Ski wrap: Hurt leads Nor-Am Cup standings as tour heads to US

Staff report
2018-19 U.S. Alpine Ski Team Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard

Through the first five alpine races of 2019, local skier AJ Hurt, 18, has maintained her lead atop the North American Cup standings.

Hurt, a Squaw Valley Ski Team athlete, raced to a pair of second-place finishes in giant slalom at Georgian Peaks Club in Thornbury, Ontario to open 2019. She then took sixth at the Alpine Ski Club in Calgary, followed by a sixth and a second place in slalom last weekend in Olser Bluff, Ontario.

With only a handful of stops left in the season, Hurt leads the overall standings with 948 points, thus far. She is also the top ranked downhill and alpine combined skier, and second ranked in giant slalom and super-G.

Fellow American Nina O’Brien is second overall with 846 points, followed by Patricia Mangan with 764 points.

North American Cup racing will take a break from competition until Feb. 5, when skiers take to the slopes of Snow King Mountain Resort in Jackson, Wyo., for giant slalom and slalom events.

Far West Skiing

Skiing resumed under the Far West banner last weekend at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area with ages 14 and over giant slalom and slalom events.

With races and events being canceled and postponed around the Tahoe area due to weather, the competition at Mammoth went ahead as planned, beginning on Friday, Jan. 4.

Diamond Peak skier Mathew Smallhouse was unbeatable during the two days of racing, posting the fastest time in each of the six heats he raced for a giant slalom and two slalom victories.

Teammate Gunnar Barnwell earned a pair of second-place finishes in slalom, while Mammoth’s Brun Amon Franceschi took a second in giant slalom and a pair of top-four finishes in slalom.

Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy’s Ethan Hockridge posted the best results for local skiers in slalom with two, sixth-place finishes. Teammate Chilli Messner had the fastest giant slalom time of any local for a fourth-place finish.

On the girls’ side, Squaw Valley Ski Team’s Paloma Nolan-Bowers won one of the slalom events, followed by four Sugar Bowl skiers — Emma Speiser, Elizabeth Scott, Jillian Larrabee, and Ella Williams.

Mammoth’s Evin Haworth won the other slalom event, followed by Sugar Bowl’s Scott in second.

Sugar Bowl’s Amelia Jones won the weekend’s giant slalom event, topping second place by nearly a second.

Far West racing resumes locally this weekend with youth racing scheduled for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

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