Sugar Bowl skiers claim podiums, season bests to open new year

Luke Winters of the Sugar Bowl Academy was named to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s National Training Groups.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Sugar Bowl Academy alumnus Luke Winters posted his best performance of the World Cup season on Wednesday, taking 11th place in the Garmisch, Germany night slalom to lead the U.S. team.

“It feels good to get one in there and to have a second run,” said Winters in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I knew I had to take advantage of the second run start position, and I thought I did what I could. I felt pretty good about my run crossing the finish line.”

Athletes were forced to deal with difficult course conditions, and as the night went ruts began appearing from the reported “spring-like conditions” in Garmisch.

“With the conditions, your start number helped a lot, and it was tough, but I do enjoy these days. I grew up on this snow and it’s kind of nice to have the struggle because then you also see the top guys struggle as well,” said Winters, who sat in 22nd after a first-run time of 56.32 seconds.

Winters, 25, then posted the seventh fastest second run with a time of 54.09 to close out the event with a combined time of 1 minute, 50.41 seconds. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, 28, took first place by more than a second with a combined time of 1:48.37.

Winters’ 11th-place finish marks the first time in three World Cup starts this season that he’s been able to secure cup points.

World Cup racing will next head to Adelboden, Switzerland this weekend for slalom and giant slalom.

Fellow Sugar Bowl Academy graduate, Alice Robinson, also recently had her best performance of the early season. Robinson, 21, finished ninth in giant slalom in Semmering, Austria to close out 2022. The New Zealand skier now has five top-20 finishes in seven World Cup starts this season.

In other Sugar Bowl news, alumna Gwen Wattenmaker was named team captain of the Dartmouth College. Wattenmaker is a senior at Dartmouth and will lead the Big Green into the 2023 season next week.

Current Sugar Bowl skiers are competing at Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week. Jack Schrady, 16, has led the way for the boys’ team, posting a pair of fifth-place finishes in slalom and a third place in Wednesday’s giant slalom. Schrady closed out 2022 on a high note, claiming a trio of wins and a second place at Mammoth Mountain.

Sugar Bowl’s Declan Mack, 17, also took a pair of top-10 finishes in slalom at Snow King. Jacob Lundstroem, 20, took seventh in Tuesday’s slalom, and Carl Ottosson took 10th in Wednesday’s giant slalom race.

On the girls’ side, Aspen McAuley, 17, took sixth in Monday’s giant slalom at Snow King. She also took 10th place in Wednesday’s slalom event. Piper Macartney took fifth in Tuesday’s giant slalom race to round out the academy’s top-10 finishers at Snow King.

Alpine racing at Snow King came to a close on Thursday.

Luke Winters

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