Bryce Bennett finishes 17th in first Olympic event | SierraSun.com

Bryce Bennett finishes 17th in first Olympic event

Bryce Bennett

Truckee-Tahoe area skier Bryce Bennett got his first taste of Olympic competition on Tuesday, Feb. 13, racing on a windy, icy course in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he claimed a 17th-place finish in men's alpine combined.

Bennett threw down the 15th fastest time at 1 minute, 21.18 seconds in downhill to kick things off, and second fastest by an American. Germany's Thomas Dressen posted the fastest run, coming in with a time of 1:19.24; while Jared Goldberg, of Holiday, Utah, was the fastest American with a time of 1:20.02 for fourth place in downhill.

The competition then switched over to slalom where the skiers who specialize in downhill struggled on the tight, icy course. Austrian Marcel Hirscher came back from a 1.32-second deficit after the downhill event to claim his first Olympic gold medal. Hirscher, one of the sport's most decorated World Cup skiers, torched the slalom course to finish with a total time of 2:06.52. Bennett came in 3.45 seconds later, falling to 17th place. Veteran skier Ted Ligety led the American charge with a total time 2:07.97 for fifth place.

Bennett will return to the slopes on Thursday, Feb. 15 (Korean time) for downhill.