Spring racing can provide some of the most exciting action of the season with championship titles on the line at all age levels and young racers across the country vying for bragging rights and the ability to call themselves “national champion.” Last week, the New Hampshire resorts of Mittersill Cannon Mountain and Waterville Valley played host to the 2019 U.S. Junior Alpine Championships with super-G, giant slalom, and slalom races taking place in the days following the conclusion of the U.S. Alpine Championships.
With Waterville Valley’s race hill already prepared from the senior championships earlier in the week, it’s a natural fit to have the juniors stick around for a few extra days and host their championships immediately afterward.
Racing action got underway in New Hampshire with men’s super-G at Cannon and women’s GS at Waterville taking place on Wednesday. In the men’s event, Aspen’s Tristan Lane took the title with a time of 51.33 seconds. Lane was followed by Dartmouth student-athlete Jimmy Krupka in second place, 0.44 seconds back, and fellow Aspen skier Bridger Gile in third, 0.58 seconds off the pace.
For the women, the U.S. Ski Team’s Cecily Decker took the GS crown with a two-run time of 2:17.24 seconds, a slim 0.09 seconds ahead of Stratton Mountain’s Olivia Holm in second. Vail’s Caroline Jones followed in third, 0.19 seconds back. It was a tight race at the top of the results sheet with the top-five finishers separated by only0 0.60 seconds.
The following day saw the schedules flipped with the men racing GS at Waterville and the women over at Cannon for super-G. Squaw Valley’s Keely Cashman, who is also the reigning senior U.S. GS champion, took the win in the women’s race with a time of 53.61 seconds. Cashman was joined on the podium by Park City’s Lauren Macuga in second, 0.16 seconds back, and Holm in third, 0.73 seconds off the pace.
The men’s race saw Middlebury College’s Tim Gavett take the win in 2:16.16 seconds ahead of collegiate rival Krupka in second, a razor-slim 0.03 seconds shy of the win. Gile tied Krupka in second place at 0.03 seconds back. The three podium finishers distanced themselves from the rest of the field with fourth place finishing over a second back of the trio.
The series concluded on Friday with men’s and women’s slalom at Waterville. Cashman took her second junior title in as many days in the women’s race, finishing with a two-run time of 1:47.71 seconds. Teammate and close friend AJ Hurt joined Cashman on the podium in second place, 0.39 seconds back. Burke Mountain’s Zoe Zimmerman, also of the U.S. Ski Team, rounded out the podium in third place, 2.60 seconds off the pace.
In the men’s race, reigning NCAA slalom champion Jett Seymour of the University of Denver and the U.S. Ski Team took the win with a time of 1:36.03 seconds. Krupka finished in second for his third silver medal in a row, 0.55 seconds back, and the University of Vermont’s Spencer smith finished in third, 1.95 seconds back, for an all-collegiate podium.
In the race for the region’s cup, the Eastern Region emerged victorious in a close fight over Rocky/Central in second. Western region finished in third.
Krupka emerged as the most consistent skier of the series, finishing in second place in all three men’s races. The Dartmouth student now looks to carry this momentum through the final races of the year and into next season. Krupka was also a member of the 2019 World Junior Championship team in Val di Fassa, Italy, where he finished sixth in slalom.
“It was a a fun series, and I was pumped I could help out the East,” Krupka said of his performances. “The surface was pretty good everyday, and everyone was sending. Everyone knew each other and kind of all hung out together at the races which was sweet.”
“Looking back at my season as a whole, my goals for this season were to get better at skiing and help my teams, and I’m proud of what we did,” he continued. “With the Dartmouth guys, I had a home for the year. Seeing [Tanguy] Nef, James [Ferri], and Drew [Duffy] go 1-3-4 at NCAAs was so cool. And then showing up at World Juniors in Italy and feeling the ‘we are going to win’ vibe was awesome, especially when we did.”
Racers will now compete in spring series races to close out the 2019 winter.
For complete super-G results, please click here.
For complete slalom and GS results, please click here.