The NorAm downhill titles were decided on Feb. 6 with a busy day at Copper Mountain, Colo. Snow was rolling into the mountain, and the officials decided to run the last two downhills of the season for each gender in one day. Alpine Canada athlete Tyler Werry secured the men’s downhill title, and U.S. Ski Team athlete Alice Merryweather won for the women.
Broderick Thompson, Werry’s teammate, won the first downhill of the day with a time of 1:27.80. U.S. Ski Team athlete Same Morse found himself on the podium for the first time in a NorAm; he finished in second place, 0.30 seconds back. Kipling Weisel finished in third place, 0.53 seconds off the pace.
Werry finished fourth in the first race, 0.57 seconds behind the leader, but he made sure in the second race that his NorAm title would be solidified. Werry won the second race with a time of 1:28.45. Morse quickly found his second podium, again in second place, 0.42 seconds behind Werry. Finnish skier Andreas Romar finished in third, moving up from bib 29 to finish just 0.54 seconds back.
Werry finished the day with 330 downhill points, taking the title and securing his World Cup downhill spot next season.
The women’s races saw identical podiums between the races. World Cup veteran Alice McKennis, American Anna Marno and Merryweather finished in that order for the top three spots in each race. Merryweather would walk away from the day as the ultimate champion though.
McKennis won the first race with a time of 1:31.55, followed by Marno, who finished 0.35 seconds behind. Merryweather finished in third, 1.06 seconds back.
Although the second race was ever so slightly tighter in time, the three did not change rank. McKennis won with a time of 1.33.07. Marno finished 0.23 seconds behind her and Merryweather finished 0.66 seconds back, in third.
“It was one of my goals this year,” Merryweather said of taking the downhill title. “And to actually have won it is super exciting,” she added. Merryweather attributed the volume of her work, and the depth of her experience to her success this season.
With the NorAm title, which she took with 280 points over Canadian Stefanie Fleckenstein, Merryweather secures her spot in the World Cup next season and hopes to add to her experience at the higher level.
The Colorado NorAm series will continue with an ending series of super-G and alpine combined. Full results for the event can be found here.