in a good place to head over to Europe shortly.”
Cashman started to see results in her speed skiing over the past two years. Her biggest focus is staying as low as she can in her aerodynamics and executing her line. Today’s course set was in favor of Cashman’s more technical skiing. While she was off her line in some sports, she was able to let her skis run and capture a second-place finish.
“I am new to the speed scene,” said Cashman. “In super G, having to stick to a perfect line and nailing it the first time is something I’ve always been pretty good at. To be able to start off the season in both tech and speed is a great boost to go onto the World Cup so I am excited for this season.”
McKennis Duran and Cashman will next compete in super G in St. Moritz Dec. 5 and 6.
US Alpine National Championships – Women’s super G – Nov. 20, 2020