The opening giant slalom of the NorAm series took place Tuesday in Nakiska and it was characterized by howling winds and tough conditions, which demanded gritty and aggressive skiing from the entire women’s field. Though the women’s race was completed, weather forced cancellation of the men’s giant slalom, which had been scheduled later that day.

American and Team X athlete, Foreste Peterson walked away with her first win of the season, while Keely Cashman continued her podium streak, placing second. Andrea Komsic, of Croatia came in third.

“There were huge gusts of wind, especially for our second run. But, the snow and track were in great shape,” Peterson said.

The field for the tech races grew tremendously in comparison to the speed events. For the giant slalom, there were over 90 women on the start list compared with just 40 women starting Monday’s alpine combined. This is an enormous difference in the number of female athletes wanting to compete only in the tech disciplines, which made for a big day of racing. 

Bib number one, Katie Hensein, of the U.S., carved out the track for the first GS of the NorAm series this season. The thirty-three-point giant slalom skier set a solid line, landing herself in eight-place after the first run. She finished in fifth-place finish overall. For the first few races this season, Hensein had a tough time finding the finish line, so it was a stellar result and she’ll use it to build momentum for the upcoming slaloms this week. 

Cashman soared through the gates with a ripping time that lead the field by 0.55 seconds after the first run. Cashman is on a very fast track these past two weeks in Canada and she currently leads the NorAm overall standings. She is proving herself as a multi-discipline threat.

Peterson ran with bib number seven, and skied to second place behind Cashman after the first run. Focusing predominantly on the tech disciplines has paid off for the former Dartmouth College racer. She recently earned a start in Killington’s World Cup and has her eyes set on a nation’s spot through the NorAm series to secure starting rights in World Cups next season.

Andrea Komsic, of Croatia, skied to third place in Nakiska. Photo: Roger Carry

Storm Klomhaus had the third-fastest time after run one as she continues to be a threat each time she kicks out of the gate. After her first two NorAm podiums Monday, she had gained the confidence to let her skis run and to focus on the basics of skiing. 

After the Alpine combined she would focus on keeping her skiing consistent, simple, and clean.

“I want to put the hammer down in the tech events,” she said after the combined.

She definitely showed her capabilities on the first run, but did not finish the second run.  

The already poor weather worsened and were definitely kicking into full force for the second run of the race. The set was mostly in the fall line of the hill, but was quite a bit tighter than run one.

“It was in your face all the way to the finish,” Peterson said. 

Croatian, Andrea Komsic who ended sixth on the first run, attacked the second run with full force. Komsic’s aggression and ability to let the ski run gave her the fastest second run time, enough to boost her onto the podium.

This 23-year-old racer has shown her strengths through tech events. Earlier this season she had a third-place finish and a fourth-place finish at Copper Mountain’s NorAm slaloms.

Galena Wardle attacked from the back after placing 30th in run one. She started second run with a clean track, and a strong attitude finishing with he third-fastest second run time and catapulting to 10th place overall.

The women’s second day of GS has been cancelled, leaving them with two slaloms left in Nakiska.

Top-10 Women’s GS Finishes

  1. Foreste Peterson USA 1:53.49
  2. Keely Cashman USA +0.23
  3. Andrea Komsic CRO +0.51
  4. Madison Hoffman AUS +0.55
  5. Katie Hensien USA +1.19
  6. Mikaela Tommy CAN +1.76
  7. Isabella Wright USA +2.69
  8. Brianna Macdonald CAN +2.83
  9. Jade Bonneville CAN +2.91
  10. Galena Wardle USA +2.96

For complete race results, click here.

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Ellie Hartman was born and raised in Breckenridge, Colorado, and was on skis soon after she was able to walk. She raced for Team Summit, out of Copper Mountain, from the age of five until she was 18. Unfortunately, her ski racing career ended when she did not make a NCAA ski team, but to her surprise, it opened up a new door where she was recruited to row NCAA D2 crew for Barry University in Miami, Florida. After becoming captain and winning two NCAA Championships, she received her Masters in Business Administration and has spent her time traveling, working, and writing. Ellie enjoys skiing, yoga, great coffee, travel, SCUBA Diving, anything outdoors, delicious beer, and happy people.