The number of NorAm tech races this season is dwindling. With only two slalom and two giant slalom races left per gender, the competition for NorAm titles is tightening. Canadian Ali Nullmeyer already claimed the women’s slalom title and with a strong showing in the giant slalom races at Copper Mountain on Feb. 3-4, she has tightened the race for her second title. On the same days, the men traveled to Vail to race slalom and the University of Colorado’s David Ketterer added to his lead in the slalom standings.
U.S. Ski Team athlete Megan McJames took the first win on Friday with a time of 2:07.72. Canada’s Amelia Smart, the current GS leader, took second, 1.24 seconds behind her, and Dartmouth College athlete Foreste Peterson finished third, 1.41 seconds back.
Nullmeyer placed fourth on the first day, just 0.01 seconds off of the podium. On the second day, she stood atop it. She won the race with a time of 2:07.62, ahead of her teammate Smart. Smart placed second again, 0.42 behind Nullmeyer, and Megan McJames placed third, 0.97 seconds off the winning pace.
Smart still holds the lead in the women’s giant slalom standings with 392 points. Nullmeyer moved into second place with 340 points, and Peterson sits in third with 322 points.
In the men’s slalom series, Ketterer added two more podium finishes to his collection. The University of Colorado freshman has finished on the podium in each of the five NorAm slalom races that he has finished, and won three of them.
Ketterer won the first race of the series with a time of 1:57.14. Alpine Canada athlete Trevor Philp narrowly finished in second, just 0.04 seconds off the pace. University of Denver’s Erik Read led after the first run, but he ended the day in third, 0.18 away from the win.
The U.S. Ski Team’s Mark Engel made the same move as Nullmeyer, placing fourth on Friday and winning the event on Saturday. Engel won with a time of 1:49.42. Canadian Phil Brown placed second, 0.39 second back, and, Ketterer finished third, 0.73 seconds back.
Ketterer, a German skier, holds the lead in the men’s slalom standings with 420 points. However, Brown is the top North American athlete in a distant second place with 264 points. American skier Hig Roberts sits just behind the Canadian in third with 260 points. At the end of the season, the top North American will be guaranteed starts in all World Cup slalom events next season.
Brown currently leads the men’s overall standings with 669 points, 110 points ahead of American Nicholas Krause and 135 points ahead of Roberts.
On the women’s side, Nullmeyer leads the overall standings with 940 points, 302 points ahead of American Nina O’Brien and 311 points ahead of Canada’s Stephanie Fleckenstein.
Men and women now have a series of speed races at Copper Mountain before the final NorAm tech races of the season in Quebec, Canada from March 17-20, 2017.